Trail history will be revisited this summer as wagons and riders travel the historic Miles City to Deadwood Trail. This stage line connected the two Old West towns beginning in 1880, and participants will ride the original trail route, departing Miles City, Mont., on Aug. 20 and arriving in Deadwood, S.D. Labor Day weekend. Registration is now open for the event.
The sanctioned Historic Miles City to Deadwood Trail Ride is open to participants using horses, mules and wagons. It will cover some 200 miles through Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota. The Trail Ride committee’s goal is promote the heritage of the West, and to have the Miles City to Deadwood Trail included on the National Register of Historic Places.
In its day, the Miles City to Deadwood Trail served as a semi-weekly mail route and freight route through the wilderness. Very few people inhabited the route, but horse thieves and highwayman were somewhat common.
“This trail is full of history, and the ride will be an adventure and a hands-on, colorful lesson for all participants,” said committee co-chairman Michael Greslin. “The ride will cover unique terrain, with most areas unchanged since the trail’s inception. Riders will definitely enjoy this trail and play a role in keeping history alive.”
Riders can sign on to ride the entire distance, or choose days in which to participate. As the riders enter Deadwood on Saturday, Sept. 4, they will ride down the historic city’s Main Street. The ride will be followed by a trail’s end celebration in Deadwood. The ride will be limited to 300 participants, and applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.
Overnight stops in communities along the trail will include programming and entertainment. Collected fees from riders will cover these events, as well as water for animals, portable toilets, transportation to and from evening camps, commemorative keepsakes, the trail’s end celebration in Deadwood and more. Proceeds from this ride go to raise funds for the Days Of ’76 Museum.