Best Hike - 2011
Interstate State Park
In 2010, the nonprofit group American Trails named Minnesota the "Best Trails State" in the country, so it's a tall order to pick just one representative hike. But the astounding natural beauty found within the boundaries of Interstate Park along the St. Croix River is a resource all Minnesotans should take advantage of. The landscape has been carved out literally by fire and ice—huge glaciers and lava flows—creating dramatic bluffs and waterfalls. Fossilized remains and stone ripple marks will fascinate the amateur geologist, while animal lovers will want to keep an eye out for foxes, deer, and beaver dams. One of the longer trails crosses into Wisconsin for more extensive hiking, while the casual day-tripper can just pack a picnic and relax on a sandstone bluff overlooking the river.