All Hikers Beware Of Thin Ice

We felt compelled to write a warning to those taking the chance venturing out on the lakes.

Another warm front,or should say warmer weather is on the way once again.

It's time to hang it up this year on the open ice.

It's time to not drive,or ride your ATV's.

There is nothing out there risking your life over,and a person can honestly eat so much fish.It's not worth it!

How many more stories do we have to watch on the morning news of people going through the ice?

So for you hikers out there crossing creeks,rivers,or lakes to stay on course on the path you're hiking.Please consider a different course of action.It's just to dangerous now with the ice conditions and the mild weather we've had.

So please be safe.

C.J Ramstad North Shore State Trail

C.J Ramstad North Shore State Trail

This is a 146 mile natural surface trail from Duluth to Grand Marais.This trail is mostly used by snowmobiles, it traverses St. Louis, Lake and Cook counties in northeastern Minnesota.

The trail winds its way through the forests behind the bluffs that overlook Lake Superior.It provides access to some of the most untamed and beautiful scenery in Minnesota.

This trail also connects the Grants-In-Aid (GIA) trails at Silver Bay, Beaver Bay, Finland, Tofte and Lutsen, as well as numerous local trails, created and maintained by local snowmobile clubs.

Our team has never hiked this trail in the summer months.We assumes some sections are hiked on,but some sections may be under water in the warmer months.

Being this is a 146 mile trail,there are ample spots to access it thru out the north shore.Here are a couple spots that may interest you,so you can at least check this trail out.

  • Lester River Park parking lot - Lester River Road off Highway 61

  • Martin Road Parking lot - at the northern edge of Duluth's city limits.

  • For more information please contact ->

    Two Harbors Area
    1568 US Hwy 2
    Two Harbors, MN 55616

    Heartland State Trail

    Heartland State Trail

    This was one of the first old railroad lines to  connect trail projects in the country.

    This trail is a 49 mile multiple use trail between Park Rapids and Cass Lake.The trail is located entirely on a level abandoned railroad grade except for a four mile segment north of Walker.

    The 27 mile segment between Park Rapids and Walker has a paved surface. This segment also has a second grassy treadway for horseback riding and mountain biking.


    The trailheads for the paved section of the Heartland State Trail are located in Park Rapids and Walker. Parking for the trail is available in Park Rapids at Heartland County Park, Dorset, Nevis, Akeley, Walker, and Erickson's Landing north of Walker.

    For more information please call -->

    Bemidji Area
    6603 Bemidji Avenue North
    Bemidji, MN 56601

    Gateway State Trail

    Gateway State Trail

    This trail starts in St Paul and goes through the towns of Maplewood,North St Paul,Oakdale and works it way through Washington County.

    It ends at Pine Point Regional Park.

    The Gateway State Trail travels through an urban setting that joins numerous parks and other local and regional trail connections, including the Phalen-Keller Regional Park and the Bruce Vento Regional Trail.

    This trail that stretches St. Paul to Interstate 694.The Gateway State Trail travels through an urban setting that joins numerous parks and other local and regional trail connections, including the Phalen-Keller Regional Park and the Bruce Vento Regional Trail.Lots to look at while exploring this path.

    There are so many places to park to access this trail.Here are just a few spots.Once you hike this trail,you'll find a parking spot that you prefere.


  • The North Saint Paul Trailhead, between First Street and Second Street just north of Seventh Avenue, next to the wind turbine

  • Flicek Park (City of Maplewood)

  • Maplewood Community Center, south of the intersection of County Road B and White Bear Avenue

  • The Ecology Center lot, northwest of the trail bridge over McKnight Road

  • 55th Street, east of Hadley Avenue (southwest corner of Highway 36 and Interstate 694)

  • Jamaca Avenue (at Jeffrey Avenue)

  • Near Lake Masterman on Highway 96 in Grant, under the Gateway State Trail bridge

  • Pine Point County Park, five miles north of Stillwater (fee charged)

  • Parking is also available along city streets that cross the trail

  • For more information.Call or write -->

    Metro Area
    1200 Warner Road
    St. Paul, MN 55106

    Douglas State Trail

    Douglas State Trail

    This is a paved 12 1/2 mile trail constructed on an old railroad line.These are great for roller blading and the level path makes hiking for alot of seniors more enjoyable.

