EXPLORE TAYLORS FALLS, MN & ST. CROIX FALLS, WI
With all these things to do in Taylors Falls and St. Croix Falls, you’ll need more than just a day trip! Plan ahead and make a long weekend out of it. We are just one hour north of the Twin Cities metro. Start your fall bucket list now!
Pick right from the patch, or pick one out in-store at one of our local ag-grower destinations. If you feel like trying something different, hop on the Pumpkin Express Train which rolls right out of Osceola, WI.
Here are a few to get you started:
A fall ride through the woods can be exhilarating! It’s a great way to see the changing fall colors, and you and your trusty companion will appreciate fewer bugs and lower temperatures than a summer ride. Wild River State Park has twenty miles of trails available for horseback riding through October.
What is it about waterfalls that make them even prettier in the fall? In the St. Croix Valley, we are blessed with waterfalls that are right in town, as well as some tucked away in hidden spots. If you are not familiar with the area, you may find yourself searching a long time for the “falls” that come along with the namesake of “Taylors Falls” and “St. Croix Falls”. While there is not an actual natural waterfall in Taylors Falls or St. Croix Falls directly on the St. Croix River, the dam provides spectacular viewing of gushing water.
Try these spots for waterfalls:
Our bike trails can take you for miles and miles whether on rail-to-trail gravel rides or an adventurous loop on the mountain bike trails. If you’re up for a longer ride, try riding the gravel trails from town to town and make a lunch or dinner stop on the way.
On the Gandy Dancer, you can start in St. Croix Falls and ride up to 47 miles all the way to Danbury (but if you need to refuel, we highly recommend a stop in Luck, WI at Café Wren which is right off the trail). On the Stower Seven Lakes trail, ride from the trailhead in Dresser all the way to Amery, passing seven lakes and beautiful countryside along the way.
No bike? No problem.These guys will set you up. Maklin Bike Shop.
Try these trails:
Don’t miss the annual “Woolly Days” which is a grand community celebration for the whole family. Riding, food, and connecting with other riders are hallmarks of this day.
There are now five wineries and multiple breweries popping up all over in our neck of the woods! From castles (yes, castles!) to the countryside, and even nestled inside our quaint downtowns, we have a wide variety of local flavors to paint your palette.
You never know what you might find picking through repurposed treasures of yesterday. In the St. Croix Valley, we have a fantastic crop of shop owners and artisans who have a good eye for treasure and bring you some of the best “pickin’s” around. You better be there first, though. We have people come from miles around for our finds!
Here are a few to get you started:
While many know we have Music on the Overlook every Friday all summer long, we also have many opportunities for Live Music in the Fall months too!
Music at the Orchard at Pleasant Valley has a whole fall lineup that will have you toe tapping while you are apple picking!
You need some seriously wide open spaces for art this big!
Fall is a perfect time to visit the 50 acre Franconia Sculpture Park. Walk, explore, and interact with the many pieces of art that adorn the St. Croix Valley countryside. With hosts of new artists living and working on site every year, there is always something new to see at this unique attraction.
Take a seat, and let the beauty of the changing leaves along the St. Croix River envelope you as you ride the rails from the Osceola, WI Depot down to Marine on St. Croix and back. It is a great way to see parts of the river and bluff area that can’t easily be seen on foot or car.
Set aside time as the fall colors burst in the St. Croix Valley! The St. Croix Falls AutumnFest is a lovely Fall Festival celebrating the beauty, creativity, and diversity of the St. Croix River Valley You’ll find beautiful views along the Scenic St. Croix River with an Art, Craft and Vendor Fair, live music, food trucks, and a pie eating contest! There’s also a Dog Fest, and a Disc Golf Tournament happening in St. Croix Falls during Autumnfest!
Who says you can only eat Ice Cream in the hot summer months? After a day of hiking and exploring, you’ll want to find a pit stop for a favorite sweet treat.
Here are a few places to check out:
Gustaf’s On Main Eatery: Lindstrom, MN
What is fall without a trip to the orchard! It’s a classic family fun activity that usually involves more than just picking apples. Our area orchards have live music, farm animals, walking trails, baked goods, gifts, hayrides, kids activities and more. And, if you’d like to try something different this year, add a Grape Stomp to your list of activities. Even if you don’t imbibe, stomping grapes is a great way to be a part of the fun of a harvest season.
If you’re a trail running junkie, our trails do not disappoint. We have all types. Flat, paved, crushed rock, packed dirt, hills, stairs, boulder climbs and more. If you’re into a little bit of adventure, you could easily turn your trail run into a mini parkour sesh. If you want a real challenge, run the stairs on the MN Interstate side on the Railroad trail. All 120 up and down the bluff side.
UP FOR A RACE?
If you’re looking for a FULL marathon, HALF marathon, four-person RELAY marathon, and 5K in one event, then the Gandy Dancer Marathon is sure to please! The race starts in Luck, WI and the crushed rock trail will take you north along an old railroad bed.
In addition, be sure to earmark the annual City of Trails Races
in early June. This family friendly race highlights and celebrates the area trails and the community. The race features a 5K, 10K, Half, and Full Marathon.
