This is such a great place to hike! Kinnickinnic State Park is located just outside of Hudson, WI with a River Falls address and it is only 45 minutes from the Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport. The convenience of having this Wisconsin state park so close to my location is nothing short of amazing. I find myself hiking here as often as I can because there is always a new trail to take and a new place to photograph.
There are a dozen trails that will, eventually, hook up with each other and lead you to some great views as well as back to your parking spot. I should mention that there are as many parking areas as there are entrances to the trails, be sure to make note of where you parked and the trail you started out on. If ever unsure, you can always walk back to the main driving road and take it back to your car.
Most of the trails are moderate to easy hiking, with a variety of walking surfaces to include paved, dirt and grass. The trails take you through the woods and open fields, however, in the summer the mosquitoes can be thick and even a thick layer of mosquito repellent won't keep them at bay. I've had to cut my walks short because of them so the best time to hike this park is early Fall to early Spring but if your like me, and enjoy a good summer hike, then stick to the open field trails. The open area and gentle breeze helps keep the mosquitoes away and will allow you to actually walk and enjoy the trails.
The best part of this park are the trail markings. There are quite a few parks out there that don't have the greatest markings or maps to offer guidance on where you are and where you would like to go. Kinnickinnic State Park has great markings and the maps are very readable. Like I mentioned earlier, all of the trails will meet up and the main road is never far from view making it hard to get lost.
Did I mention this park is open year round? Well, it is, and they will groom some of the trails for cross-country skiing as well as use some of the hills for downhill sledding. All trails and hills are marked as well as postings to ensure everyone is in the right area, parking is also located near the sledding hills for easy walking. This park is also dog-friendly and offers something for both the leisure and working dogs who visit the park. With the open fields, it offers a good training and testing area for working or show dogs that are doing scent work which is about finding trails by just using their nose.
You'll know they're there when you see groups of people walking their dogs with extra long leashes. If you ever get a chance to observe this training, I recommend it, the dogs are amazing and to see them figure out where to go by just using their nose will amaze you. One more thing, this park doesn't offer trash receptacles so what you bring in, you have to take out with you and that includes anything your dog has left behind.
Kinnickinnic State Park sits on 1242 acres and offers a sandy dune and beach where the Kinnickinnic River meets up with the St. Croix River.
The beach is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day and dogs are not welcome on the beach or in any picnic area during the on season. The walk down to the beach is a nice, leisurely stroll, however, there is a steep hill to get down to it and you have to hike it back up to get back to the parking area. Enjoy! Makes for a great and yet tiring workout especially after you have been enjoying a day at the beach.
Fall is the best time to visit this park. You not only have the changing leaves to view but you also have a quiet park to hike through.
During this time, there are very few people out hiking and most of the mosquitoes have gone and it allows you to take in the surroundings and really enjoy everything the park has to offer. The few people you may run into are always friendly and eager to take a moment to talk.
I hope you take time to visit and enjoy Kinnickinnic State Park, I know I have and like any State Park there is a fee to enter and you can do a day pass or they offer a yearly pass that is good for any State Park in Wisconsin. Enjoy and be safe.
You don't have to go far to have fun. Here are a few places I visit when I'm not driving across country or exploring the Rustic Roads.