Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Great trails run through west St. Croix Co.

Willow River on the Trout Brook (Purple) Trail
Among the most scenic areas of St. Croix County is the Great River Road region. Here the St. Croix River forms the county’s eastern boundary with three tributaries – the Apple, the Willow and the Kinnickinnic rivers – flowing to it. The region is so named because Wis. Hwy. 35 – the Great River Road – parallels the St. Croix and connects its three main cities – River Falls, Hudson and Somerset, each of which sport several great trails.

Hudson and Willow Falls State Park sit on the St. Croix at the region’s center. Among the great trails here are the 45-foot high and 100-foot wide Willow Falls on the Willow Falls Hill (Gray) Trail. A restored prairie can be explored on the Knapweed (Orange) Trail and the Willow River, a popular trout stream, via the Trout Brook (Purple) Trail.

River Falls sits south of Hudson and spreads into neighboring Pierce County. A great hike here is the Glen Park Trail, which cuts over 500 million-year-old rock on the Kinnickinnic; note that the trail is in Pierce County just across the county line.

Somerset is to the north of Hudson. One great trail there is the Parnell Prairie Reserve Loop, which traipses through an area being restored to its mid-1800s appearance.

Learn more about nearby day hiking trails in my Day Hiking Trails of St. Croix County guidebook.