    This trail begins in northwestern Rochester and travels through the small town of Douglas and terminates in Pine Island.

    Where to Park :

    There are multiple places you can park to access this trail.Here are just a few spots.

    Rochester : From US Highway 52, take the CSAH 22 (55th Street) exit; then west and south on CSAH approximately 2 miles to Olmstead.

    Douglas : From US Highway 52, turn west on Olmstead County Road 14; approximately 3 miles to the Douglas trailhead.

    Pine Island : From US Highway 52, take the Goodhue County Road 11 approximately 1/2 mile to the Pine Island City Park trailhead.

    For more information -->

    Rochester Area
    2300 Silver Creek Rd NE
    Rochester, MN 55906

    Harmony-Preston State Trail

    Harmony-Preston State Trail

    We highly recommend this trail.My personal opinion is this is one of the best trails in the state.

    The Harmony-Preston Valley State Trail is a paved 18-mile multiple use trail that connects the communities of Harmony and Preston with the Root River State Trail.
    In the warmer months the trail is mostly used for hiking, biking and in-line skating.

    What I like about this trail,is it's also one of the best cross country ski trails in the state.

    This trail is constructed on an abandoned railroad line.It's very level and as I mentioned earlier this is a great ski trail in the winter.This trail follows or crosses Watson Creek, the South Branch of the Root River, and Camp Creek.

    This is really a beautiful trail system,and one the whole family can enjoy.


    Harmony : From Highway 52 take 4th Street NW approximately 1/2 mile west to the parking lot.

    Preston : From Highway 52 take Fillmore Street (also known as County Road 12) approximately 1/2 mile to the parking lot.

    For further information ->

    Harmony-Preston State Trail

    Rochester Area
    2300 Silver Creek Rd NE
    Rochester, MN 55906

    Goodhue Pioneer State Trail

    Goodhue Pioneer State Trail

    When this trail is finished,it will connect Redwing,Goodhue,Zumboda,Mazeppa,Bellechester and Pine Island making the trail a total of 47 miles long.

    It will also connest with the Cannon Valley Regional Trail and the Douglas State Trail In Pine Island.

    This area is so beautiful and rich in history.This trail may be one that you return to over,and over again.We've really received alot of positive feedback on this one.


    You'll find parking for this trail in the city of Redwing,the Hay Creek Richard J. Doer State Forest and Covered Bridge Park in Zumbrota.

    Our staff has yet to visit this trail.So please contact the DNR for more information.


    500 Lafayette Road
    St. Paul, MN 55155-4040
    (651) 296-6157
    (888) 646-6367

    Root River State Trail

    Root River State Trail

    This is probably one of the most beautiful & well know trails in South Eastern Minnesota.

    This is a 42 mile paved trail that starts in Fountain Mn..and runs though Lanesboro,Whalan,Peterson,Rushford and Houston.

    This path was created on an old railroad system.

    There is alot of wildlife to see on this trail and sightings of wild turkey, deer, hawks and turkey vultures are common. You can even occassionaly spot rattlesnakes on the rock outcrops, along the river bottoms, or sunning themselves on the trail.

    There is so much to see along this trail,and a great place to take a bike ride as well.

    Lots of historic interest too.


  • Fountain: From Highway 52 take County Road 8 about one mile to the parking lot near the city park/softball field.
  • Lanesboro: Parking is available in the lot next to the Bass Pond off of County Road 8. Additional parking is available along the streets and at the parking lot by the Community Center/Sylvan Park.
  • Whalan: Street parking.
  • Peterson: From Highway 16, turn into Peterson on Mill Street, go 1/2 mile to Fillmore Street, and turn left to the city campground/softball field. Parking is also available along the streets.
  • Rushford: From Highway 16, turn north on Elm Street and go one block. The parking lot is at the restored railroad depot.
  • Houston: Turn west on Plum street of of Highway 76 and go one block to the Nature Center

  • For more information please call,or write -->

    Rochester Area
    2300 Silver Creek Rd NE
    Rochester, MN 55906

    Gitchi-Gami State Trail

    Gitchi-Gami State Trail

    When this trail is finished.It will be a total of 86 miles.As of the present moment it's completion is about 25 miles of various parts of this trail.When done,this will be one of the most beautiful trails Minnesota has to offer.

