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Caching & Hiking in southeast Minnesota
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JJnTJ
Geocacher


Joined: 23 Aug 2010

Posts: 218

PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 4:18 pm    Post subject: Caching & Hiking in southeast Minnesota Reply with quote

My wife and I usually go hiking at Frontenac State Park in the fall. Now that we have started geocaching (and found out how few caches there are in our favorite parks), we thought we might change it up a bit.

What we're after is a day-trip to somewhere with nice forest scenery, some terrain, unpaved trails, and not a lot of traffic. King Boreas placed a bunch of caches in the Hay Creek area south of Red Wing, which looks like it may fit the bill. No puzzles, though. Sad


We'd be grateful any suggestions for good places to hike & cache, preferably within a couple hours' drive of the NW metro. We'd like to spend as much time as possible hiking instead of driving.


We'd also appreciate any suggestions to more efficiently plan a trip like this. I've got map tabs open for GC.com's Google Map and several state park tabs open, plus printed maps all over the place. Very Happy


Thanks in advance!
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kc9gbo
Geocacher


Joined: 26 Jun 2009

Posts: 159

PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Live down by the far southeastern tip in LaCrosse across from Houston county and haven't found a whole lot in this area (although I have a couple areas in mind to place some in the next few weeks.) I do know that in the Reno area there is a state forest with some nice hiking ones that would give you a great view of the Mississipi. If you come down this way the weekend of Oct. 10th you could catch the 10-10-10 event in Brownsville. I'm also considering doing a couple of those caches above Reno that day as the leaves hopefully will be great then.
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bflentje
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Joined: 29 May 2006

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Cannon Falls Wilderness Park in Rice county has exactly what you might be looking for. It's straight west of Redwing and just south of Northfield.
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spinowner
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Joined: 25 Nov 2004

Posts: 587

PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 3:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Plowline trail series off Winona County Road 23 between Stockton and Minnesota City has been on my to do list for too long. Here's a link to #1 of 12 caches.

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?wp=gcqmr8&Submit6=Go
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jrest
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Joined: 11 Jun 2005

Posts: 392

PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 7:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Might try the Snake Creek Unit (State Forest Land), some hills and cool views, south of Wabasha GC130GX.

Oxbow Park (north of Byron), couple puzzles in there and traditionals, GC9CF

Quarry Hill Park - Rochester, traditionals, puzzles, earthcache GC1T557

Sugarloaf - Winona, once you get up (pretty steep) it is a great hike along the ridge line with views of the river and winona, earthcache up there too GCC9B3
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bflentje
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Joined: 29 May 2006

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jrest wrote:
Might try the Snake Creek Unit (State Forest Land), some hills and cool views, south of Wabasha GC130GX.

Oxbow Park (north of Byron), couple puzzles in there and traditionals, GC9CF

Quarry Hill Park - Rochester, traditionals, puzzles, earthcache GC1T557

Sugarloaf - Winona, once you get up (pretty steep) it is a great hike along the ridge line with views of the river and winona, earthcache up there too GCC9B3


Sugarloaf WORTH visiting. I plan on making my second trip down there this fall if possible.
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JJnTJ
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Joined: 23 Aug 2010

Posts: 218

PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks everyone! Many are a little farther than we're willing to travel this Fall, but I can put them in the queue for next year. We really love the geography of the southeast.

bflentje, do you mean this area? You're right, there's a pretty good variety of D/Ts, puzzles and even letterbox!

Wow, Sugarloaf looks like a hike. Smile I think it's time to ask Santa for some proper hiking gear...
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bflentje
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Joined: 29 May 2006

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JJnTJ wrote:
Thanks everyone! Many are a little farther than we're willing to travel this Fall, but I can put them in the queue for next year. We really love the geography of the southeast.

bflentje, do you mean this area? You're right, there's a pretty good variety of D/Ts, puzzles and even letterbox!

Wow, Sugarloaf looks like a hike. Smile I think it's time to ask Santa for some proper hiking gear...


Yes, in response to the map you linked, that's what I was referring to. Be sire not to miss the Seldon multicache there. TOP DRAWER.

If you provide more specific details about your limitations, both in terms of where you are, distance, and abilities, the group at large could hapiily refine their recommendations.
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JJnTJ
Geocacher


Joined: 23 Aug 2010

Posts: 218

PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We've not yet been able to complete a Multi, so that would be fantastic.



We live in Rogers and would like to go somewhere within about 1.5 hours' drive. We don't plan on overnighting, which leaves us with 5 or 6 hours of hiking.

Neither of us is in great shape, but we usually negotiate Frontenac State Park trails (on the side of a bluff) without being completely wiped out. We're not very good at breaking our own trails, but paved trails are not interesting enough. Our hiking equipment consists of decent shoes and one of those butt/backpack things.

If we could wave a magic wand, we'd have Cascade River State Park appear an hour's drive away, full of interesting caches. Smile


Thanks again for your help!
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bflentje
Geocacher


Joined: 29 May 2006

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JJnTJ wrote:
We've not yet been able to complete a Multi, so that would be fantastic.



We live in Rogers and would like to go somewhere within about 1.5 hours' drive. We don't plan on overnighting, which leaves us with 5 or 6 hours of hiking.

Neither of us is in great shape, but we usually negotiate Frontenac State Park trails (on the side of a bluff) without being completely wiped out. We're not very good at breaking our own trails, but paved trails are not interesting enough. Our hiking equipment consists of decent shoes and one of those butt/backpack things.

If we could wave a magic wand, we'd have Cascade River State Park appear an hour's drive away, full of interesting caches. Smile


Thanks again for your help!


Sounds like you'd do fine at Cannon Valley Wilderness, no worse than Frontenac.
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Pear Head
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 04 Apr 2004

Posts: 5708

PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cascade's not exactly full of easy hikes either...
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jrest
Geocacher


Joined: 11 Jun 2005

Posts: 392

PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2010 8:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

About 1.5 hours, well here is somthing a bit closer, and more easterly from your location, but some really good trails (not paved) out toward Sunfish Lake, interesting containers and camo, entrance to park near GCYX5A. Or, a bit south (couple miles) at Lake Elmo Park with even more trails and caches.
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JJnTJ
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Joined: 23 Aug 2010

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2010 9:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool! We don't get over to the east metro much, and I've been thinking about doing the Stillwater virtuals. They're close enough we could probably pick them up and do some good hiking to boot. Thanks!


My wife and I hiked Harney Peak in the Black Hills back in '03. That one wore us out pretty good. We really ought to go back there...
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dornole
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Joined: 03 Apr 2006

Posts: 465

PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well Senses Census GC26NWB is down Faribaultish which is not too far and it's awesome -- if not currently flooded -- it will hike you around the river for a couple of hours just doing that multi.

Or there are some spectacular bluffs and scenery in Winona (especially good is Hobbits Trail Lair of Smaug GC1F6ZX) but of course that is a little farther. I wish I had spent the whole day down there.
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bflentje
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Joined: 29 May 2006

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dornole wrote:
Well Senses Census GC26NWB is down Faribaultish which is not too far and it's awesome -- if not currently flooded -- it will hike you around the river for a couple of hours just doing that multi.


Cannon Valley Wilderness Park, right out of Northfield (south). Ok, somewhere between Northfield and Faribault.
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