Hiking along the St Croix River

Ahhhh, sun and near 65F temperatures. It breathes energy into my existence. When I am in Minnesota it is constant movement. Hotel to lodge; hotel to cabin. Finally I am in one location for a week.

I am already sick of all the driving. Get in the car to go to the store, get in the car to do laundry, get in the car and drive for miles to go hiking. I am sure I will miss all of it once I am back in Europe!

So, I was off to hike the River trail yesterday at William O’Brien State Park. This two mile hike runs along the St Croix River. I have hiked this trail in the Spring and Summer before but never when the ice is flooding the river.

The first thing I spotted when entering the park were two eagles flying right over the park office. Always a good omen for a cool hike.

The road to the river was closed to traffic so hiking down the closed road was easy. The shady part at the bottom of the hill was snow/ice packed so I hiked off the side of the road.

I saw two older gentleman who were at the end of their hike and heading back up hill. They mentioned that there was water over part of the trail but noted that my Lowa hiking boats should handle it fine.

I started on the trail and was rewarded with the sounds of melting running water everywhere. From the smallest dripping to the rush of a stream coming down the slope finally ending into the St Croix.

I love hiking this time of the year. Without the leaves on the trees you can see things that are hidden at other times of the year. Holes where animals have spent the winter, mosses, fungi and best of all the ice flow coming down the river.

The slow moving violent cleanser of yearly snow melt. The river carrying items along the way as it heads to its destination of the Mississippi River.

As I listened to the flow move through the river landscape it was was noisy one minute as the ice moved and pushed, then suddenly silent as it would reach a place where it would jam.

The two mile hike was rewarding in experiencing the river in a new way.

Things I saw on my hike.

– eagles

– deer

– chickadees

– ice flow down river

– black and red squirrels

– geese

– 12 hiking humans (not at one time)

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