Last updated on August 16th, 2019
A good hike and a sense of adventure are all you need for a great spring day. And with the cool weather we’ve been having, it’s been perfect for hiking. I have visited Taylors Falls so many times over the past few years and still hadn’t had time to do Interstate State Park Hiking Club Trail. It was getting a little frustrating. I hadn’t even gotten my passport stamped! Every time I got there, everyone loves getting to see the Glacial Pot Hole formations and we climb the rocks to chill and watch the water pass by. We say “Hi” to the rock climbers scaling the rocks. But we seem to always visit on the hottest days of the year and are not in the mood for any type of hiking. We’ve even taken a peek at Wisconsin to see what their park looks like.
This time we went out especially to hike the Interstate State Park Hiking Club trail. I was a little intimidated after reading other reviews about how up and down the hikes is. After how deceptive everyone was Devils Kettle Falls trail, I was a little gun shy on doing this one. It turned out to be a great hike for the weekend.
The Interstate Park Hiking Club Trail
Miles: 3 miles
Difficulty: Easy but Hilly
Total Miles Hiked: 23.5 miles
This hiking club trail at Interstate State Park was a lot of fun to do. Covered with stairs, mud puddles, boardwalks and rocks, there was never a dull moment on the trial. Being as though we are in the middle of spring, the shoreline was coming alive again. The water runoff was forming a nice little stream through the trail allowing my kids to do one of their favorite activities, rock hopping. Most adults can get across without hopping rocks, but what’s the fun in that!
With all the rock hopping we were doing, I was glad we brought the Trekking Poles for everyone in the family. On some adventures, they can become a distraction for the kids and we end up double poling it. But here, they were put to good use providing extra stability for everyone. Until my son decided that he was too cool to use it and ended up in a mud puddle. Thankfully the damage wasn’t too bad and just got his hand. But did you know when a 5-year-old has mud on one of their hand, they become unable to use that limb? The ailment just affected a hand and not a foot. Within a few minutes, we found the stream, and he washed right up. Crisis averted!
My favorite motivation technique for the kids has always been trying to find the Password sign. On this adventure, it was in clear view. It was the easiest time we had at finding it. In most cases, I feel like Minnesota State Parks try to keep the sign visible. But after my first two attempts at getting a password on different trials, like Gooseberry Falls, I’ve been a little more concerned I might miss it somewhere.
Side Notes about the Trail
Park at the Trail Center and take the first sign on the right to be on the official trail. If you miss it, don’t worry. You won’t be able to get too far off course. The paved trail near the trail center is where all the beginning rock climbers are and those checking out the potholes.
The trail goes along the highway for a short while. You won’t notice it too much because you’ll be spending most of your time enjoying the river views.
Leave the dogs at home. I love taking my puppies on adventures, but with the number of rocks, gravel, and other obstacles, it could be hard on their feet. You also may have we muddy dog to put in your car when it’s all said and done. With the number of people hiking, we would have probably been stopped to say “Hi” to every one that passed.
The Interstate Park Hiking Club trial is the most direct route from the Trail Center and the Campground. As you can image, there are a few campers taking advantage of this route. The trail doesn’t loop so you’ll have to go back the way you came. If you are opposed to this, take some other trails on the other side of the highway.
I would not recommend attempting this trail during winter. Any amount of ice on the rocks and it’s a recipe for disaster.
Other Fun Things to Do
After the hike, we checked out the potholes again. With the weird weather we’ve had this spring the ‘Echo’ Pot Hole was filled with ice and it submerged the stairs leading inside. Thankfully there are so many Potholes on the Minnesota side of the park, it didn’t interfere with the fun.
If you want to have more fun, head on over to the Wisconsin side of Interstate State Park. Heads up, you’re entering a new park with an additional parking/entrance fee. They have a nice rock face, with a few potholes. They aren’t as prominent as Minnesota. While hiking around there last summer, we felt like they had a lot more for trails inland.
For more great things to do in Taylors Falls, check out my full review of all the different things to do in Taylors Falls MN. While I’ve done everything on the list so far, I keep finding new reasons to come back.