Beaver Creek Valley State Park
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 sandstone and limestone bluffs and brown trout can be found in the quiet pools below.
Beaver Creek Valley State Park is located four miles northwest of Caledonia just off the Historic Bluff Country Scenic Byway in Minnesota’s Houston County.
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Whether you’re after trout or photographs, you can hike along Beaver Creek on park trails. The creek flows for about two miles through the park and continues to the Root River, which empties into the Mississippi. The other trails in the 8-mile system like Plateau Rock Trail, Switchback Trail and Hole-in-Rock Trail, offer bluff-top vistas if you’re willing to make the uphill climb. Even these trails are not too strenuous if you take your time. Wildflowers add a fragile beauty to the rugged slopes. From any of the overlooks the countryside looks mostly level. But between you and the farm in the distance could be another hidden valley that drops swiftly from the plateau into a wooded ravine like the one at Beaver Creek Valley.
Camping and Lodging
The 42-site semi-modern campground at Beaver Creek Valley State Park is popular on summer weekends. The park also features six walk-in sites and three primitive group camp areas with room for 90.
For a less rustic experience, a camper cabin is available May through October.
The park’s camper cabin is available May through October
Beaver Creek is a favorite with trout anglers. Experienced trout anglers 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.
Hiking and snowshoeing are part of the winter fun in the park’s hilly terrain, but no groomed ski trails exist.
All winter visitors can warm up by the fireplace in the enclosed shelter.
The Schech Mill, built in 1876, is a historic site just north of the park. This two-story gristmill still uses water power and features the original millstones and milling equipment. The privately owned mill is open to tours. It was once accessible by foot from the park, but now visitors have to leave the park to drive there.