EXPLORE TAYLORS FALLS, MN & ST. CROIX FALLS, WI
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.
The 3rd 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
Bonus Miles are Back!
Not sure you can hike 43 miles this year? We invite you to compile your 43 miles with (or without) taking advantage of bonus mile opportunities:
Earn bonus miles:
*Visit an additional Trail Community = 10 bonus miles
*Attend a Mammoth Hike Challenge event = 10 bonus miles
*Become an Ice Age Trail Alliance member = 10 bonus miles
*Volunteer with the Ice Age Trail Alliance = 10 bonus miles
*Complete a ColdCache = 5 bonus miles
*Hike with an Ice Age Trail newbie = 5 bonus miles
*Share a Challenge experience on social media (#MammothHikeChallenge, @iceagetrail) = 5 bonus miles
If the event is posted on the Ice Age Trail Alliance October calendar, it is a Challenge Event!
There’s no limit to the number of bonus miles you can earn. Get out there, explore and enjoy! You will be able to share the bonus miles you earn on the completion form.
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 43 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 Indianhead 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!
Still want more? Tackle the neighboring segments too!
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 42 miles in no time.
Kick off your Mammoth Challenge in St. Croix Falls on Saturday, October 1, and then stick around for the St. Croix Falls Autumfest!
We are fortunate to host the event in our scenic river town along the St Croix River – and the first Saturday of October each year is a great day to spend in the area. Check out all the sales at local shops, visit our vintage stores, coffee shops, breweries, wineries and more.
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!
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!
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.
Explore our area shops and come home with a treasure!
After a day of hiking, your body will thank you for a little self-care time!
710 Highway 35 South
Saint Croix Falls, WI 54024
Sunday, October 10 : 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
Stop by anytime between 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. to pick up Ice Age Trail maps, and get information on what to see and do in St. Croix Falls and Polk County. The Ice Age Trail Atlas and Guidebook is also sold in the visitor center along with lots of other locally made products and goods.
The Indianhead Chapter is hosting a hiker happy hour at Trap Rock Brewing Company at 4:00 pm. Come early and stay late to enjoy the Ice Age Trail segments in and around the St. Croix Falls area, along with local businesses and attractions.
This event is in partnership with the Mammoth Hike Challenge sponsored by Travel Wisconsin and Duluth Trading Company. Hike 41 miles on the Ice Age Trail during the month of October 2021 and support at least three of our Trail Communities to earn a hiking certificate and a limited-edition patch celebrating the Challenge. You may hike, walk, run, or backpack – whatever suits your lifestyle – and log your miles over days, weekends, weeks, or one big adventure. You have the entire month of October to do it!
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.