We rode the Mickelson trail in South Dakota last week. WHAT A TREAT! This was one of the most beautiful, and challenging rail-trails I've ever been on. Some of the climbs were miles long, never really steep, but long. The scenery was fantastic. I'd highly recommend this one. We started in Deadwood, rode 50 miles to Hill City on the first day, and spent the night there. Next day we rode the remaining 60 miles to Edgemont. Dakota Taxi shuttled us and the bikes back to Deadwood. Turns out we had just missed an hour long hailstorm after leaving Hill City.
The trail surface is crushed gravel/small gravel, and is hardpacked. Every so often, there's enough gravel to cause slips/slides. We ran with Pasela Tourguards, 1.25s, and didn't have any real trouble, but you had to watch your speed on the descents. Probably would've been a little more stable with 1.5s or 1.9s.
Learned a new trick- this was the first time I had the rack on the LHT. After leaving Pringle (lunch stop), I shifted into the smallest cog and the pedals IMMEDIATELY came to a halt- solid, no kidding thunk/stop. Stopped, looked things over, nothing appeared out of the ordinary. Manually put the chain on the middle ring and middle cog, and took off again. No more problems the rest of the trip. Answer in pic below.
And the rust on the chain is from driving 900 miles home in pretty much non-stop rain/drizzle.
Trying out the Facebook link for albums- don't know if it'll work for non-members or not.
Link to trail brochure:
Link to Deadwood Bicycle page, where I got the trail info, and shuttle info: