RAPID CITY, S.D. — Wintertime fat-tire bicyclists in South Dakota could have their own designated snow trails to ride if recent discussions are realized.

There aren’t any designated, permanent fat-tire snow trails in the Black Hills National Forest, the Rapid City Journal reported. Some winter bicyclists have used snowmobile trails that are off limits, causing tension among some riders.

Black Hills National Forest Supervisor Mark Van Every said those tensions flared during meetings he attended last winter during the Governor’s Snowmobile Ride.

“I can assure you there are some concerns, and one of the biggest concerns is safety for the snowmobiler and the biker,” Van Every said during a Black Hills National Forest Advisory Board meeting Wednesday.

Van Every said representatives of several trails and recreation groups recently discussed the issue with state and local land managers. They identified some forest roads and trailed in five areas in the Northern Hills and Bear Lodge districts that could be groomed for use as fat-tire bike trails.

Fat-tire bikes, which have surged in popularity in recent years, have oversized tires to lessen their ground pressure and allow riders to get across soft terrain such as mud and snow. The activity is discouraged in designated snow-skiing areas, but some grooming for fat-tire bikes has been allowed in part of the Big Hill Trails area on a temporary basis.

Fat-tire biking is allowed elsewhere in the Black Hills National Forest, but Van Every said riders increasingly want groomed trails for a better experience.


Information from: Rapid City Journal, http://www.rapidcityjournal.com