Cooling Off in Hay Creek

5 Week Workout Challenge: Week 1, Day 3
Hay Creek

For day three, we drove to Red Wing to check out the Hay Creek Cross Country Trail.  The kids loved playing with the tongue twister of a name after I accidentally mispronounced it Cross Crunchy Trail.  None of us had been there before, so we weren’t sure what kind of a trail we’d find.

As it turns out, there isn’t an exact address for the parking lot, or at least, it’s not easy to find.  Instead, we followed the directions on the state’s website.  On the way there, we hit some major road construction.  The entire road was closed to through traffic.  Thankfully, we were able to get through on a scenic dirt road which led to the park.

Once at the park, we could not figure out where the correct trail for the cross country trail was.  There were several trails all in the same area, all crisscrossing and none were clearly marked.  Several were not well maintained and looked overgrown.  We ended up finding faded hand-painted signs in the overgrown brush for a couple of the trails, but none of them was the cross country trail.  Eventually, we gave up and followed the clearest path.

The Goodhue Pioneer State Trail is a wide, paved walking path.  We encountered several bikers and a couple of other walkers, but it was relatively quiet and peaceful.  There did happen to be a lot of gnats, but that’s pretty typical for this time of year.  The trail was strangely covered with dead snails, perhaps from the recent rain storms.

At one point, we found a wooden bridge with a path leading down to the creek.  We took off our shoes and waded into the clear, shallow water.  It was ice cold and felt great on such a hot and humid day.

We walked a little further past the bridge till we had walked a mile.  We stopped in the shade and let the kids have a snack.  Then we turned around to head back.

At one point, the kids found a live snail.  They gave it some fresh water to drink before putting it in the woods.  I had no idea snails lived out of the water.

Although the cross country trail might not be good for summertime hikes, maybe it’s a good trail to check out for cross-country skiing.  I recommend the Goodhue Trail if you’re in the area and looking for a relaxing walk or bike ride.

Basic Park Info:
All Trails Info:

5 Week Workout Challenge
Previous Week: Day 2: Jensen Lake Trail
Next Week: Week 1, Day 4: Minnehaha Falls