Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
170.00 ft (51.82 m)
Trail type
Loop
Distance
6.00 mi (9.66 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The Hiking Club Trail at William O’Brien State Park is a six-mile hike through the park’s diverse landscape of wetlands, hilly hardwood forests, and prairies. The trail is wide and is well marked with blue hiking club signs. There are maps at trail intersections. Parking for this hike is available at the Interpretive Center. 

From the Interpretive Center head north on the trail, after a short while you will see the Savanna Campground on the right. You will then walk through some wetlands. After about a mile of hiking you will encounter a tunnel under a railroad. Take the trail under the tunnel on to the Woodland Edge Trail. Here the landscape becomes a hilly forest. After following the Woodland Edge Trail from the tunnel for about 1.5 miles, you will turn right onto the Prairie Overlook Trail. This 1.4-mile trail passes through an oak savanna and by a pond.  Once past the pond, the trail opens up to hilly prairie habitat. The southernmost portion of trail provides sweeping views of the St. Croix River Valley. The trail loops back past the pond. After completing the Prairie Overlook Trail turn right; shortly you pass over railroad tracks and begin hiking the aptly named Wetland Trail. You will hike past wetlands for about a half-mile. Then you hike over a wooded ridge and follow the trail through prairie grasses back to the Interpretive Center.

The Minnesota State Park’s Hiking Club program encourages hikers to hike a designated Hiking Club Trail at most state parks. A Hiking Club password is found on all of these hikes. You can earn patches, free camping, and even a plaque (if you hike all of the Hiking Club trails) for participating in the club. A Hiking Club kit can be purchased at most state parks for $14.95 (as of 2020). More information about the program can be found here.

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Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

State Park Fee

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Hike through diverse landscapes.

Cons

Portions of the trail can be wet in the spring.

Trailhead Elevation

825.00 ft (251.46 m)

Highest point

995.00 ft (303.28 m)

Features

Family friendly
Flushing toilets
Potable water
Wildlife
Wildflowers

Typically multi-day

No

Permit required

No

Location

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