“A moderate hike along a ridgeline to Lover's Leap and back along a creek.”
— Chris McCloud
Hiking clockwise around the loop, the first segment is a moderate ascent to the ridgeline above the State Game Lodge. The trail follows the ridgeline through the trees to Lover's Leap, an overlook where two native lovers allegedly leaped to their deaths to be together for eternity. The overlook (climb the rocks to the right of the trail, above the sign with the inspiring message) gives outstanding views of the Needles, Black Elk Peak (formerly Harney Peak), and other peaks of the central Black Hills.
Follow the trail along the ridge a bit further, and descend into the creek valley. Eventually you'll come to a gap in the trees that gives a good look at the overlook from below. Follow the trail along the through the Custer State Park seasonal housing and join the Creekside Trail
where you can turn right and continue back to the State Game Lodge Schoolhouse parking lot.