By Jim Umhoefer
Marshall County. Off County 4 between Argyle and Newfolden. Highway map index: B-5.
As you walk into the clearing, it's as though you've stepped back into another century. To the left is the old mill, a simple building that was the business and social center for pioneer farmers. A settler cabin faces the mill on the opposite side of the clearing. The gristmill is the pride of the park. It is operated on Labor Day weekend each summer to demonstrate flour grinding.
During Grinding Days, visitors can purchase a bagful of fresh stone-ground flour or bran and get an earful of pioneer tales and lore. Grinding Days usually draws a crowd, and the 26-site semi-modern campground can fill on those weekends. Special groups can reserve the primitive group camp and make arrangements for tours of the old mill.
Hiking trails are laid out in loops of various lengths that give a complete picture of the park. If you have time for only one loop, pick up a brochure at the office and enjoy the .7-mile Agassiz self-guided trail. You'll learn about the plant communities in Old Mill State Park and the wildlife that makes its home here. Although the surrounding area is heavily farmed, the river corridor is an animal highway where you can see beaver, deer, or even a moose.