With the arrival of truly autumnal temps this weekend, it was a perfect time to go hiking. So Teen 2 and I packed ourselves up and made haste to Taylors Falls, home to half of Interstate State Park. The other half is across the St. Croix River, in Wisconsin.
It's a beautiful park with dramatic riverside cliffs, formed by lava flows billions of years ago. They make for fun hiking too, especially for teens who are interested in freerunning and/or parkour.
For a more sedate view, you can take a paddleboat tour.
I have not tried the boat; it looks very relaxing, and someday I will. But I do love hiking around the rocks. I'm not alone in this; there were numerous families out this weekend, some with very young kids (braver than I--I wouldn't have taken my kids when they were very young for fear of them slipping right off a cliff. Yes, I'm paranoid that way), some older folks, lots of people with very happy dogs. One time I saw a bunch of teenagers dressed as ninjas. Awesome.
Not to mention the glacial potholes. Apparently a century ago, gardens were planted in these geological oddities, an idea the MN DNR is revisiting.
Teen 2 also informed me that planking is so over and the cool thing now is owling.
Not surprisingly, this is also a very popular spot for rock climbing (note: you need a special permit for that).
There's a good mix of deciduous and coniferous trees along the river, and the leaves on some have already begun to change. Seems early, yes? In any event, over the next few weeks, hiking here should be especially gorgeous.
Just watch out for those parkouring young 'uns.