Before the weather turned back to winter conditions this week I took a short hike at one of my favorite places, The National Wildlife Refuge along the Minnesota River Valley.
The temperature hit 70F (Obviously that is not today as a howling blizzard is going on outside the hotel window), I decided that I would start the day with a hike at William O’Brien State Park located along the St Croix River. Then follow the St Croix River to Hastings, Minnesota where the river finally enters the Mississippi River. I would find a couple of new treasures along the way.
On Saturday (30 March) I was on a time schedule, I had to meet a friend in Hinckley mid afternoon. I had Wild River State Park on my “to do” list last year, that didn’t happen and so I was pretty determined to hike it this Spring.
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.
I have been reading the book Between The Waters, by Larry Luukkonen this fall. It details the northwest trails and the portages from Lake Superior at the mouth of the St Louis River to Big Sandy Lake and the entrance into the Mississippi River. The first major portage for loaded canoes was the Grand Portage.
Being blocked from Hell’s Gate most people would rejoice. I was disappointed.