Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Minnesota trails explore St. Croix riverway

Stevens Creek Landing. Photo courtesy of MN DNR.
Trails near old ferry crossings, through a forest of red and white pines, and along a clean blue river await day hikers in the Rush City, Minn., area.

The small town is easy to reach from Minnesota’s two largest metro areas. Rush City sits off of Interstate 35 about midway between Minneapolis-St. Paul and Duluth-Superior. Only a few miles to the east of Rush City is the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway.

Among the great trails in the Rush City region are:
g Old Railroad Bridge Landing Trail – A short trail runs near this boat landing at river mile marker S82.0, just off of Bridge Trail, east of County Road 5 in the scenic riverway. The trail near the St. Croix River is a great spot for a picnic.
g Stevens Creek Landing Trail – A half-mile round trip trail runs from County Road 52 (aka River Road/Macy Lane) west of the boat landing on the St. Croix River. The trail heads through woodland in the scenic riverway to the St. Croix.
g Sandrock Cliffs Trail – Across the river in Wisconsin’s Governor Knowles State Forest, up to five miles of bluff-top trails can do be done in various combinations. A three-mile loop of the trail heads through a forest of red and white pines while river views wow hikers.
g Wood River Interpretive Trail – The 0.8-mile trail in Governor Knowles State Forest runs from the St. Croix Campground to near the Wood River, a tributary of the St. Croix. Reach the trailhead by taking River Road south of Wis. Hwy. 70 to the campground.

Read more about day hiking Northeast Minnesota in my Headin’ to the Cabin: Day Hiking Trails of Northeast Minnesota guidebook.