    This trail is located along Lake Superior.Starting from Two Harbors ending in Grand Marais.

    When complete this trail will connect five state parks,Scientific and Natural Areas and several  historical sites, and provide vistas of Lake Superior.

    You'll find parking information and how to get on this new hiking trail in the making at the DNR website.


    500 Lafayette Road
    St. Paul, MN 55155-4040
    (651) 296-6157
    (888) 646-6367

    Cuyuna Lakes State Trail

    Cuyuna Lakes State Trail

    This hiking trail is located on old mining property.

    The trail is a little over 6 miles long,and I think there are lakes along its path.Perhaps old mining pits?

    If you have anything more you can contribute about this trail.Please feel free to do so.

    You might have to contact the DNR for more information on this one.Our staff has never hiked this trail.

    DNR Central Office

    500 Lafayette Road
    St. Paul, MN 55155-4040
    (651) 296-6157
    (888) 646-6367

    Arrowhead State Trail

    Arrowhead State Trail

    This is a trail sytem our team has yet to hike,so feel free to add anything you feel helps the description.

    This path starts from the Taconite State Trail near Tower to 3 miles south of International Falls.This trail is widely used,and known for being a good snowmobiling trail,however a lot of mountain bikers and hikers use it.It's about a 69 mile trail,and we're assuming this would be a great one to saok in the fall color and change of seasons.Let us know your experiences while hiking this one.We'd love to hear from you!!

    For more information you can call,or write :

    Arrowhead State TrailGrand Rapids Area
    1201 E. Hwy 2
    Grand Rapids, MN 55744

    Paul Bunyan State Trail

    The Paul Bunyan State Trail

    This trail is perhaps one of the best and well known trail systems in the state.

    When all said and done it will be 120 miles long and extend from Crow Wing State Park (south of Brainerd/Baxter) to Lake Bemidji State Park (north of Bemidji).

    At 112 miles of this is paved already from Brainerd to Bemidji.

    This is the longest continuously paved trail in the Minnesota State Trail system, and one of the longest in the United States.

    We can't express enough how great this trail system is.

    Many who visit are vacationing in the area,and this path makes their trip all that much better.

    There are so many places to park to access this trail.Here are just a few of the spots you can park.You can also call the DNR for more information.
    • The southern trailhead of the Paul Bunyan State Trail is located on Excelsior Road in Baxter. From the intersection of State Highway 210 and the State Highway 371 bypass in Baxter, go north 1 block to Excelsior Road, then go east 3/4 mile to Conservation Drive; the parking lot is on the left.
    • The northern trailhead is located in Lake Bemidji State Park. From Bemidji, go north on Co. Rd. 21 about 4 miles, then east on Co. Rd. 20 two miles to the park entrance.
    • in Merrifield, Nisswa, Pequot Lakes, Jenkins, Pine River, Backus, Hackensack, and Walker.
    • North Country Trail parking 5 miles west of T.H. 371 on Cass County Road 50
    • off T.H. 34, three miles east of Akeley.
    Paul Bunyan State Trail
    Brainerd Area
    1601 Minnesota Drive
    Brainerd, MN 56401

    The Shooting Star State Trail

    The Shooting Star State Trail

    This trail starts in the town of LeRoy in Mower County and travels north through Lake Louise State Park.
    Then it takes a turn west towards Taopi and ends in the county park at Adams.

    This is extreme Southern South East Minnesota.Way down there by the Iowa border.

    The trail passes by several additional informational recreation centers including Rustic Retreat Wildlife Management Area.Not to forget the Shooting Star Prairie Scientific and Natural Area.

    This is a fun trail,and just so much to learn if you're out with the family. If this trail interests you.Here are just a few places to park & hike..:)

     In LeRoy - east of County Road 14 on Lowell Street. At Rowe Pit - north of LeRoy off County Road 14. This parking area also includes a shore fishing platform. In Taopi - on the south side of Highway 56, between Maple and Main Streets.

