Afton State Park

Afton, Minnesota

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2 Reviews
4 out of 5
Hike from the shore of the Saint Croix River up a densely wooded ravine to the bluff tops, for prairies and overlooks of the river valley. The hike: The nearby town of Afton, and for that matter Afton State Park, comes by its name from a Robert Burns poem called “Afton Waters.” In the poem he mentions “neighboring hills and clear winding rills,” which describes this area perfectly with its surrounding bluffs and flowing brooks. Here, miles of trails explore the rolling prairies, forested ravines, and the banks of the Saint Croix River. There is an easy loop around the edge of the prairie, with wildflowers, oak savanna, and overlooks onto the Saint Croix River and surrounding ravines. Some trails descend into the deep, secluded ravines, which offer the hiker plenty of chances for some strenuous climbing and discovery along the rambling brooks. Trails along the Saint Croix River pass by basswoods and silver maples on a converted train bed that makes for a level grade. Special attractions: views of the Saint Croix, bird watching, swimming beach, and prairie.
Hiking Minnesota (Pukite)

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Hiking Minnesota (Pukite)

by John Pukite (Falcon Guides)

Hike from the shore of the Saint Croix River up a densely wooded ravine to the bluff tops, for prairies and overlooks of the river valley. The hike: The nearby town of Afton, and for that matter Afton State Park, comes by its name from a Robert Burns poem called “Afton Waters.” In the poem he mentions “neighboring hills and clear winding rills,” which describes this area perfectly with its surrounding bluffs and flowing brooks. Here, miles of trails explore the rolling prairies, forested ravines, and the banks of the Saint Croix River.

There is an easy loop around the edge of the prairie, with wildflowers, oak savanna, and overlooks onto the Saint Croix River and surrounding ravines. Some trails descend into the deep, secluded ravines, which offer the hiker plenty of chances for some strenuous climbing and discovery along the rambling brooks. Trails along the Saint Croix River pass by basswoods and silver maples on a converted train bed that makes for a level grade. Special attractions: views of the Saint Croix, bird watching, swimming beach, and prairie.

©  John Pukite/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Afton
Distance: 4
Elevation Gain: 300 feet
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Moderate
Trailhead Elevation: 840 feet
Top Elevation: 960 feet
Local Contacts: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 800-652-9747
Local Maps: State park trail map; USGS quad: Prescott
Driving Directions: Directions to Afton State Park

Recent Trail Reviews

10/18/2008
0

This is a easy moderate walk through the prairie above the river initially. Evetually you walk east towards the river down through birch oak and maple forests. During color change this is an excellent walk. Several hundred yards of easy strolling a very well maintained walkway through the maples.


8/29/2005
1

Afton is a great place to go for trails (running, hiking, skiing.) It's close enough to the eastern Twin Cities suburbs that its not far at all, but secluded enough. Good backcountry hiking/camping.



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Apr 2018