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.
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!
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!
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 40 miles in no time.
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!
St. Croix Falls Mini Golf & Go-Karts: 18 Hole Mini Golf Course & 1/5 mile Go-Kart Track. Loads of family fun!
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!
New date for AutumnFest! October 24th – 25th, 2020:
October is the perfect month to celebrate the change of seasons and the natural beauty of the St. Croix Valley. Details are still emerging on this event. Check back soon!
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.