Sunday, October 16, 2016

Pierce Co. trails a quick drive from freeway

Waterfalls on the Kinnickinnic River below the Glen Park swinging bridge.
For those visiting Wisconsin's St. Croix County, Pierce County offers several great day hikes that explore riverways and pretty woodlands. All are an easy drive from Interstate 94, which cuts through southern St. Croix County.

No trip to Pierce County would be complete without a stop at Kinnickinnic State Park. A number of trails crosscross the diverse park. Most notable among them is the Purple Trail, a 1.2-mile loop with a vista overlooking the Kinnickinnic’s confluence with the St. Croix River.

A swinging bridge and a cascades that cuts through 500-million-year-old rock await day hikers on the Glen Park Trail in River Falls. The 0.25-mile round trip set of trails – christened here after the park they run through – sits close to the University of Wisconsin-River Falls campus.

Day hikers can explore Wisconsin’s longest cave near the village of Spring Valley. The Crystal Cave Tour runs about 0.5-miles round trip through 1,300 feet of passageways, heading seven stories underground. Several deeper passages are closed to the public. The cave is a commercial venture, so a fee is charged to be part of a tour.

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