Needles Highway and Sylvan Lake in the Mount Rushmore Area, SD
Needles Highway, also called the Peter Norbeck Scenic Byway, was constructed in 1919 and winds through 14 miles of rock tunnels and magnificent rock formations called 'needles.'
One of the most prominent formations is called The Needles Eye. It reaches 30 to 40 feet into the air and has a 3 foot wide opening in the middle. The highway was thought to be impossible to construct, but through pure determination and about 150,000 pounds of dynamite, it became a great highway to see the amazing sights of the natural formations in the badlands area.
Sylvan Lake, along Needles Highway, is a little lake that offers a great way to become one with nature. It features great fishing, swimming, paddle boats, rock climbing, and has several trails throughout the area. There are also several resorts that overlook the serene setting of this peaceful lake.
Pigtail bridges were also designed by Peter Norbeck and built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930's. They span steep climbs in short distances and allow the road to negotiate sharp changes in topography in limited space, having the road crossover itself. The Black Hills are famous for this type of Bridge engineering