Black Fox, Black Hills, South Dakota
Elevation 6000 feet
The Black Hills National Forest (BHNF) in South Dakota and Wyoming is one of the nation's most biologically
diverse forests, an island of mountains surrounded by a sea of plains. The highest peak in the Black
Hills is Harney Peak at an elevation of 7242 feet, the highest easterly point in the US.
The largest stream in the Black Hills is Rapid Creek. The North Fork of Rapid Creek begins about 7 miles south of
Lead and Deadwood. The South Fork of Rapid Creek begins a 1½ of miles west of Black Fox on National
Forest Road #231. Another stream that begins 2 miles up the neighboring canyon,
Rhoads Fork, joins the
South Fork at the Black Fox Campground.
The 2 forks of Rapid Creek then meet 1 mile west of Rochford and then flows east to Pactola Reservoir,
and on thru Rapid City (where RC gets its name) continuing east until it joins the Cheyenne River. The
primary species in Rapid Creek is brown trout. Brook trout are available in the upper stretches of both
forks. (Rapid City newspaper article about Black Fox - 500k)
Black Fox consists of a small cabin group and a 9-site campground. The cabins are privately owned, sitting on Forest Service leased land.
The cabin shown below is now only a memory, torn down in 2016 with only the chimney still standing,
as the Forest Service forced us out in 2012 with dozens of new rediculous restrictions;
no canoe on property, no creek bridge, paint an oiled log cabin, remove non-existent well - for just a few.
We had a great relationship with the Forest Service for 21 years until a new supervisor, Amy Ballard, took over.
Her harrassment had many cabin owners in tears!
From a well-kept, late 1800's Black Hills landmark to an embarassing Forest Service disgrace! It has been left like this for years now.
The last photo shows all that is left of the cabin, and also how pine beetles took over the area.
Click on the photos to enlarge
more South Dakota photography by Merrill L. Mabbs:
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1936 Sparton model 557 mirrored radio