ST. CROIX FALLS, WISCONSIN

Official Trail Community

OF THE ICE AGE NATIONAL SCENIC TRAIL

St. Croix Falls, WI

The “City of Trails"

Proud Trail Community and Western Terminus of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail

What is the Ice Age National Scenic Trail?

The Ice Age National Scenic Trail is a thousand-mile footpath that highlights these landscape features as it travels through some of the state’s most beautiful natural areas. The Trail is entirely within Wisconsin and is one of only eleven National Scenic Trails.

More than 12,000 years ago, an immense flow of glacial ice sculpted a landscape of remarkable beauty across Wisconsin. As the glacier retreated, it left behind a variety of unique landscape features. These glacial remnants are now considered among the world’s finest examples of how continental glaciation sculpts our planet.

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The Ice Age National Scenic Trail turns 40 this year!

Let’s celebrate with a “Mammoth” Challenge.

The Mammoth 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 40 miles of activity anywhere on the Ice Age Trail (hiking, walking, running, or backpacking), AND visit three of the Trail Communities. To participate, register at the IATA site, and then log your success as you make your way along the trail! If you reach the goal of 40 miles of activity, and you visit three trail communities, you will earn a hiking certificate and a limited-edition patch celebrating the 40th anniversary (and bragging rights!) You have the whole month of October to complete the challenge. This is a great opportunity to explore!

Where to start?

You can start anywhere on the trail, but we would be delighted if you would start right here in St. Croix Falls, WI! It makes a great start point (it is the Western Terminus of the trail) meaning the trail literally starts (or ends, depending on your route) right along the high bluffs of the St. Croix River inside Interstate Park, WI.

If you hike the entire St. Croix Falls Segment, you’ll log 9 of your 40 miles right here. And, since St. Croix Falls is an official Trail Community, you’ll get a check in that challenge box too.  

 

The Western Terminus of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail is inside WI Interstate State Park on the Pothole Trail. This trail offers gorgeous views of the St. Croix River, of our neighboring state of Minnesota, and of our twin town of Taylors Falls, MN. The trail continues through Interstate Park, and runs adjacent to WI-35 as it enters the city limits of St. Croix Falls, WI just north of the Polk County Information Center. Following the yellow blazes that signify the Ice Age trail, you’ll climb the Hospital Esker Trail, and then traverse through our City of Trails along the trails of Huff-it, Reigel Park, Zillmer, Mindy Creek, and Indian Flowage. Be sure to note the spur trails and adjacent land sanctuary of the Wert Preserve, as this is something you’ll want to explore deeper if you’re a hiking enthusiast!

 

For tips on hiking all the way through, we’ve put together this handy guide! To learn more about the individual trail segments, go here. For a segment map, go here.

 

Still want more? Tackle the neighboring segments too!

 

Next Successive Polk County Segments:

Gandy Dancer Segment: 15.5 miles

Trade River Segment: 4.3 miles

Straight Lake Segment: 3.6 miles

Straight River Segment: 3.4 miles

Pine Lake Segment: 2.9 miles

McKenzie Creek Segment: 9.4 miles

Indian Creek Segment: 5.4 miles

Sand Creek Segment: 6.0 miles

 

Add these to your list and you’ll be at 40 miles in no time.

Explore our Trail Community of St. Croix Falls, WI

Stay the weekend!

Your fall vacation itinerary starts here.

Start with some coffee & scones

Rev up your day of hiking with a little coffee to go!

 

Try these:

3 Arrows Coffee Company

Uncle Donuts

 

 

Grab Some Lunch

Don’t forget to refuel! You’ll need energy to keep up those miles.

Try these:

The Vegetarian

Wayne’s Café

Our Place Cafe

 

Dinner Time

Make time to relax and enjoy a dining experience. You’ve earned it!

Try these:

Dalles House

Sir Smoke a Lot

Poco Loco Mexican Grill

Loggers Bar and Grill

Not finding what you want? Here’s a list to more dining options in our area.

 

Forgot some gear?

No worries! We’re outdoor experts in this neck of the woods.

Try these:

St. Croix Outdoor

The Cobbler Shop

 

Pack Snacks

Load up on trail mix, water, and all the backpack goodies to keep you satisfied on your journey.

 

Try these:

Fine Acres

Marketplace

 

Treat Time

Everyone has that special treat they look forward to. Here are some options to satisfy your palette.

Try these:

Ice Cream
Valley Sweets

Craft Beer
Trap Rock Brewing Company

Fine Wine
Chateau St. Croix Winery
Dancing Dragonfly Winery
Deer Lake Winery

Apples
Baker Orchard

 

Slumber

A good night’s sleep is a hiker’s best friend! It’s the best way to prepare for the next chunk of miles you want to tackle. Plus, staying the night (or two) allows more time to explore our trail community!

 

 

Try these:

Holiday Inn Express

Dalles House Motel

 

Make it a weekend!!

More than a Daytrip.

When the hiking is logged and you’re ready for more, check out our wonderful area we call the St. Croix Valley. Our trail community of St. Croix Falls has much to offer!

 

 

Attractions:

Fawn Doe Rosa: An outdoor, wildlife education park. Deer yard, petting zoo, farmyard, pony rides and more! Family Friendly!

 

Trollhaugen Zip Line Adventures and Aerial Adventure Park: Offers visitors off all ages an exciting adventure in the rolling forests of Trollhaugen Outdoor Recreation Area. Ewok Village meets American Ninja Warrior!

 

St. Croix Falls Mini Golf & Go-Karts: 18 Hole Mini Golf Course & 1/5 mile Go-Kart Track. Loads of family fun!

 

 

 

 

ColdCache and GeoCache

You’ve probably heard of geocaching, but have you heard of a ColdCache?

Based on the concept of geocaching, The Ice Age Trail Alliance created a fun twist called ColdCaching, also known as EarthCaching, which is a nature-based treasure hunt where participants seek out natural features along the Ice Age Trail. In fact, there are several ColdCache Park Packs right inside WI Interstate Park in St. Croix Falls to explore!

GeoCaching, of course, is an outdoor treasure-hunting game where participants use a GPS device or other navigational techniques to hide and seek caches that contain a logbook and treasure (usually toys or trinkets). To find a list of geocaches in the St. Croix Falls area, visit www.geocaching.com.

 

Stop and Shop

Explore our area shops and come home with a treasure!

 

Schedule a Massage or Spa Treatment

After a day of hiking, your body will thank you for a little self-care time!

 

Plan Ahead!

Upcoming Signature Events

St. Croix Falls Autumnfest: October 3rd & 4th, 2020

The annual Autumnfest is a celebration of the change of seasons and the natural beauty of the St. Croix Valley. If you come to St. Croix Falls during the Autumnfest weekend be sure to snap a selfie with Monty the Woolly Mammoth, the official Ice Age Mascot!

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.

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