Maah Daah Hey

Ride Description

The Maah Daah Hey Trail is a 96 mile hiking, horseback and mountain bicycle trail that traverses through the scenic and rugged North Dakota badlands. The trail passes through the Little Missouri National Grasslands, as well as State and private land, as it connects the North and South Units of Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

The trail begins at Sully Creek State Park, located south of Medora (Interstate 94, exit 24) in Billings County. The trail winds its way to its northern terminus at the U.S. Forest Service CCC Campground in McKenzie County, located 20 miles south of Watford City off Highway 85.

The trail name, "Maah Daah Hey", comes from the Mandan Indians and means "an area that has been or will be around for a long time."

The turtle is used as the trail marker. The turtle was chosen because of its firm determination, steadfastness, patience, long life and fortitude.

The Maah Daah Hey trail traverses an area of highly dissected badlands surrounded by large expanses of gently rolling prairie. This area of North Dakota provides prime habitat for a variety of mammals and birds. Mule deer and coyotes are often sighted, while an occasional golden eagle or prairie falcon may be spotted soaring above. Bighorn sheep and elk have been reintroduced into the area and can be spotted by keen observers. In addition, bison and feral horses roam the range in Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

The trail is open for use all year, but at various times of the year, the trail may be impassable due to mud, snow, ice, and high water.

Users of the Maah Daah Hey Trail will share the same space with horseback riders, hikers and bicyclists. Users will be expected to respect the rights of others. Shared-use trails are successful when users cooperate and abide by the rules.

Taken from the NPS website about the Maah Daah Hey.


From Deadwood Bicycles, exit right from the parking lot and drive south through Lead on US85. Turn left at the light in Lead, onto US14A/85. Proceed approximately 8 miles to Cheyenne Crossing and Spearfish Canyon. Turning right, following US14A to Savoy, about 7 miles. Turn left onto Forestry Road 222 past 76 Trail and Roughlock Falls. Proceed several miles to Tinton Road (FR134). Within two miles you will see a small 'Hikers' sign on the right side of the road. The trailhead and parking lot for Old Baldy and Rim Rock Trails is opposite the sign.

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Maah Daah Hey

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Last Updated:
05 Feb, 2011