There are over 30 miles of marked hiking trails in Wind Cave National Park  that range from easy to strenuous in effort. Visitors are also welcome to leave the trails and wander the park at whim. Topographic maps can be purchased at the visitors center, but visibility at the park is good and it is not a difficult place to navigate.
Remember that buffalo can be found in most areas of the park. Do not approach them. They are wild animals and though their size may give the impression that they are slow reactors, they aren’t. Weighing in at around a ton, buffalo can nonetheless reach speeds of up to 35 miles per hour in just a few strides. Keep 100 yards between you and a buffalo!
For a short hiking excursion, try one of the three Nature Trails in the park. The trails are marked with interpretive signage and each is about one mile long.
The Elk Mountain Trail begins at the end of the Elk Mountain Campground  road and circles up through the forest near the park’s boundary. This trail highlights the intertwined ecologies of the meeting of prairie grasslands with the forest habitat.
The Prairie Vista Trail begins at the visitors center and the interpretive signage focuses information about the prairie grasses.
The Rankin Ridge Trail is located off of Highway 87 in the northwestern corner of the park. The hike winds past the Rankin Ridge Lookout Tower, the highest point in the park, and provides beautiful views in all direction.
For a longer hiking experience in Wind Cave National Park , combine the Centennial Trail and the Lookout Point Trail for a moderately strenuous loop trail of about 5.5 miles. This hike starts from the southern trailhead of the Centennial Trail in the park. From the visitors center, head north on Route 385, take a right on Highway 87, and travel about a half-mile.
On the right side of the road is a turn-off that heads to the trailhead. It’s right at a point where Highway 87 takes a sharp left. From the trailhead, the trail starts in a stand of ridgetop pines and then descends rapidly to the valley floor. From there it meanders along Beaver Creek winding between the low hills of the park.
About two miles in, the Centennial Trail takes a fairly sharp left. Continue straight on at this point and you will be on a short stretch of the Highland Creek Trail. This trail will loop around to join up with the Lookout Point Trail. Where the Highland Creek Trail veers south, continue heading west along the Lookout Point Trail and it will return you to the Centennial Trail trailhead.
Throughout the hike you will traverse a stream bed, pass through prairie grasslands and rolling hills, and climb into some of the pine forests of Wind Cave Park.