Stillwater, Minnesota has a lot of history, a lot of hills, and a paved trail that pleasantly surprised me. This trail was suggested to me more than once after describing my ideal walk: 5-10 miles through woods with water and rock outcroppings. I do not like to have to walk on a road, and I do not like to drive too far from the Minneapolis area these days. I think I shied away from Brown’s Creek Trail in the past because on a map it looks like just another paved bike trail through a residential area. You’d think that people would have had enough of paved bike trails. I looked around me and I see it isn’t so. It was a chilly and windy day and there was ice on the trail from recent snow. I did not see many bikes but I did see lots of walkers and joggers.
Brown’s Creek Trail connects the Gateway Trail with Stillwater. I walked half of it on this day. The St. Croix Loop Trail includes the old lift bridge and the new highway 36 bridge. I walked the old lift bridge and the hill up to Houlton, Wisconsin. Stillwater is an historic town with a fascinating variety of architectural styles. I walked from downtown up Laurel Street. I walked along McKusick Lake, but not all the way around it. This is a great route but does not check off any full trails.