By Jim Umhoefer
Houston County. 4 miles west of Caledonia on County 1 off of Highway 76. Highway map index: O-21.
Depending on priorities, Beaver Creek Valley State Park is a hiker's park or a trout angler's park. The creek bubbles out of an artesian spring and threads its way through a picturesque wooded valley beneath 300-foot bluffs. Brown trout can be found in the quiet pools below the sandstone and limestone bluffs. Experienced trout fishermen are sometimes spotted tiptoeing up to a stream because they know that the browns have an uncanny "feel."
There's a parking lot for fishing enthusiasts on the park's northern edge where the creek widens into a long, skinny pool. The Schech Mill, built in 1876, is a historic site downstream from the parking lot. This two-story gristmill still uses waterpower and features the original millstones and New Process milling equipment. The mill (privately owned) is open to tours. Read more: