A short, family-friendly overlook hike with breathtaking views of the badlands and their native wildlife.


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The Ridgeline Nature Trail is a short, sub-30 minute hike along Scenic Loop Rd.

with expansive views of the badlands and their accompanying grasslands.

Numbered waysides highlight the unique ecology and geology of the ridge, and "kids will enjoy hiking [the] trail, dashing through the grasslands and leap-frogging ahead to the next numbered post to find out what they are looking at," according to [this source](https://www.nationalparkstraveler.org/2012/10/trails-ive-hiked-ridgeline-nature-trail-theodore-roosevelt-national-park10697).

Wildlife, including bison and redtail hawk, among *many* others, can often be seen nearby. The Ridgeline Nature Trail (or simply, the *Ridgeline Trail* for short) is considered one of the easier trails in the park, though there are some steeper sections and stairs that may prove challenging.

Remnants of wildfire can also be seen throughout, and "some junipers [even] show bare patches where bison scratched an itch," as noted by [this source](https://www.nationalparkstraveler.org/2012/10/trails-ive-hiked-ridgeline-nature-trail-theodore-roosevelt-national-park10697). Parking is located about 11 miles past the park's southern entrance near Mendora.

There are no restrooms or facilities at the trailhead, though the large pull-off can accommodate RV's, busses, and larger vehicles.

A detailed PDF [trail brochure](https://www.nps.gov/thro/planyourvisit/upload/Ridgeline-508.pdf) is also available to accompany your hike, courtesy of the NPS - or you could grab a print copy from the trailhead kiosk. Sources: [National Parks Traveler](https://www.nationalparkstraveler.org/2012/10/trails-ive-hiked-ridgeline-nature-trail-theodore-roosevelt-national-park10697) [NPS](https://www.nps.gov/thro/planyourvisit/hiking-and-trail-information.htm)