Wild River State Park

Name: Wild River State Park

Year it became a State Park: 1978

Section of Minnesota: St. Croix River

Nearby Town: North Branch

Positives: Another beautiful spot on a major river in Minnesota.

The Negatives: Nothing comes to mind.

General Comments: Nice trails, beautiful open meadows, forests, hills and valleys.

Something Everyone Wants To See: The River.

But you should also check out: There is an outdoor ‘Interpretive Exhibit’ near the entrance which is unique and interesting to walk around.


Nearby attraction to visit: Taylor’s Falls is always fun, as is Wild Mount Ski Area.

Interesting Trivia: The Nevers Dam trail brings you to the spot where a significant dam helped the logging that used to go down the river here.


Personal Stories: We often go to this park in March/April for the Maple Sap boil. I’ve also written three poems with the Never’s Dam Trail as the back drop.

What My Kids Want Me To Say: If you climb down the steep bank into the marshy area along the Nevers Dam Trail, you can catch a crayfish.

Jamsco Ranking: Very Nice.

Final Word: The view from the deck of the information center is a great place for a picnic.

Thoughts? Comments? Have you been to this park ? Do you agree with my assessment?

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The Star Tribune Chooses More Wisely

Every year the Star Tribune puts out their yearly “Best of MN” magazine. You may recall that last year they chose a state park that I suggested was less than the best.

This year (no, they didn’t consult me) they made a better choice: Gooseberry.

Among the most beautiful parks anywhere in North America, Gooseberry Falls is perched magnificently along Minnesota’s North Shore. Featuring five waterfalls . . .

Like I’ve said, choosing a best state park would be very difficult, but at least this one would be in my top ten.

And yes, I’ll be revisiting another state park soon.


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Minnesota Hyperlapse – Google Maps


Have you heard about the new tool that allows a user to make videos from the Google Maps Street Level Photos? The results are very interesting. I made a few for Minnesota sites that work well with this medium. Take a look! (They take about a minute to load up.)

Silver Creek Tunnel North of Two Harbors

Driving into Red Wing – Barn Bluff

Sugar Loaf, Winona

Duluth Highway overlooking Lake

Coming From Canada (Highway 61)

Grand Marais Lighthouse

Entering MN from IA (Highway 35)

And here are a few more urban settings
Lowry Hill Tunnel – Minneapolis

Airplane leaving Twin Cities Airport

Heading into downtown MPLS (from 35W)

IDS Building

Did I miss any?

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Superior Reminders

One of our family’s favorite Minnesota places to visit is not in a state park, but at Artist Point in Grand Marais. Over at my other blog, I just posted a list of six reminders that were given to us on our last visit.

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Gooseberry In Winter

Four years ago this week, our family drove up to the North Shore for a wedding and on the way home we stopped at Gooseberry and walked around the falls. Want to see pictures?

DSC03037 DSC03039 DSC03040 DSC03023 DSC03026 DSC03031 DSC03034 DSC03036

Oh, and I should mention that we had a very nice breakfast at Naniboujou Lodge.


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Tettegouche State Park – Under Construction

Six weeks ago we were driving up Highway 61 along Lake Superior and saw that all of the information center / parking lot / Rest area of Tettegouche State Park (which I haven’t review yet) had been torn down, making way for a new building.

So when we were there last week, walking in between the work and the lake … I took some pictures of the construction.

The Ranger at the temporary ranger station guessed that it might be done July of 2013. I’ll be very interested to see it.

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Rice Lake State Park

Name: Rice Lake State Park

Year it became a State Park: 1963

Section of Minnesota: Central, Savannah 

Nearby Town: Owatonna

Positives: My wife liked the open woods with a high canopy overhead. There is camping close to the lake.

The Negatives: It’s quite small.

General Comments: This is another nice central Minnesota state  park where there is pleasant camping and an old woods feel.

Interesting Trivia: If you go beyond the front entrance to the North East, you’ll find the Rice Lake Church which was built in 1857.

Personal Stories: I hadn’t been aware of this State Park until early this weekend when I saw on the map that it was on our way home from our Labor Day Weekend Trip in Iowa. So we stopped by earlier today. We had a pleasant time watching the sun go down.

What My Kids Want Me To Say: They had a conversation about whether or not it had a Fangorn feel to it. The general decision was that it was much more open than that the fabled forest in Lord Of The Rings.

Jamsco Ranking: County Park Level

Final Word: We left with a general sense that it would be a good place to camp. And I’ll add that Debbie liked the yellow flowers just beyond the Information Center.

Thoughts? Comments? Have you been to Rice Lake State Park? Do you agree with my assessment?

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