There’s something magical about being in the woods on snowshoes that makes you feel alive. The St. Croix Valley has many beautiful snowshoeing trails for you to explore during your stay and each has its own personality. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely hike or a winter workout through the woods, there’s a trail waiting for you.
Our snowshoe packages are designed to make it simple for you so you can spend your time exploring rather than planning. They contain all the information and supplies you need and are conveniently dropped off and picked up at your hotel or bed and breakfast.
Afton State Park is one of our favorite places to snowshoe. The park has over 12 miles of designated snowshoe trails that cross rolling prairies, hilly wooded areas, and parallel the St. Croix River. We highly recommend the Deer Valley Loop but it’s all beautiful. It’s definitely the hilliest park so if you’re looking to burn a lot of calories, this park is perfect. They also have a nice visitor center with three outdoor fireplaces you can use. MN state vehicle permit ($7) is required. Modern restrooms along with vault toilets. Leashed dogs are allowed.
Enjoy snowshoeing the rolling hills, woods, and prairies of the beautiful Lake Elmo Park Reserve. The snowshoeing area of this park consists of a groomed trail along with vast spaces available for bushwhacking for those wanting their own space, to be more adventurous, or those seeking a greater workout. There is a nordic lodge near the XC ski trailhead to warm and fuel up with modern restrooms. 7+ miles of groomed trails and unlimited bushwhacking. Leashed dogs are allowed. Washington County vehicle permit ($7) is required.
This state park is huge and has two separate areas to go snowshoeing. One trail starts at the visitor center and takes you down an unplowed road to the river’s edge where you’ll hike along the St. Croix River. You may be able to hear owls hooting if you hike there at night. There’s another more remote back country trail that you get to outside the main park entrance. It consists of rolling hills through prairies and woodlands and is quite beautiful. Bushwhacking is allowed for those that want to make their own adventure. Leashed dogs allowed. MN state vehicle permit ($7) is required and available at the park’s main entrance. Modern restrooms at visitor center but no facilities at the backcountry trailhead.
This little known trail is just minutes north of downtown Stillwater. Park on the side of the road at the trailhead. You can either walk down to the St. Croix River and view the Arcola High Bridge up close, hike on a more southernly route to the river’s edge, or do both. Hike is downhill to the river through the woods and uphill on the way back. Length varies depending on route taken 1-4 miles in length. There are no restroom facilities. Leashed dogs are allowed.
Fairy Falls is a little known, lightly trafficked trail located near Stillwater that features a tall but gentle waterfall and is good for all skill levels. There isn’t an official map (we’ve provided a recorded map from one of our hikes ~ 1 mile) for the trail but is pretty easy to follow. Since there is a considerable drop from the ridgeline to the gorge floor, those with little kids are cautioned to keep them close at hand when walking near the edge. There are no restroom facilities. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
Sunfish Lake Park is a 284-acre quiet natural area that is recognized by the Department of Natural Resources as a “Regionally Significant Ecological Area.” Consisting of woodlands, wetlands, and prairies with a few rolling hills it’s considered one of Lake Elmo’s best parks. It has approximately nine miles of ungroomed trails. Leashed dogs are allowed.
Willow River is a beautiful park to go explore. It has three snowshoeing trails and bushwhacking is allowed. The snowshoeing trails by the nature center don’t allow dogs so it may be best to leave spot at home. The short trail by the nature center is relatively flat and takes your through the woods. The other trails have more terrain changes and one of the trails brings you to the large waterfalls and a nice scenic overlook. WI vehicle permit required ($13).
There are many snowshoeing options at Interstate Park. You can hike along the bluffs of the St. Croix River and see Taylor’s Falls or move more inland. Any route you take is sure to be memorable. These trails range from easy to difficult so consult your trail map before selecting your route. Be careful with little ones where the trail approaches large drop offs. WI vehicle permit required ($11). Leashed dogs are allowed. Restrooms at the Ice Age Interpretive Center with vault toilets along the trail.