The St. Croix River Valley has more to offer than adventure and outdoor sports. For years the St. Croix River Valley has been the perfect destination for the adventurous cyclists, kayakers and rock climbers, but it is also a great place to pick-up organic farm raised foods and visit local farms. The rolling hills and valleys provide perfect growing conditions for produce, wines and more. Don’t forget your cooler. You’ll need a place to keep all the amazing cheeses, strawberries and fresh veggies cold for the ride home.
Grab a place to stay before you head out for the day—they go fast. If you like camping be sure and check out both Interstate parks on either side of the St. Croix River in Taylors Falls and St. Croix Falls. If you prefer a rustic, woodsy stay, check out the heavily wooded Waub-O-Jeeg campground, which is a little off the beaten path. Can’t sleep without a soft pillow and air-conditioning—check out the Holiday Inn Express in St. Croix Falls, which is only minutes from many fun activities. If you’re looking for something a little different then your typical hotel the Luminaries Lodging and the Lambs Inn are fun choices. The Luminaries Lodging is a bed and breakfast style retreat with unique/contemporary rooms. Each of the three rooms are fully furnished with extras like kitchens. The Lambs Inn sits above the Pins ’n’ Needles quilt shop. Travelers can rent one of two retreat apartments for the weekend with fully equipped kitchens. Both are located on Main Street down town St. Croix falls. There are more hotels and other lodging options in Osceola, if these are booked up. Both towns are great for travelers who like to wake up and stroll around town stopping at all the cute little shops and antique stores while looking for a great place to eat, like the Water Shed Cafe or The Vegetarian.
If your Saturday morning requires some good coffee and music, you’re in luck! Grab a cup while you stroll from vendor to vendor picking up the seasons greatest produce, you’ll love this farmer’s market. The St. Croix Falls Farmer’s Market highlights local artists and host concerts throughout the season. The Market is open Saturday mornings from 10-1pm and is located at the Library Plaza on So. Washington Ave.,. Each week a new local artist and live music are featured. Check out the Market’s Facebook page for more information on highlighted artists, farm vendors, food trucks, and live music.
Want to see an elk up close or pet a baby lamb? Fawn-Doe-Rosa is a wildlife educational park where visitors can get up close to deer, wolves, elk, farm animals, and more. The park owners work closely with different conservation offices and USDA to help better educate people about the proper care of animals and to help create awareness. Located off HWY 8, people of all ages have enjoyed this farmyard and petting zoo for over 50 years.
After a morning of hiking or site-seeing head over to Pleasant Valley Orchard to pick some of the best-tasting strawberries on the planet. A short distance from both Interstate Parks sits the picturesque orchard on top of one of the rolling hills that surround the St. Croix Valley. This family-friendly orchard is the perfect place to slow down and enjoy nature while you pick-your-own strawberries. Picking containers are provided, and the staff is super helpful. Berry picking season starts mid-June and runs until the berries are gone, which is usually around July 14th. Call first for picking conditions and times. Children are welcome.
Strawberries go really well with cheese! Hop over to Eichten’s Hidden Farms for some really “gouda” cheese. Eichten’s is located across the river in Minnesota, off HWY 8, just outside of Taylors Falls. It’s as not hidden as the name suggests; actually, you can’t miss it—look for the giant mouse. Not only do they make outstanding European style cheeses, but they also raise American Bison (Buffalo). The Bison can be seen from the roadside and is always a magnificent site for youngsters. Inside the shop, grab a bison burger loaded with artisan blue cheese and don’t forget to pick up some local wine and cheese to bring home from their cheese shop.
This article was produced by Linda Shober Marketing + Design and written by Lisa Erickson (Wild Chow & Postcards from the Wedge). Linda Shober Marketing and Design is located in the St. Croix Valley and specializes in providing content, strategy, management, design, and creative for digital and traditional marketing projects.