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.
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:
Pleasant Valley Orchard: Shafer, MN
Pumpkin Express Train: Osceola, WI
Start the morning with a fresh, aromatic cup of coffee at one of our local hot spots. It will take the chill out of the crisp, fall air, and give you a pep for a hike. And speaking of pumpkins, its #PSL season, where all things Pumpkin Spice are in full splendor.
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:
The Overlook (Dam Viewing): St. Croix Falls, WI
Silverbrook Trail/Interstate Park: St. Croix Falls, WI
*Please note there is a detoured route to get to Cascade Falls in Osceola.
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 to Luck, WI stopping at Café Wren right off the trail. On the Stower Seven trail, ride from the trailhead in Dresser, stopping at Farm to Table in Amery for lunch. 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.
No bike? No problem.These guys will set you up. Maklin Bike Shop.
Try these trails:
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.
Chateau St. Croix Winery, St. Croix Falls, WI
Dancing Dragonfly Winery, St. Croix Falls, WI
Wild Mountain Winery, Taylors Falls, MN
Deer Lake Winery, St. Croix Falls, WI
Winehaven Winery: Chisago City, MN
The Uncommon Loon: Lindstrom, MN
Trap Rock Brewing: St. Croix Falls, WI
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:
The Looking Glass: Osceola, WI
136 Vintage: St. Croix Falls, WI
Picket Fence Gals: Lindstrom, MN
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!
Check out our event calendar for a full line up!
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.
Professional theatre in an intimate venue. If you are looking for a place to see a top-notch live performance up close and personal, this is it. Check out our event calendar to see the current shows on stage at the Festival Theatre’s current home in the Franklin Square Black Box.
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 Fair, live music, food trucks, and a pie eating contest!
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:
Valley Sweets: St. Croix Falls
The Drive-In: Taylors Falls, MN
The Looking Glass: Osceola, WI
Dairy Queen: St. Croix Falls, WI & Osceola, WI
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.
Pleasant Valley Orchard, Shafer, MN
Dancing Dragonfly: St. Croix Falls, WI
Chateau St. Croix Winery: St. Croix Falls, WI
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.
And, if you’re not afraid of getting a little dirty, sign up for the Twin Cities Rugged Maniac this fall. The ultimate obstacle course race is coming to Wild Mountain on September 10, 2022! Rugged Maniac boasts 25+ obstacles consisting of unlimited mud, giant inflatables, epic fire jumps, rope climbs, and our fan-favorite, sky-scraping waterslide, Accelerator 3.0. Come test your limits and enjoy the day-long festival of ice-cold beer, rockin’ music, interactive games, and tons of delicious food.
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.
Guillermo Cuellar & Friends Fall Pottery Event
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.
Dalles House Restaurant & Lounge, St. Croix Falls, WI
Dalles House Cafe and Coffee House, St. Croix Falls, WI
Our Place Cafe, St. Croix Falls, WI
Juneberry Cafe, Taylors Falls, MN
The Watershed Café, Osceola, WI
The Drive-In, Taylors Falls, MN
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 allthroughout the woods in the evening”.
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:
Taylors Falls : Taylors Falls Canoe and Kayak Rental
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.
Interstate Park, WI, St. Croix Falls, MN
Interstate Park, MN, Taylors Falls, MN
Wert Nature Preserve, St. Croix Falls, WI
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.
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.