We booked a cabin at Lake Maria State Park near Monticello, MN. It is a short drive northwest of the cities.
We parked near the lake and started, what we thought would be, a short walk to our cabin. Needless to say I miscalculated where we were on the map. We walked along the lake and directly towards a marsh. We finally stopped when it looked like the marsh might take us if we went any further.
Eventually we wound around until we ended up at our cabin. It was a great spot next to a little pond of it’s own. There was a light inside that ran on a solar panel just outside of the cabin. It would run for about half an hour before it turned off on its own. It was really nice at night.
Outside of the cabin there was a privy off to the side, almost behind the cabin, but close. It came with a fire pit, a couple of logs to sit on, and a picnic table. It was perfect.
It turns out our parking space was hundreds of yards instead of over a mile. We found it when we took a short walk around our pond. My only other complaint was the wood heat was too much for that little cabin. That was of course our fault. We didn’t really need a fire inside at all. I really liked this cabin setup.
The park was nice. It is a great place to do some bird watching. At least one person was there just to catch a glimpse of the larger birds in the area. I didn’t get a clean shot, but there were some nice looking birds in the area.
This is what I would call a relaxing cabin location and park.
Looking for a park and a piece of history than look no further than Fort Snelling State Park. Located near the Saint Paul airport you can watch the big metal birds fly by among other birds, real ones. This is actually a great place for bird watching.
There are a couple of paths that you can take. You can walk along the east side of the fort. Stare up at the great walls and imagine manning such a fort.
Anther option is walking up the hill and actually checking out the fort. It is only open during certain times of the year, but the outside is quite nice.
You have the option of walking around the island. Stolling around Pike Island is a pretty good walk when it isn’t too wet. This path is along the Mississippi River on one side and the Minnesota River on the other side. There is a cut across if the walk is too far.
There is plenty of picnic areas and places to go fishing. Watch the boats go by. Check out Snelling Lake on your way in. There is a lot to do at this park. You can even go bike riding.
The park entrance is north of the city. It took us forever to find it. It was like an epic joke, signs everywhere that said William O’Brien State Park, but no place to park. When you find the entrance you will discover tons of parking.
Go left or right it is up to you. If you want the long trip go right. If you want to see the pond with minimum walking take the left path. It is a fairly nice pond. If you choose the long trip and it starts getting to you there is a cut across.
Overall it is a bit flat for hiking. It is a walking trail. There are some birds that nest there that might be worth seeing. If you are in St. Croix and want to go hiking it is worth a trip around the park once. Get your hiking pin.