Wild River State Park hugs the St. Croix River in eastern Minnesota. Most of the park consists of mixed hardwoods, wetlands, and meadows – and lots of spring wildflowers.
We visited a couple of weeks ago searching for trilliums.
Our first stop was the overlook at the Old Nevers Dam site, which provides a view of the St. Croix River as it rolls along.
It’s hard to believe that this quiet place was once the busy site of a huge dam constructed to manage the flow of logs down the river.
But now it is time to get serious about flowers. The River Terrace Loop trail is a bit low and damp along the river. There aren’t any trilliums here, but there are violets, buttercups, wild phlox, and a few other flowers in sunny spots along the wooded trail.
Things start to pick up flower-wise as we reach the point where the trail loops around to head back along the base of the hill. Now there are lots of trilliums!
The trilliums have to share the spotlight though, as the woodland floor has big beautiful pink splotches of Virginia Spring Beauty, a flower I have never seen before.
(Aren’t they lovely? Now imagine the forest floor just covered with these little beauties.)
There are lots of other flowers too, including a few Jack-in-the-pulpit, clumps of wild ginger, a swath of buttery yellow marsh marigolds, and more.
There were also lots and lots of ferns starting to unfurl.
(There were several different types, but I had trouble photographing the most delicate ones!)
It was a great walk.
We ended our visit with a quick stop at the Visitor’s Center, where we could look over a bit of the river valley.
Think of all the flowers that must be blooming down there!
We visited a couple of weeks ago when the trilliums were in full bloom. While the trilliums should be mostly done by now, there will be other flowers blooming throughout the spring.
Wild River State Park is located along the Saint Croix River north of the MSP metro area. This is a long narrow park and can be entered either at the south end near Almelund (where the visitor center is located) or farther north at Sunrise. (We entered from Almelund.) The park has a full range of facilities, including campgrounds, camping cabins, trails, canoe rentals, and more.
Want even more flowers? Check out Floral Friday Fotos for great floral images from around the world.