Hanson-Larsen Memorial Park, Rapid City

Directions: Take Founder's Park Dr off of Omaha St in Rapid City

The land popularly known as "M Hill" or "Cowboy Hill" has undergone a total transformation since its purchase by the Hanson- Larsen Memorial Park Foundation three years ago. The private, non-profit Hanson-Larsen Memorial Park Foundation has built over 8 miles of world class hiking and biking recreational trails on 300 acres of pristine Black Hills wilderness near the heart of Rapid City's historic downtown district.

The trails in the Hanson- Larsen Memorial Park have offerings for hikers, mountain bikers and runners of all skill levels, from gentle-graded, wide single track for beginners and families, to more advanced and technical rock strewn terrain for serious downhillers. With majestic views of Mt. Rushmore, Harney Peak, The Badlands and Bear Butte, the Hanson- Larsen Memorial Park has already garnered local and national media attention. HLMP was recently featured in stories in the July/August issue of South Dakota Magazine and the September 2009 issues of Men's Journal and Mountain Bike Magazine; comparing the trails at HLMP to some of the "best mountain bike meccas of the west".

No tax dollars or public funds were used to pay for the Hanson- Larsen Memorial Park. Edna Larsen, a lifelong Hermosa area ranch owner and resident of Rapid City, who passed away in 2004, had the vision to memorialize her parents, Ed Larsen and Etta Hanson-Larsen, by establishing a trust to build a park in their honor. According to Jeffry Denison, US Bank Trust Officer and treasurer for the Hanson-Larsen Memorial Park Foundation, the park is about more than just honoring the memory of Edna Larson's parents. "This Park will protect a significant green space in an urban setting and preserve the land for the public to enjoy and use for many generations," he said.
HLMP has contracted the services of IMBA (The International Mountain Bike Association) to design and construct the park and trail system. Joey Klein of IMBA, who designed the trail system at HLMP, is excited about the diverse usage of the Park, "It is exciting to help create a trail system that will serve so many people in the middle of a city. We see more users every day, young and old." Many biking enthusiasts, local volunteers and members of the BHMBA (Black Hills Mountain Bike Association) have contributed their time and efforts to assist in the development of this park. Rapid City bike shop owner and avid rider, Tim Rangitsch, sees the HLMP as a "cultural changing gift that will forever change the outdoor mentality of runners, riders and active families in our community". Future development plans include the establishment of temporary and permanent signage, a permanent trailhead and further trail expansion.

Although the HLMP is privately owned and funded, it is free and open to all hikers, bicycle riders, runners, outdoor enthusiasts and pedestrians. Motorized vehicles, horses and overnight camping are strictly prohibited in the park.

Miscellaneous Information: Black Hills Runners Club supports HLMP/BHMBA and encourages all to run, hike & bike these wonderful trails in the heart of Rapid City