Friday, June 5, 2015

Photo album of St. Croix Boom Site Trail

The scenic St. Croix Boom Site Trail rambles for nearly a half-mile along the Minnesota shoreline of the St. Croix River.

To reach the trail, from downtown Stillwater drive north on Minn. Hwy. 95. Watch for the signs; after Pawnee Avenue North, there’s a turnoff for the Boom Site on the right/east. Park in the looping access road. The trailhead is south of the lot’s access road. The Boom Site is merely a 50-foot walk down a staircase to a beach.

The top of the staircase offers a great view of Cambrian-era sandstone (below) that formed around 485 million years old.

At the base of the staircase, a beach runs along the St. Croix River (below).

The river widens greatly at Stillwater, becoming what locals refer to as “Lake St. Croix” (below).

Heading south along the beach, the sandstone cliffs hug the shoreline (below). The cliffs and river valley formed about 10,000 years ago when flashfloods from melting glaciers swept through the area.

A cave sits on the cliff south of the staircase. (below).

The cave goes several yards into the cliff, but once your eyes adjust, you’ll be able to see fairly well (below).

The cliffs continue north of the staircase, but there is more beachfront (below).

During spring, creeks bring melting snow from the clifftops into the river at the boom site (below).

At one time, the boom site beach was a major terminal for bringing logs off the river to sawmills in Stillwater. Here's a full description of the trail.

Read more about day hiking the scenic riverway in my guidebook Hittin’ the Trail: Day Hiking the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway.