Sunday, July 26, 2015

Wildwood Trail segment passes trout stream

Wildwood Trail. Photo courtesy of St. Croix County Community
Development Department.
Day hikers can enjoy a walk beside a trout stream through a pleasant woods on a segment of Wisconsin’s Wildwood Trail.

The seven-mile hiking, biking and snowmobiling trail runs between Spring Valley and Woodville. Among the most accessible and pleasurable parts of the trail runs 1.7 miles round-trip from near downtown Spring Valley alongside a small stream through a pleasant woods.

To reach the trailhead, from Wis. Hwy. 29 in Spring Valley turn north on McKay Avenue then left/west onto County Road B (N. Second St.). In four blocks, turn right/north onto Herb Avenue. As that street curves east, park in the small lot off its left side. The trail heads west from the lot.

A former railroad right-of-way, St. Paul, Minneapolis and Omaha Railway Company trains used the route until the mid-20th century. In 1970, St. Croix County purchased most of the trail that runs north of Spring Valley.

The trail segment in Spring Valley parallels Mines Creek most of the way. A Class II trout stream that flows east into the Eau Galle River, Mines Creek’s adult trout have a good survival rate though sometimes they must be restocked for sport fishing.

About a third of a mile from the trailhead, the walking path enters a more wooded area. As a former rail grade, though, the trail is wide and often open, so be sure to don sunscreen or a brimmed hat.

In about 0.16 miles, the trail crosses Mines Creek and then veers into a hillside forest as the village and county road fall away in the distance.

The trail in another 0.38 miles reaches the intersection of 250th Street/Van Buren Avenue. This marks s good spot to turn back. If you have a little extra energy, however, the trail does continue onward for another 6.15 miles, veering north toward Woodville.

Motorized vehicle traffic – except snowmobiles in winter – are prohibited on the trail.

Trail map

Learn about trail guidebooks available in the Hittin’ the Trail series.