After touring the Great Lakes, I had a nice long 11-night stay in Minnesota, on the border with Wisconsin. The area is part of the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway and that name is no exaggeration! It was a beautiful place to explore in between family dinners, days out with my three great-nieces, a paddle in my kayak, and late afternoon boat cruise with my brother and sister-in-law.
There are two Interstate State Parks, one in Wisconsin and one right across the St. Croix in Minnesota (I stayed at the latter). Down where the parks are, the river is very shallow. There’s a marked channel and that paddleboat captain followed every buoy and turn on our cruise. I found out just how good he was a few days later when I was kayaking late one afternoon. I wandered outside the channel at a few points and shoaled out each time.
But go a half mile north on the river and you begin to see the work eons ago of a glacier that drove down into what is now central Minnesota before beginning its slow retreat. The channel is deep here, the sides granite and steep.
What was my favorite part of the state park were the glacial potholes. These things are cool!
The park has set up a nice set of trails so that you can wander through the glacial potholes and also see the river channel from various viewpoints. If you’re staying at the MN park, there’s a nice mile-long trail that goes from campground to the glacial potholes section and I quite enjoyed the views and the hiking.
I honestly don’t know what happened to this rock formation but it’s so odd that I just had to take a picture of it.
One of the things I enjoy the most about traveling is finding a place that makes me fall in love with it. This section of the St. Croix River did exactly that during my stay. I’ll be back here, not just for the family but for the river, too.
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As long as I live, I’ll hear waterfalls and birds and winds sing. I’ll interpret the rocks, learn the language of flood, storm, and the avalanche. I’ll acquaint myself with the glaciers and wild gardens, and get as near the heart of the world as I can.