William O’Brien State Park is located in the Heartland region of central Minnesota near Stillwater and Taylors Falls.
How to Get to William O’Brien State Park: Drive 12 miles north of Stillwater on State Highway 95 to the park entrance.
William O’Brien State Park’s Natural Attractions: The beautiful St. Croix River provides stunning scenery. Hike the Riverside Trail for the best views of the river. A combination of forest, wetlands, tall grass prairie, and wildflower-decorated hills attract lots of wildlife. Deer, mink, beaver, woodchucks, and fox make their homes in the floodplain forest. Birdwatchers are likely to see a variety of songbirds, woodpeckers, and herons.
Things to Do in William O’Brien State Park: A large picnic area and two picnic shelters make for plenty of space to gather with family and friends. The swimming beach on Lake Alice is one of the most popular spots in the park. Others love the fishing pier and river fishing on the St. Croix. A boat launch is available. Paddle a canoe around Greenberg Island; it will take you just about an hour. If you don't have a canoe, you can rent one in Taylors Falls.
A total of 12 miles of hiking trails include 1.5 miles of self-guided trails. There are also 1.5 miles of paved bike trails. In winter, 12 miles of trails are groomed for cross-county and skate skiing. Snowshoeing is permitted only on the Riverside Trail.
You can rent lots of equipment in this park, including canoes, skis, and snowshoes. Other equipment can be borrowed, including GPS units, birding kits, fishing poles, tackle boxes, and horseshoes and volleyballs.
Camping in William O’Brien State Park: There are 120 drive-in campsites for tents and RVs; 77 sites have electrical hookups. There are also 4 rustic group camp sites that each accommodates from 35 to 50 people, and 4 year-round camper cabins. Call the park office for details and to reserve. Picnic tables, fire rings, showers, flush and vault toilets, and a dump station are available.
More Attractions in This Region: Visit Stillwater. The Stillwater Lift Bridge is an iconic landmark; you will want to take some photos. Get on the river with a pontoon rented from Stillwater Boat Rentals. Take a romantic Gondola Romantica tour of the river. Learn about the history of the town with a walking tour of Joseph Wolf Caves.
Other State Parks in This Region of Minnesota:
16821 O'Brien Trail North
Marine on St. Croix, MN 55047
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