Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Hiking Interstate State Park, Minnesota

My son and I went hiking last year at Minnehaha Falls on one of the weekends he was back from camp. I think we're going to be making this a tradition. It gets us out of whoever's house we're staying with and allows us to enjoy the beautiful state of Minnesota.

This year we decided to go to Taylors Falls. Now, I'll share a bit of my ignorance here. I thought Taylors Falls wasn't just a city. I thought it had a waterfall. You know, hence the name of the town. Turns out, nope, no waterfalls there. lol

We decided to do the hike regardless and I'm glad we did! It was an absolutely beautiful day. It took us about an hour to get there from the Cities. There are 2 sides to the Park, hence the "Interstate" part of the name. It's joined with Wisconsin. It was only $7 to park for the day. We probably could've parked on the street in Taylors Falls, but this worked out just fine.

You have several options when you visit Interstate State Park. You can rent canoes and kayaks, hike, or take a scenic boat tour. I didn't realize about the boat tour until it was too late, but that would've been fun. There are also a few trails you can explore. If we go back I'd like to check out the Glacial Potholes. We started our adventure off on the River Trail. That probably took us about an hour to hike? We stopped along the way to take photos and enjoy the scenery. It's only a mile and a quarter hike.

You walk along the road for a bit of the hike and then veer off into the woods. There were a decent amount of people hiking the day we went, but only so much that we'd pass someone occasionally. It was a very peaceful hike. The views of the St. Croix River were beautiful. The trails were pretty well maintained. I can see how on a rainy day some areas could be a bit slick.

After we finished with the River Trail, we crossed under the road to tackle the Railroad Trail which is 1.5 miles. We saw a couple of young gals who had just come from that direction so I asked them if we were headed the right way. Thankfully we were.

Now, when I was talking with the gal who I paid at the visitor center, she mentioned an extra piece to the Railroad Trail. She told me the Sandstone Bluffs Trail was 250 steps. I'm like, ok, so that's really nothing. Welllll, what she actually meant was there are 250 actual steps!! Stairs, people!! This is actually and added 1mi hike. Oh my goodness, I thought I was going to die. HAHAHAHA There was one point where we were completely confused and so was another lady who came upon us. About halfway through the hike it just dead ends.

Just before we reached the dead end. As in about 15 seconds before, this man scared the nonsense out of us as he was climbing down through the rock and he was sweating something awful. All of a sudden he was just there next to us. Turns out, that's where we had to climb up. I debated about turning around, but didn't. lol My son climbed up too fast for me to grab a shot of it. The arrow that points to the "steps" is rather deceiving. It looks like it's pointing to the dead end. Needless to say, I survived. My son basically ran up all of the steps. Show off.

We got back onto the Railroad Trail and it spits you out in what seems like a deserted parking lot. It was such an odd end to the hike. lol We walked out to the street which took us to the main part of Taylors Falls. Across the highway is another area to hike, but we just chilled out for a few minutes before we made our way back under the road to the visitor center. We grabbed our car and ate at a restaurant in town. Let me just say I would suggest eating anywhere other than Chisago House for your meal. I don't normally call out places that aren't great, but this place was probably one of the worst restaurants I've ever eaten or been served at.

All in all, this was an extremely beautiful place to visit. It's pet friendly so there were lots of people with their dogs. One gal actually had hiking boots on her dog so you know they explore a lot. It would be a fabulous place to camp as well. I definitely want to go back and possibly try kayaking, the boat tour, and the potholes.


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Woven by Words by Mimi B is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.