Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wild River State Park & Minnesota's Interstate State Park

Noelle and I had days off together which will be a rarity this summer and so we decided to go on a little road trip for our days off despite a forecast of rain. yesterday we headed south out of foggy Duluth and headed for the warmth of east central Minnesota. It turned out to be more than warm though. More like downright hot.

Our first stop was Wild River State Park, where we hiked along the St. Croix River to the Old Nevers Dam site. There were lots of wildflowers in bloom. The usual spring varieties including trillium and columbine were seen. We also found a large eagle feather along the trail.

From the dam we hiked back to the car along the paved Old Logging Trail. Parker did a great job despite the heat. We got into the car and turned on the air conditioner for the first time this year. Our next destination was Minnesota's Interstate State Park. We got a campsite and set up camp before walking the River Trail to the world's highest concentration of potholes.
We spent some time poking around there before heading into Taylor's Falls to The Drive-In for rootbeer floats. We returned to the campground via the Railroad Trail.

It rained pretty hard last night with a fair amount of thunder and lightning. When we woke up this morning it was sunny though, and so we decided to hike the Sandstone Bluffs while the tent dried out. The hike was scenic but quite buggy. It's definitely mosquito season in central Minnesota! We returned to the campground to pack up our stuff and then hopped in the car and into Wisconsin. We stopped by the St. Croix National Scenic River visitor center in St. Croix Falls to check things out.

Finally we went for a short and buggy hike at the Sandrock Cliffs area of the river near Grantsburg, Wisconsin, before returning to Minnesota for the drive north to Duluth.

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