Calypso Trail is a 5.5 mile primitive road that provides accesses to the erosion-carved sandstone and clays of the Terry Badlands Wilderness Study Area. The badlands were formed from sedimentary rocks which have been eroded by wind and water into impressive arches, bridges, flat tabletops, pinnacles, spires and scoria escarpments. Vehicles with high clearance are recommended. Be aware this road is impassable when wet.
The road gets its name from Calypso, a now defunct railroad stop on the Milwaukee Railroad which was active over a hundred years ago. The Calypso Trail also served as a freight road, travel route and alleged boot-leg trail. The trail is primitive, and there are no services, but the views are captivating.
Popular activities in the badlands include hiking, bicycling, hunting, photography, birding, horse back riding and wildlife viewing. There are no established campsites, but there are places suitable for overnight camping in the bench areas at the head of protected draws. The lack of water will limit the length of stay and the hiking range of back packers, especially during the hot summer months. Vehicles, including 4-wheelers and mountain bikes, are not permitted to travel off road. As you travel around the badlands be aware of private land by knowing the boundaries of the WSA.