Monday, March 25, 2013

Great day hiking trails near Osceola, Wis.

Lake O' the Dalles swimming beach at Wisconsin Interstate State Park.
If traveling through or living in Osceola, Wis., this summer, you’ll find plenty of great day hiking trails to enjoy. Among them:
g Ridgeview Trail Hikers can walk across billion-year-old lava flows in a 2.1-mile loop at Osceola Bedrock Glades State Natural Area. This area is one of only three bedrock glade ecosystems in the state.
g Ridge View (Osceola and Chisago loops) Trail This pair of St. Croix National Scenic Riverway trails gives you great close-up views of a St. Croix River back channel. Birds abound in this secluded woodland.
g Lake O’ the Dalles Trail To the north at Wisconsin Interstate Park, a 1-mile loop circles the 23-acre Lake O’ the Dalles. The trail offers exceptional opportunities to view wildlife.
g Riverside Trail – Cross the border into Minnesota for William O’Brien State Park, where this 1.5-mile trail will take you to the shores of Alice Lake and the St. Croix River. There are benches every 900 feet.
g Stower Seven Lakes Trail This trail cuts across Polk County beginning (or ending, depending on your perspective) east of town at Lotus Lake. You can walk about two miles along Horse Creek to Horse Lake for a 4-mile round trip.

Read more about day hiking this and nearby trails in my Hittin’ the Trail: Day Polk County, Wisconsin guidebook.