Spring Lake Trail

Posted by Doug Shidell, July 17th, 2017

The Spring Lake Park Trail covers a lot of ground in its short, five-mile stretch along the Mississippi River near Hastings. It runs atop bluffs near the eastern trailhead, bridges a deep ravine, drops to near River level then rolls to the western trailhead off Highway 55. The trail runs through recently seeded prairie (heavy on Black-eyed Susans this time of year), some woodlots and lots of terrain.

Round trip distance is under 12 miles, but riders looking for more distance have plenty of options. From Schaar’s Bluff, the trail continues southeast through the park and along residential streets to the edge of Hastings. Watch for a somewhat obscured sign that directs you down an incline to the River where you will cross an earthen dam and ride up to Lock and Dam #2. The trail follows the Mississippi River downstream to the heart of Hastings for food and drink.

The City of Hastings has its own trail system for more mileage options. Stay on the River Trail past downtown, then follow trails and quiet residential streets to Vermillion Falls Park and an attractive trail along the Vermillion River. It’s possible to return to the main trail using residential trails and streets or you can backtrack along the original route.

The final option in the Hastings area is to cross the new Hwy 61 bridge over the Mississippi River., the bridge has a separated bike and pedestrian lane, then drop into the city marina and continue following the trail toward the city of Prescott, WI. The trail ends at a popular beach on the St. Croix River.

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