With our natural basalt cliffs rising tall above the Wild and Scenic St. Croix River, we’ve become a hot destination spot for rock climbing. The rock climbing is mostly located inside Interstate Park area and you must obtain a permit to climb.
Interstate Park is a traditional climbing and bouldering area; there are no bolted sport routes.
See the beauty of the Wild and Scenic St. Croix River ablaze with fall color aboard the Taylors Falls Queen and Princess Paddleboard.
The licensed boat pilot and tour guide will point out the unique rock formations that were left behind as the glaciers retreated thousands of years ago. Among the most outstanding formations is the huge stone cross for which the St. Croix River was named. “St. Croix” means Holy Cross.
Daily Excursions are either 45 or 80 minutes. Check their website for season finale.
Want to see some of the best views of the entire St. Croix Valley this fall? Take a chair lift ride to the top of the ski hill at Wild Mountain, and you can see the fall colors, river and valley in all its autumn splendor.
And getting down? Your choice; take the gondola back down, or opt for some extra adventure and take the alpine slide down the hillside!
Get a little something for yourself, or start your holiday shopping a little early this year! Local pottery, Swedish gifts, specialty beads & gemstones, farmhouse signs and more! We have a great variety of fun items to put on your list.
After a day’s worth of adventure, it’s time to refuel. Big appetites, or small we have it all. Sit down with a juicy burger, or take your lunch to go on a day hike. We are fortunate to have restaurants in the area that not only provide a wonderful place to gather and enjoy tasty, locally produced food but that also that support our community.
Choose your (mini-golf!) Adventure! Challenge your family or group to a round of Mini-Golf at Adventure Falls Course right in downtown Taylors Falls. See a Wannigan Cook Shack up close and personal right on the course!
Open through October.
Or, try out the 9-hole Riegel Disc Golf Course in St. Croix Falls! Nestled in the middle of St. Croix Falls near the high school at iconic Jerusalem pond, this course has concrete tee pads, and colorful visible baskets. This course includes both woods and prairie play. A small bridge overthe only water hazard. As course designer Wade White says, “It’s a great spot to go and listen to the owls calling to each other all throughout the woods in the evening”.
Check out the Fall Disc Golf Tournament!
Take to the water trails of the St. Croix Valley by canoe, kayak, or even paddleboard to get an excellent leaf-peeping perspective.
Celebrate Wild and Scenic St. Croix River by seeing all its glory up close and personal. Try the landing inside Interstate Park MN, or in Osceola WI. Rentals are available:
Or, try out a paddle adventure on one of our many area lakes including the newly established Chisago Lakes Water Trail which is 13 miles that traverse through 10 individual lakes.
Our area is well known for it’s hiking trails. From nature strolls meant to soak in the beauty and aroma of the outdoors, to rugged, tree-root gnarled, hilly trails, you can be challenged in mind, and body for one mile, 10+ miles, or anywhere in between. Some trails climb to scenic vistas, some that venture along the St. Croix River, and others that reveal an interesting geological story. All provide fantastic scenery and opportunity for brilliant photos, especially in the fall.
Are you ready to zip through the colorful fall forest? Trollhaugen Outdoor Recreation Area has 3000+ feet of zip lines (70lbs – 270lbs) ready for you. Or take the ultimate climbing challenge at Trollhaugen’s aerial course. The park provides the thrill of playing on a giant, floating playground – Think Ewok Village meets Ninja Warrior. Imagine climbing trees, hanging from tires, and swinging on ropes just like when you were a kid, on a much bigger scale – with the backup support of world-class safety equipment.
Fall is made for family traditions, and memory making. Enjoy the warm days of fall with a gorgeous boat ride on one our area lakes or take a paddleboard out for a go. Take advantage of fewer bugs and go fall camping. Be sure to check for fun pop-up events such as Escape Rooms, or Fall Festivals by perusing our event calendar.
Here are a couple FUN events coming up for fall 2023!
Come live your Yellowstone fantasy at Big Rock Creek in St. Croix Falls, WI! Two days of good Ole’ Fashioned family fun!
Stay tuned for more details or click our booking button to learn more!
The 4th Annual Mammoth Hike Challenge is set to take place during the month of October.
The Mammoth Hike Challenge is a completely free event created by the Ice Age Trail Alliance to promote and celebrate the beauty of this amazing trail that stretches all the way across the state of Wisconsin. During the month of October, simply track 43 miles of activity anywhere on the Ice Age Trail (hiking, walking, running, or backpacking) and visit 3 of the Trail Communities. To participate, register at the IATA site, and then log your success as you make your way along the trail! You have the whole month of October to complete the challenge. This is a great opportunity to explore and earn a hiking certificate and Mammoth Hike Challenge patch! Tag your adventures with #MammothHikeChallenge
This article was written by Linda Shober and produced by Linda Shober Marketing + Design, a marketing firm located in the St. Croix Valley specializing in providing content, strategy, management, design, and creative for digital and traditional marketing projects.