In 2012, when I rode through Custer State Park, as much as I wanted to get close to the bison, I was a couple hundred yards away at most. This time, I was in the truck and was very close, but one day I look forward to riding through close to the bison on the motorcycle.
When you arrive at the entrance to the park, ask the ranger where bison have been seen that day. That was my mistake back in 2012. My friend and I just started riding around expecting to find them easily, but never did.
In 2015, I asked, and I was directed towards one of the loops. The park ranger was right. Keep in mind you can ride the Peter Norbeck Scenic Byway, Iron Mountain Road, and Needles Highway in one day, but if possible, spend more time riding around the park because seeing these majestic animals up close is an amazing experience.
If you happen to be or are planning to be in the park at the end of month, stick around for the bison roundup at Custer State Park. The roundup is a way to keep the herd healthy and from overpopulating. I have seen documentaries on it and I can imagine the impressive sight of a thousand plus bison stampeding. The noise, the vibration, the energy that can be felt is definitely on my bucket list.
Remember, there is plenty to do at Custer State Park other than riding your motorcycle. There are endless trails to explore, camping at multiple sites, including cabin rentals. In 2015 I rode through the horse camp which my first time seeing one.
If you want all the amenities from home, visit the Sylvan Lake Lodge and Sylvan Lake for fishing, swimming, and boating.
For more information on the annual buffalo roundup, follow this link.