I recently went to a Minnesota state park and I wanted to share my experience with everyone. I went to William O’Brien state park in washington county Minnesota. I went the day after thanksgiving, and admission to the park was free, and also was free to park your vehicle. I went about 9:00 a.m. in the morning. I expected there not to be many people, because i thought they would all be out shopping. It was of course black friday. The park was quite busy and the weather was nice for this time of year in the upper 30’s for highs. It was overcast most of the day, and some rain showers passing by from time to time throught the day. I ended staying most of the day until 4:00 p.m.. I took alot of beautiful pictures i want to share with you, but first I wan’t to tell you more about the park.

William O’ Brien state park is a little over 1,500 acres and it is along the st. croix river. The park has miles of hiking trails that run through glacial moraine, and riparian zones. The glaciers long time ago over 10,000 years ago formed the landscape we see today. The park has maple, basswood, ironwood, cherry, birch, aspen, willow, oak trees (many varieties), and pine trees. It’s especially beautiful alongside the st. croix river because the white pine trees are so big and offer shade along the river walk, there needles litter the ground. Also along the river walk you will see a 10 ton rock left over by the glaciers long time ago. I think walking along the river is my favorite place in the park. The park has a lake near the river, called lake alice.

I especially like seeing the mix of open praire and hardwood forests it’s quite a relaxing place to be. The park has Jack in the pulpit wildflowers, sharp lobed hepatica, praire rose, rough blazing star, black eyed susan, and bloodroot all wildflowers found in the springtime, not today because it’s to cold outside. The park has alot of wildlife. The white-tailed deer, ovenbird, barred owl, turkey, pheasant, and lot’s of other creatures. I happened to be walking along a trail in the woods and i came across a salamander! In the park in the warmer months you might see bluebirds, robins,  and eagles along the st. croix river valley. There is even coyote’s and beaver and muskrats in the park building homes in the marsh and swamps.

The railroad track runs through the park. I will post pictures of the track. The native praire grass in the meadows is so beautiful this time of year it turns like a golden color. I think william o’brien state park is the possible the nicest park in the twin cities metro area. A great place to go and be out in nature, and do some sightseeing!

St. Croix River Valley

Lake Alice

Mix Forest And Nearby Meadow

Beaver Pond

Walk In The Woods

Salamander On The Bench!!!

Railroad Tracks And Bridge/Tunnel

 

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