Hiking, hiking, and more hiking: William O’Brien State Park, St. Croix Bluffs, and Interstate State Park (MN)

Hello friends,

I have a life again! I finished all my writing for RootsRated and soon they will be published online. When they are available, I’ll write another post and link it to the site.

This Fall has been absolutely beautiful. There was little to no rain and it was so warm up until a week ago. Thanks to this, the leaves stayed up on the trees and gave us Twin Citizens a great show. Now, Fall is ending. I harvested and dismantled my garden yesterday, resulting in me having way too many green tomatoes! Also, it was below freezing this morning. While on my morning walk, I realized too late that I should’ve worn a second layer underneath my pants. I also almost slipped on an ice sheet. Uh oh, soon Minneapolis will become the frigid city that we are famous for.

So, other than writing and walking a lot, I have kept myself busy with other fun activities. I’ve been playing music more often (mostly clarinet and ukulele). I have a couple buddies I’ve been jamming with and it feels good being creative through music again. I’ve had a few bonfires at the house, which resulted in good conversation and music.

For my outdoor pastimes, I recently went hiking at William O’Brien State Park, Interstate State Park (MN), and St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park.


William O’Brien State Park
is expansive and offers a myriad of trails that wind through prairie, wetland, and mixed confier-hardwood forest. My brother and I enjoyed walking along the Beaver Trail and looking at the beaver activity in the marshland. There was also a hill (in the northwest section) that worked my glutes, while also showcasing some of the parks oldest trees. The leaves were at full peak, so this trail was bursting with yellows and oranges. I didn’t get to do the Riverside Trail, but I saw pictures online and it looked fantastic. I really enjoyed hiking around this park and I look forward to returning during the winter and checking out its Nordic trails!

Interstate State Park (MN) is full of glacial potholes and fun scrambling routes. I had visited Interstate State Park (WI) two years ago with my bro and I remember loving the trails and large explorable potholes. On the same day as visiting William O’Brien, my brother and I realized how close Interstate State Park was, so we decided to drive up to Taylor’s Falls and check it out. I had never been to the Minnesota side, so it was a treat to see how drastically different it was to the Wisconsin side. It definitely doesn’t have as many hiking trails, but the 200+ potholes to explore makes up for it! Walking down into the Cauldron is a must-do. The views of the St. Croix River Valley are also exceptional.

St. Croix River Bluffs Regional Park is a secret hiking gem southeast of the cities. I went hiking there by myself a couple weeks ago for my RootsRated job. I had to write about it, but had never been there, so I decided to go on a quiet Saturday morning. I first visited the beach, which was desolate, but I can only imagine it would be full of people during the warmer months. Then I hiked up the ridge line and sauntered through the wooded trails. The trees were past peak, so a lot of the leaves had fallen by this time, but it was still a beautiful walk. My favorite place was the scenic overlook, which is pictured above.

If you want more detail on any of these hikes, then you’ll love the articles I wrote for RootsRated. They are all 500-600 words and chalk-full of information for the curious hiker, paddler, climber, and cyclist.

Now, I must be off. I’m going to make green tomato bread and possibly do some urban exploration in downtown St. Paul.

Till next time,

Much Love,

-Molly

Sunday brunch potlucks are the best.

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