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LENGTH 1.75 mile loop
DIFFICULTY easy, mostly flat mowed grass
DATE VISITED September 5, 2021
MAIN FEATURES Schoolcraft State Park is located in North Central Minnesota, on the ancestral lands of the Ojibwe and Dakota people. The parks is one of the smallest Minnesota State Parks at 225 acres but has a quiet, relaxing feel that draws people to it’s virgin forest and river access. Other activities to enjoy at the park: camping, hiking, canoeing, picnicking, fishing.
Know Before You Go
- Plan to be flexible. Explore new destinations and consider mid-week travel. Parks are busy as more people get outdoors, so we encourage you to discover a new favorite this summer!
- Arrive prepared. Buy your vehicle permit, check visitor alerts and campfire restrictions, and download maps before your trip.
- Recreate responsibly. Help conserve these special places for the future by staying on trails and leaving no trace.
Today’s adventure started on our way back home from our stay at Scenic State Park. Each day, I am daytripping to nearby State Parks to hike the Minnesota State Parks Hiking Club Trails. There are 67 trails and today’s hike makes #54. The great thing about Minnesota State Parks is that most of them are an hour or so away from each other, so it’s easy to visit multiple parks without a lot of driving.
The park is one of the smallest in the state of Minnesota at 225 acres and offers nice picnic areas, and dock access to the Mississippi river. The campground features 28 non-electric campsites with pit toilets and water access until Labor day. While we were there, we saw some boaters pass by and a couple of campers that had water craft with them. I’m glad I picked up my patch for this park at Big Bog State Recreation Area yesterday. Schoolcraft State Park has a self-check in visitor kiosk and does not have a visitor center.
Our short, 1.8 mile hike, started in the virgin pine forest. The walking is quiet and soft with spongy pine needles beneath your feet and tall trees gently swaying in the breeze. Here, we found our first of 8 self-guided interpretive signs that share the history of the park. My husband also saw a sign at the self check in kiosk that featured the Avenza app, and had fun downloading it and watching our blue dot follow along our steps. I havent downloaded it yet, but I hear good things about being able to download all of the state park maps to your phone for easy navigation.
Schoolcraft State Park was founded in 1959 and is named after Henry Rowe Schoolcraft who charted the headwaters of the Mississippi with Anishanabe guide Ozawindib. This area was known for its fishing, wild rice harvesting, logging industry and had many lumberjacks passing through, floating their big logs down the Mississippi and Vermillion Rivers.
One of the main features of the park is a 300 year old Pine Tree! Legend has it, that this three trunk Pine Tree was spared because the trunk was too crooked to be of use. It was cool to see this majestic tree and learn more about the people that lived and worked in this area through history.
We had a great trip, enjoying four more Minnesota State Parks and getting to know our new camper. It’s great to be able to share these adventures with my husband, and have some of the comforts of home. We have a couple more trips planned before the snow flies, and I can’t wait to make my first crock pot of chili of the season to enjoy on a cool Fall day!
Check out these previous posts to read more about our four day tour of Scenic State Park, McCarthy Beach State Park, Big Bog State Recreation Area. If you’ve ever wanted to try camper camping, Outdoorsy has some great rigs varying from tiny, lightweight teardrops to full size RVs that you can rent from private owners. It’s a great way to mix up your adventures and try before you buy. Hope this post inspires you to get out on the trail and enjoy the outdoors in the way that you like the best!
I’m excited to get back to my goal of hiking all of the the Minnesota State Park Hiking Club Trails, and have a couple of other upcoming adventures that I can’t wait to share with you. Next week, I am leading a community Art Hike that is sponsored by Kula Cloth! Three of my favorite things: bringing people together, hiking and painting! YAY! I can’t wait.
What are you looking forward to during the start of this Fall Season? Drop me a note in the comments below or head over to the Wandering Pine Facebook Page to continue the conversation. I’d love to hear from you!
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Gear Used on This Trip
Goal Zero Torch 250 Flashlight, Kuhl Klash Pants, Wright Socks – Cool mesh tab, Zensah Compression Sleeves, Altra Timps , Altra Gaiters, Leki Micro Vario Trekking Poles , REI Rain Jacket, InReach Mini, Granite Gear Hip Wing, Kula Cloth, Purple Rain Adventure Skirt, Daniel Smith Extra Fine Watercolors, Moleskine Watercolor Notebook, Isabey Travel Paintbrush
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