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LENGTH 3.2 miles
DIFFICULTY Easy with a couple of hills
DATE March 28, 2016
MAIN FEATURES 9,000 years of human history, 100 ft fire tower
Our 2nd and 3rd Hiking Club trails of 2016 were Mille Lacs Kathio and Father Hennepin State Parks. We drove about 1.5 hours north of Minneapolis to Mille Lacs Kathio and Father Hennepin State Parks to hike the 100 ft Fire Tower and hit two more hiking club trails on our list! The parks are both located on Mille Lacs Lake and are about 20 minutes apart, so visiting both was super easy.
Mille Lacs Kathio State Park was, by far, the most clearly marked Hiking Club Trail I have ever been on. All of the trail junctions were also clearly numbered and on the map.Since we went on a Monday, we had the park to ourselves, and headed straight for the 100 foot fire tower. It’s a treat once you get to the top, with panoramic views of the area including the expansive Mille Lacs Lake. We saw 3 bald eagles pretty close up while we were up there, the top is not as spacious as the fire tower in St Croix State Park but amazing nonetheless.
The first mile of the Hiking Club trail hike led us through a historical marker on the shore of Lake Okichie, Rum River and two lakes. The trail continues through prairie and lakeshore and ends with some pretty good hills and views of a beaver pond. The long views of the valley through the barren trees at the beaver pond made for a great spot to stop for lunch.
Again, we were very impressed with the map and trail markers at this park. Each trail junction was marked with a number the corresponded to the map and would make this a great park to hike, ski or snowshoe without getting lost (like we often do)!
Last but not least, we brought the pup this time and had just seen something about using a lint roller to get the ticks off at the end of a hike and it worked! We don’t usually find many ticks, but we found our first deer tick on the lint roller. YUCK! Note to self: ALWAYS BRING THE LINT ROLLER. ALWAYS.