    DNR Central Office

    500 Lafayette Road
    St. Paul, MN 55155-4040
    (651) 296-6157
    (888) 646-6367

    TTY: (651) 296-5484
    TTY: (800) 657-3929

    Taconite State Trail

    Taconite State Trail

    This is a popular trail.Especially in the Ely area,but it's actually popular every inch of the way 165 mile trail

    I'm not sure how many plan hikes to this one,because it's used for a variety of activities.

    We've seen people on horseback,snowmobiles,bikes,and hikers in a late winter hike last year.

    Some parts of this trail are under water,and don't recommend trying to get through.The mud,and the 4 foot depth in some areas makes it completely out of bounds to continue while out on a journey.

    This trail runs from Grand Rapids to Ely and intersects with the Arrowhead State Trail just west of Lake Vermillion.

    The bottom line is this is more of a snowmobile trail once you get north of Grand Rapids 9 miles.It's paved only so far,and the rest of the trail is pretty muche used by snowmobilers,but people still do hike it in certain areas.

    For more information contact the DNR.

    DNR Central Office

    500 Lafayette Road
    St. Paul, MN 55155-4040
    (651) 296-6157
    (888) 646-6367

    TTY: (651) 296-5484
    TTY: (800) 657-3929

    Glacier Lakes State Trail

    Glacial Lakes State Trail

    This is a hiking trail that's an old railroad system.Burlington Northern to be exact.

    It's a level trail..and pretty much wheelchair accessible as well.We don't overly promote many old rail lines,due to the fact a majority of them give the feeling of a walking path.We love level,so don't get us wrong.

    This trail is a breath of fresh air,and the beauty of this area will make an afternoon hike a breath of fresh air not to be forgotten.

    This trail is paved with 22 miles of asphalt between Willmar, Spicer, New London, Hawick, and the Kandiyohi/Stearns County line.So many lakes,the prairie,the wooded areas,and the establishments along this path one of the best hiking trails in the state.

    This trail also hooks up with many miles of snowmobile trails in the Kandiyohi County Grant-in-Aid trail system.

    A great area to spend the weekend.This trail is just one of the great things this area has to offer.

    There are so many places to park to access this trail.Here is just a few of the places you can park,and give this trail a try.

    • Willmar: take U.S. Hwy. 12 east to County Road 9. Turn north (left) go 2 miles to parking lot on west (left) at the Civic Center.
    • Spicer: at the junction of State Hwy. 23 and County Road 10. Parking lot west off 23.
    • East Nest Lake Public Water Access: 2 miles north of Spicer on Highway 23 and 1/2 mile west on the Township Road.
    • New London: off from State Hwy. 23. Follow State Highway 9 north to public water access parking lot on east (right).
    • Hawick: North side of town, at the intersection of State Highway 23 and County Road 2

    Sakatah Singing Hills State Trail

    Sakatah Singing Hills Trail

    Now this is a trail we can all sing about.It has so much to offer.

    Whether you're looking to get out for a good hike,and work those legs on a nice walk,or snowmobiling,or perhaps a nice bike ride.It's a universal trail used by many,and one of the best trails in the area to take advantage of.

    This is also a great trail for roller-blading.It's hard to find good spots for that.

    Find the trail,and get to know it.You'll find the right parking to access that's right for you.

    Here are some parking spots.

    • Mankato - North on old State Hwy 22 to Lime Valley Road, 1/4 Mile North.
    • Mankato - North on State Hwy 22.
    • Eagle Lake - West on State Hwy 14 to Co. Rd. 186/3 - 1 Mile North.
    • Madison Lake - State Hwy 60 to Main St., 3 blocks North on Main St.
    • Elysian - Sakatah Singing Hills State Trail Wayside Rest Area.
    • Waterville - State Hwy 60 to State Hwy 13 - 1/4 mile North on 13.
    • Morristown - State Hwy 60 to Co. Rd. 16, West on State Hwy 60 - 1/4 Mile.
    • Shager Co. Park - on State Hwy 60.
    • Faribault - State Hwy 60 & Co. Rd. 21, North on Co. Rd. 21 - 1/2 Mile.

