Hiking & Running Trails in Washington County

hiking trail wiliam o'brien
A wooded trail in William O’Brien State Park

Washington County doesn’t have a ton of information on their website about their parks, but they have this brochure that has some good info.

Afton State Park (Hastings)

In the southeast corner of Washington County is Afton State Park with 20 miles of natural-surface hiking trails. 6 miles of those are maintained during the winter months. Woods, prairies, bluffs in the St. Croix River valley.

Read: Hiking & Trail Running in Afton State Park

Big Marine Park Reserve (Marine on St. Croix)

There are only 1.5 miles of hiking trails in 1,800-acre Big Marine Park Reserve, as most of it is designated for preservation. Here’s the map.

Brown’s Creek State Trail (Grant to Stillwater)

Lovely 6-mile Brown’s Creek State Trail is a paved trail that’s open to foot and bike traffic. There’s also a horse trail that parallels closely along part of it. Forest, parks, Brown’s Creek and the eastern-most mile along the St. Croix River with gorgeous views. It connects to the Gateway State Trail in Grant. Here’s the Brown’s Creek map.

Cottage Grove Ravine Regional Park (Cottage Grove)

7 miles of hiking trails in this 515-acre Cottage Grove Ravine Park. Closed until spring 2018 while making improvements. Hilly, mostly wooded. Here’s the map.

Gateway State Trail (St. Paul, Maplewood, North St. Paul, Oakdale)

18-mile multi-use Gateway State Trail runs through Washington County. Alongside runs 10 miles of unpaved trails for horses. The trailhead is in Pine Point Regional Park. Here’s the map.

Lake Elmo Park Reserve (Lake Elmo)

Lake Elmo Park Reserve hosts over 2,000 acres of preserved rolling hills, forest and prairie. There are 20 miles of hiking trails here, much of it on natural surfaces. Some are for hikers only, and there are several miles for combined hikers, mountain bikers and horses. Here’s the Lake Elmo Park map.

Pine Point Regional Park (Stillwater)

Pine Point Regional Park is a peaceful natural area with forest, lakes and marshes. There are 5 miles of multi-use trails here. If you love bird watching this is a great place for you, too! Unfortunately the Park’s web page doesn’t list both the summer and winter maps at the same time. But check back here when you need it.

St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park (Hastings)

There are 9.7 miles of hiking trails in 579-acre St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park.  The trails take you through forest, bluffs and prairie along the St. Croix River. Here’s the map.

Read: Hiking in St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park

William O’Brien State Park (Marine on St. Croix)

William O’Brien State Park has 2,200 acres of hills, woods and wetlands. 12 miles of hiking trails plus the paved 1.5-mile Riverside Trail meander through this beautiful park. Here’s the William O’Brien map.

Read: Hiking in William O’Brien State Park

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