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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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Gateway Browns Creek trail map

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Ride choices at Duluth Junction on the Gateway State Trail

Ride choices at Duluth Junction

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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.

Catching a glimpse of nature at 12 miles an hour on the Gateway State Trail

Catching a glimpse of nature at 12 miles an hour

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.

Ride choices at Duluth Junction on the Gateway State Trail

Ride choices at Duluth Junction

Riders enjoy a day trip from Saint Paul to Stillwater on the Browns Creek State Trail

Riders enjoy a day trip from Saint Paul to Stillwater

Ferns line the Browns Creek Trail near Stillwater

Ferns line the Brown’s Creek Trail near Stillwater

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.

Interpretive displays along the Browns Creek State Trail combine biking with learning

Interpretive displays along the Brown’s Creek State Trail combine biking with learning

Historic stone bridge from the 1800s on the Browns Creek State Trail

Historic stone bridge from the 1800s

Kiosks like these provide maps and interpretive displays along the trail on the Browns Creek State Trail

Kiosks like these provide maps and interpretive displays along the trail

Kids stop to enjoy colorful, spinning bike wheel arton the Browns Creek State Trail

Kids stop to enjoy colorful, spinning bike wheel art

Crossing Browns Creek on the Browns Creek State Trail

Crossing Brown’s Creek

Browns Creek is a companion on the six-mile trip from Duluth Junction to Stillwater on the Browns Creek State Trail

Brown’s Creek is a companion on the six-mile trip from Duluth Junction to Stillwater

The Browns Creek Trail enters Stillwater at the historic train depot

The Brown’s Creek Trail enters Stillwater at the historic train depot

Connections

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.

Ride choices at Duluth Junction on the Gateway State Trail

Ride choices at Duluth Junction

 

Parks and Trails Council of Minnesota
MNDNR license plate