    Casey Jones State Trail

    Casey Jones State Trail

    This trail has some history.It was named after a well known railroad engineer who died in the 1900's.There are some songs that mention him,for I think many of us have heard his name.

    This is also one of the first state trails that was official sometime in the 1960's.

    Some of our staff hope to visit there this spring,and maybe add a little more to this article.

    The trail consists of 3 parts.The longest trail segment is 13 miles of natural surfaced former railroad grade between the city of Pipestone and the Pipestone/Murray county line.The second smaller trail is a natural surfaced path that runs west 1.5 miles from the city of Lake Wilson.The third part of this trail is a 6 mile stretch paved trail between Lake Shetek State Park and the small town of Currie. From the Pipestone National Monument,to sites associated with Laura Ingles.We all remember Little House On The Prairie.This trail is truely a path through the heart land of Minnesota. There are several spots where you can access this trail,so don't be afraid to call to find where.

    For more information :

    163 State Park Road Currie, MN 56123

    507-763-3256 email:

    Minnesota Valley State Recreation Area

    Minnesota Valley State Recreation Area

    This is really a great place to hike.So many trails,and so much to see.

    Not only the beauty of the scenery,but also the history one soaks in while hiking along some of these trails.

    River valley trails are so enjoyable to break away from the day,and just stroll.Soak up some of that scenery,and just relax.I think many of us are so relaxed while we hike.

    From Shakopee to Chaska this trail is paved and a natural surface trail runs from Chaska to Belle Plaine. The area is ideal for hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, horseback riding, mountain biking, snowmobiling and camping in one of the many rustic campsites.

    Contact Information

    19825 Park Boulevard
    Jordan, MN 55352
    tel: 952-492-6400

    Afton State Park

    Afton State Park

    Any place near the St Croix River is beautiful.If you're looking for great views,especially when it come to fall cover.This park is for you,and also a park the whole family can enjoy.

    This is river valley hiking at it's best.

    We highly reommend those who love hiking to check out the park.It's a park the whole family can enjoy,and great for those who really want to explore and hike down into some of the ravines.

    This park also has backpacking campsites,so you can really make a night of it here,or just do a day trip and explore a little.

    This park is open year round.

    6959 Peller Avenue South
    Hastings, MN 55033
    tel: 651-436-5391
    fax: 651-436-6912

    From St. Paul, go 9 miles east on I-94, then 7 miles south on Highway 95 and 3 miles east on County Road 20.

    Pow Wow Trail Near Isabella Minnesota

    Pow Wow Trail

    This is a 30 mile trail located up in Northern Minnesota in the Boundry Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

    This is a rugged trail that takes about 3 days of you're in shape to complete.

    If you like remote wilderness,and having lakes all to yourself.This trail might be for you,but it's rugged,remote,and by no means any picnic hiking.

    Unmaintained except for one walk over bridge.You're feet will get wet,and the insects do bite.

    Note: A BWCA permit is required. Make reservations for entry point #86 by calling 877-550-6777.

    DIRECTIONS: From S. 26th Ave. and N. Shore Scenic Dr./MN 61 in Duluth, head northeast on MN 61. In 57 miles, turn left onto MN 1. In 22 miles, turn right onto Wanless Rd. In 0.8 mile, turn left onto Trappers Lake Rd. In 5.8 miles, veer right onto Sawbill Landing Rd. In 2.9 miles, turn left onto NF 369. In 2 miles, continue straight onto NF 379. In 3.6 miles, turn right onto Tomahawk Rd. (toward Forest Center). Follow 1.6 miles to Lake Isabella parking lot.

    Devils Cascade Trail (St Louis County)

    Devil's Cascade Trail

    This is for the experienced hiker,and those in good shape.Crossing streams,rugged ground,not to mention the insects..and on a minimum maintained trail.

    The closest town is Ely Minnesota.

    I'd say this trail is for those who want a challenge,and many hike this trail in the fall jus to the insects.This is not a picnic type trail.So if you're looking for a challenge,then check this trail out.

    It's part of the Sioux Hustler Trail,so you can get a good 26 miles out of this trail,but bring a tent and sleeping bag.This is not a day time hike in accomplishing.

