SKI TRAIL PROFILE: Wild River State Park

The "River Trail" at Wild River State Park is a beautiful classic only trail - ideal for a relaxing stride or speedy double pole - kick (note this image was taken in late March, after the grooming was done for the season)!

Like many of Minnesota's State Parks, Wild River State Park has an amazing network of Classic or Skate Ski trails (all of which are hiking trails in the summer).  Wild River State Park's 55k of trails range from the meandering Amador Prairie loops, to the River Trail right next to the beautiful St. Croix River, to the famously challenging Aspen Knob Loop.

As amazing as the skiing is at Wild River State Park, it is very much under utilized by the Nordic community - but won't be once the word gets out!  This place has good regular grooming on all trails and has a whole lot to offer.  As a bonus, it's only about a 15 minute drive from the St. Croix Falls / Taylors Falls area and a 1 hour drive from Minneapolis.

A sheltered section of trail on top of the river bluff.

Location:  East of North Branch, MN about 10 miles or north of Taylors Falls, MN about 10 miles.  Right on the St. Croix River.  Click HERE for the Google Map.

Trail Distance & Technique:  55k of classic  and/or classic & skate trails.  There are also some great snowshoe trails as well.

Terrain:  Generally rolling, with some flat sections and a couple of very hilly loops (Aspen Knob & White Pine Ridge Loops).  This park is a great showcase of the Upper St. Croix Valley's diverse terrain and vegetation.  There is so much trail here, you could put together a number of different long loops with a wide array of terrain.  It definitely takes a couple of skis on these trails to check them all out and figure out how to best connect the loops. 

Grooming:  Grooming is done by the Minnesota State Park Service.  Generally, the trail is prepped to be in prime shape for weekends, which are the park's highest traffic days.  However, the trails are maintained for mid week users as well.  The park employees here are obviously passionate about skiing and taking their time to sculpt the 55k of Nordic trails within this park!

Lighted After Dark:  No lights
Warming House:  Yes!  There is a beautiful heated warming house with rest rooms, a wood fireplace, vending machines, and even a ski rental shop with some snacks for sale!  Additionally, there are also cabins available for rent within the park all winter, with ski trails going right by the front door.  Check these out for a nice winter Nordic get away!

The Wild River State Park Nordic Center / Warming House.

The Nordic Center / Warming House from near the front door.  Visible in this photo is the fireplace, dining area, and ski rental shop.


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