Today’s hiking adventure began in Stillwater. The St. Croix River Crossing Loop is one of my favorite loops.
The sun tried to join our adventure today; however, it was a pretty cloudy day. We started the trail by the Stillwater Lift Bridge.
The St. Croix River appeared frozen over for the most part. We only noticed a few open areas of water. The snow was piled high alongside the trail.
The St. Croix Crossing Bridge can be seen in the distance. A gentle fog covered the bridge.
The entire loop is on a wide paved trail which makes sharing the trail with runners, and bikers so nice especially in the warmer months.
Hiking over the St. Croix Crossing Bridge offers beautiful views of the surrounding land. Snowmobile tracks could be seen below us on the frozen river. A few individuals were even on the river ice fishing with their car parked nearby them. It has been rather warm as of late during the day, I’m not sure walking or driving a car on a river is the best idea, but to each their own.
The trail continues across the bridge and into Wisconsin.
There is a steep hill on the Wisconsin side one needs to go down to loop back into Minnesota. We decided to stop and put on our Yaktrax so we didn’t slip and slide down the hill.
At the bottom of the hill, the trail continues across the Stillwater Lift Bridge.
Today’s hiking adventure began at Pine Point Regional Park. This Washington County Park allows the trails to be used for hikers, bikers and our equine friends. The paved Gateway Trail cuts through the park. Most of the bikers we saw stayed on this trail. The trail map showed four different color coded looping trails. We decided to hike all four.
We began our hike on the yellow trail. This non paved trail led us through the woods and to a prairie.
The trail continued to Louise Lake. We briefly detoured from the yellow trail to the blue trail so we could hike alongside the lake.
The terrain changed just as frequently as the weather did. The sun began to shine, and the green of the forest became electric.
We hiked past several marshes that were higher than usual due to all the rain we have had lately. The frogs sang to us as we stopped for photos.
This next photo is my favorite of the day. The mirrored reflection is very serene.
The next trail we hiked was the blue trail. The trail was covered in thick grass and dandelions.
The green trail led us through a grove of birch trees as we hiked towards Loon Lake.
The youth of spring is nearing its end in Minnesota, however, we were able to see some crabapple blossoms and baby ferns growing.
Last but not least, the red trail. The trail was covered with luscious green grass. The giant open field was covered in small pine trees.
We found a giant mushroom, which I believe is called a Dryad’s Saddle.