    Check for fire restrictions and current information prior to your trip. For more information, please call the LaCroix Ranger District in Cook.


    Mississippi Gorge Trail

    The Mississippi Gorge Trail

    This is a great trail in you live in the cities.A great place to get out and get some fresh air,and see an abundant of plant life,and birds also.

    The Mississippi River has a fascinating history,and this hidden gem utopia for hikers won't let you down.A beautiful place to hike & explore.

    For more information and directions call Mississippi River Visitor Center.

     (651) 293-0200

    View Larger Map

    The Superior Hiking Trail

    The Superior Hiking Trail

    One of the top 10 places in the country to hike,and perhaps one of the most beautiful places to hike as well.

    Over 224 square miles of some of the most beautiful landscape in the country.

    This is a place you can make a vacation out of you hiking adventures.This 286 mile trail starts in Duluth and ends on the Canadian Border.

    Campsites free of charge,and permit free makes this trail one heck of an adventure.

    Parking spots are every 5-10 miles along this trail,and maps pretty much available at many of the local establishments in the area.

    The Superior Hiking Trail Association builds,maintains and manages the trail system,and is always looking for volunteers.So if you want to adopt some area of this trail to take care of,let them know.They need & appreciate your help!!

    For more information on this trail,or if you'd like to volunteer.

    Superior Hiking Trail Association
    731 7th Ave (Hwy 61), P.O. Box 4
    Two Harbors, MN 55616

    Telephone: 218-834-2700

    Wright County Hiking Trails

    Wright County is a wonderful place to explore.Great fishing lakes,and wooded areas,parks and last but not least some wonderful hiking trails to stretch the legs on.

    Lets start with Beebee Lake.

    This popular park features a swimming beach, a reservable shelter, a picnic area, 1.2 miles of hiking trail, a sand volleyball court, horseshoes, modern restrooms, a group camp, a fishing pier, and a creative play area.

    7250 10th Street NE St Michael Mn 55376

    Call the Park Board for further information. 763-682-7693

    Now here is another trail in Buffalo that goes to Montrose.

    I'm not overly excited on this trail,it's more for exercise than anything else.Being near the highway makes it to loud for my taste.It's to open also where one not only catches the wind full time,but also the wind from the big trucks on the highway as they go by.

    The location of this trail starts at State Highway 12 in Montrose on CSAH 12 and connects north just south of Buffalo.

    Clearwater/Pleasant Regional Park

    A beautiful 210 acres between Clearwater and Pleasant Lakes.Also with lake shore on both lakes included in this park.It's really a beautiful place,and a park with 2 miles of hiking trail.This is a paved trail.

    Call the Park Board for further information. 763-682-7693

    Collinwood Regional Park & Campground

    This park has over 300 acres and 49-unit overnight campground.Forty of these sites have electric hookups.That always makes it nice if this is a family camp out.This campground also has a modern shower and indoor bathrooms.A great group campsite is available,picnic area with shelter including bathrooms and swimming beach.

    For information call the camp manager at (320) 286-2801. Off-season information is available at (763) 682-7693.

    Robert Ney Memorial Park Reserve

    846 acres of forest and marsh.Such a beautiful,and peaceful place to hike at.This Reserve has over 8 miles of trails.It's a really a great place for the family to check out.Have a picnic and take a look around.I'm sure you'll be back.

    For more information on reserving the Nature Center, call (763) 682-7693.
    ADDRESS: 5212 73rd Street NW, Maple Lake, MN 55358

    Moris Wetland Management District

    This is a great place to take a small hike in South-West Minnesota.It's really a great trail for all,and not over challenging.

    It's also great for us bird lovers,who enjoy seeing a variety of birds while out on the trails.There are 100's of species of birds in this wildlife refuge.I really recommend this place if you're an avid bird watcher.

    There is a hiking trail that's just a little over a mile that starts at the management center,and ends there as well.

    The Morris Wetland Management District office is located 4 miles east of Morris, Minnesota on County Road 10.

    Office hours are 7:30 am to 4:00 pm Monday through Friday.

    Phone: 320-589-1001
    Fax: 320-589-2624
    43875 230th Street
    Morris, MN 56267