Off-the-beaten-path hikes perfect for a winter weekend day-trip from the Twin Cities.
Our new contributing editor kicks off the New Year with a cold and inspiring hike at Afton State Park.
Afton State Park naturalist Linda Radimecky
by Dave Simpkins
Minnesota’s forests have stories to tell.
Rachael Nicoll, a member of Itasca State Parks Naturalist Corp, told a few of those stories to a group along the Dr. Roberts Nature Trail.
The Naturalist Corp is a special project funded by the Legacy Fund, providing summer interns to lead tours and give presentation at state parks.
The prime trail clearing season is also the prime deer hunting season in Minnesota in November. Todd McMahon and Matt Davis didn't take any changes while clearing the North Country Trail through the Chippewa National Forest in Northern Minnesota this November. McMahon wore blaze orange from head to toe, even his backpack loaded with trail clearing gear was orange.Location
“A trail eases our way, but it also narrows your focus,” Paul Gruchow.
The 64-mile Border Route Trail can be merciless with its steep grades, thick forests and rocky trails.
It can also be the most beautiful trail you’ll ever hike. Nestled between the Canadian border and the Gunflint Trail, it offers with majestic views of Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, with lots of plant and wildlife.
The grass is cold and so are my toes. I’m carrying my shoes and socks, walking barefoot alongside two avid barefoot hikers at Lebanon Hills Regional Park in Eagan.Location
We have known this for a long time and now it is official.
The Superior Hiking Trail (SHT) extends, almost completed, from Jay Cooke State Park 285 miles along the Lake Superior North Shore to the Canadian border. It has been dubbed “The second best long trail in the nation” by Backpacker Magazine. But there are numerous great single day out-and-back hiking options, too.Location