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Run Trail Profile: Wert Nature Preserve in St. Croix Falls, WI

Every time I set foot in the St. Croix River valley, I'm struck by the area's natural beauty. I'm also struck by the amount of amazing cycling, running, and xc ski opportunities in the area.

Recently, I was in St. Croix Falls and got to explore the new Wert Nature Preserve area which is just north of town on Hwy 87, across the street from the Lions Park.

The trailhead sign, informing guests of the history of the trail and of St. Croix Falls in the environmental movement.

The Wert Nature Preserve is a reality due to the local community gathering their resources and purchasing numerous parcels of land. They are dedicated to preserving this land for the community to enjoy and use in it's natural state.

This 450 acre chunk of land nestled only a few hundred feet from the shore of the St. Croix River rises over 400 feet to the top of the ridge - some serious elevation by Midwestern standards. There is about 6 miles (conveniently 10k) of trail within the preserve, perfect in length for a nice trail run.

The trails are well maintained with the grass mowed and brush cut back. The surface of the trail in general is very consistent and easy on the feet for running (particularly as I was wearing my Vibram Five Finger shoes). In fact, as I was running down the trail, I couldn't help but think about what an ideal XC Ski trail it would be. This combination of terrain, river view, and quality trails would make for an unquestionably premier trail.

If this trail doesn't sound good enough, as a bonus, the Ice Age Trail literally begins within the preserve. For those of you not familiar with the Ice Age Trail, it is a national scenic trail that meanders all the way across Wisconsin - areas like Frederic, Bloomer, Chippewa Falls, Wausau, Green Bay, etc. The Ice Age Trail is also very well maintained and ideal for hiking or trail running.

So make you way over to St. Croix Falls and check out Wert Nature Preserve, a gem of a trail!

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