Badger Hole Historic Site And Trail
The historic Badger Hole cabin can be found in Custer State Park in South Dakota. It was once the home of Charles Badger Clark who is known as South Dakota’s first poet laureate. He lived in the park for the last 30 years of his life until his death in 1957 at the age of 74. In 1924 he built a small cabin in the park to live in until the Badger Hole was completed in 1937.
Clark was a cowboy poet and published several books, including collections of his poetry and novels, during his career. His most well-known poem is titled A Cowboy’s Prayer. Bob Dylan adapted Clark’s poem A Border Affair into the song Spanish is the Loving Tongue.
The cabin still contains his furnishings and now serves as a small museum and is open seasonally to the public. It was suppose to be open when we visited, but for some reason it was not. When it is open you are able to walk through the cabin and a ranger/volunteer is available to provide more information and answer questions.
Badger Hole was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on March 7, 1973.
Behind the Badger Hole building is the trailhead for the Badger Clark Trail. This 1 mile loop trail (they say 1 mile, but I would guess it’s less) winds through a mixed pine and hardwood forest as well as rocky hillsides. Pets are allowed on the trail as long as they are leashed.
Numerous signs can be found while hiking this trail providing additional information on Charles “Badger” Clark. They even included excerpts from his poetry on most of the signs which I thought was cool.
This trail was cute, short and pretty easy. There is a little climb at the beginning, but nothing difficult. There is only about 130 feet of elevation change during your hike. It’s a nice little opportunity to stretch your legs after checking out the cabin. It’s nothing special, but if your looking for a short nature hike with some history thrown in it’s a great little stop.