Gateway/Brown’s Creek State Trail
This combination of trails is a true getaway starting deep in metropolitan St. Paul, just a mile from the State Capitol. About 15 miles from St. Paul on the Gateway Trail, at Duluth Junction, the Brown’s Creek Trail connects and runs west 5.9 miles into downtown Stillwater while the Gateway continues on to Pine Point Park.
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Along the Trail
The Gateway trail is open to biking, hiking, horseback riding, in-line skating and skiing and is wheelchair accessible. The paved trail on the old Soo Line railway grade quickly changes from an urban trail to a rural trail with forests, lakes, wetlands and prairies, with very little development and road noise. It can be busy, especially on weekends.
About 15 miles from St. Paul on the Gateway Trail, at Duluth Junction, the Brown’s Creek Trail starts and runs 5.9 miles into downtown Stillwater. It passes through heavily wooded areas and past golf courses.
Riders can view a historic stone bridge from the mid-1800s. At about the halfway point, Brown’s Creek Park provides restrooms and ample parking. Then, riders will descend a canyon to Highway 95. This section of the trail provides views of spectacular fall colors and small waterfalls. The final miles of the Brown’s Creek trail follow the St. Croix River into Stillwater.
The Gateway State Trail provides access to other trail opportunities in Phalen-Keller Regional Park and the Bruce Vento Trail. An extension of the Gateway north into Taylors Falls is being explored. Besides its connection to the Gateway Trail, the Brown’s Creek trail will eventually cross the St.Croix River into Wisconsin on the historic lift bridge in Stillwater.