William O'Brien State Park

William O'Brien State Park 16821 O'Brien Trail N

Minnesota Fall Hikes/William O'Brien State Park
Explore Minnesota
Written By Explore Minnesota

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Hiking trails offer quiet exploration of the park's rolling, wooded hills. For anglers, the channels of the St. Croix have northerns, walleye, bass and trout. Ideal for canoeing, the river is also a migratory pathway that offers visitors an exciting diversity of sights and sounds. There are plenty of opportunities to stay overnight, with 124 campsites, 4 group camps, and 4 camper cabins. In the winter, the trails are groomed for skiing and snowshoers can explore the Riverside Trail.

Riverside Trail, a 1.6-mile accessible trail, starts in the picnic area and winds by majestic 100-year-old pine trees along the St. Croix River, a federally designated Wild and Scenic River. It also goes past Lake Alice, named for the daughter of local lumber baron William O'Brien. In 1945, Alice donated 180 acres to be developed as a state park in her father's memory. Since then, the park has grown to 1,880 acres of prairie, oak savanna, river floodplain and hardwood forest.

Take a Hike!

Take a nice jaunt along this mile and a half Riverside Trail loop that takes you by the St. Croix River and Lake Alice. As you walk along, learn more about this floodplain area by reading the twelve interpretive signs along the way.

Along the edge of the Hardwood Hills Trail, look for the many different kinds of ferns. Listen for the song of the Ovenbird as it goes "teacher-teacher-teacher" in the woods.

Insider Tip

William O'Brien has three year-round cabins and one seasonal cabin. Each sleeps five or six people and has a table and bench seating inside. Outside you have your fire ring and picnic table. The cabins are a great way to get away without having to pitch your own tent!

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Minnesota Fall Hikes

William O'Brien State Park

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