Spring at Interstate Park on the Saint Croix River, Minnesota

There is a bit a sun today, so our friend Mark and I head off to hike along the Saint Croix River at Interstate Park while Lane is stuck at work.

Looking for spring at Interstate State Park

Riverside Trail

At the ranger’s suggestion, we start off on the Riverside Trail, which runs between the highway and the rocky shore.

The scene around us pretty well compensates for the too-audible sound of traffic on the highway, generally leaving us feeling like we are deep in the woods. We clamber over rocks through fields of flowers — mostly wild geranium, but others too. The soft pastel flowers sweep away from us in all directions, carpeting the ground beneath the leafy green canopy that softens the bright blue sky above us.

trail Interstate Park Minnesota - www.ExplorationVacation.net

leaves Interstate Park Minnesota - www.ExplorationVacation.net

All along the way we take breaks to admire the rocks, the river, and the wildflowers.

St Croix River Interstate Park Minnesota - www.ExplorationVacation.net

columbine at Interstate Park Minnesota - www.ExplorationVacation.net

spring flower Interstate Park Minnesota - www.ExplorationVacation.net

hepatica at Interstate Park Minnesota - www.ExplorationVacation.net

St Croix River Interstate Park Minnesota - www.ExplorationVacation.net

Paddlewheelers at Interstate Park Minnesota - www.ExplorationVacation.net

Potholes and more

When we reach the pothole section of the park, there are a few climbers, but otherwise we still have it to ourselves. (We’ve pretty much had the park to ourselves the whole time. It’s great.) We admire the handiwork of ancient water movement, the exposed roots of trees, and (of course) I find a few more flowers to photograph.

old wood at Interstate Park Minnesota - www.ExplorationVacation.net

potholes at Interstate Park Minnesota - www.ExplorationVacation.net

columbine at Interstate Park Minnesota - www.ExplorationVacation.net

The end of our exploration

The park office is closed, but a concession stand is open, so treats are available. Which I find a relief even though all I buy is a fresh bottle of water.

We undertake a short hunt for the passageway that will take us into Taylors Falls and to the Railroad Trail. (It  sounds flat and we are tired, so it seems like a good trail to take back.) The route to the trail isn’t particularly well-marked, but it’s location is relatively intuitive and we find it relatively quickly.

The trail is relatively level, although it too runs near the highway most of the way. About 3/4 of the way there, the trail is interrupted by a very large, very deep ravine. The railroad clearly had a trestle here. We clamber down the stairs and back up the other side.

I am rewarded for this unexpected bit of extra effort by a hillside covered in trillium; the first we have seen.

trillium at Interstate Park Minnesota - www.ExplorationVacation.net

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