Interstate Park sign

Interstate State Park

There are some confusing things about the oldest state park in Wisconsin. One is the name. Do you call it “Interstate State Park” or just “Interstate Park”? The DNR site takes the simpler, less redundant route and says, “Interstate Park”. But that doesn’t feel right compared to every other location which ends in the two words “State Park”. And I’ve seen the 3-word version used elsewhere…probably for the reason mentioned.

The other main confusing thing relates to the scale of the official map and driving the roads through the park. This is one of the larger parks, but for some reason, you can find yourself further along the road much more quickly than you expect. At least, that was my experience. We found ourselves next to the river when I thought we should still only be on the near side of the Lake o’ the Dalles.

But maybe that’s just me.

There are also some one-way roads in the park which are not marked as such on the map. Why not? I dunno.

Near the main entrance are these Interlink Trail and Ice Age Trail signs. The top one seemed a little awkwardly worded.

Interlink Trail sign

Speaking of the Ice Age Trail which meanders across Wisconsin, roughly from west to east (or east to west), Interstate State Park hosts the western terminus of this trail. Here is the view of the St. Croix from the end of the trail.

Ice Age trail end

We ate lunch at a picnic table by the St. Croix River (probably the River Bottoms Picnic Area) where we saw this egret patiently waiting for his own lunch to swim by. (Sorry, I didn’t have a more powerful lens along.)

Egret on river

Nearby was this tree with a bright red vine coursing up its trunk. We later saw this vine attached to many other trees along our path, but this was the most obvious example.

Red vine on tree

The only trail we hiked went around the Lake o’ the Dalles.

Lake o' the Dalles Trail sign

A clockwise tour from the point above first takes you past this rather rickety-looking pier. It was only connected to the shore by two questionably-placed boards. But we did later see two people out on the end of the pier, so I guess…it…works…?

Pier on Lake o' the Dalles

A little way past that pier is the main beach and bath house. No one was using either this day.

Beach at Lake o' the Dalles
Bath house

Along the way, we came across two other intersecting trails which were either the River Bluff Trail or the Echo Canyon Trail or both. Neither were labeled.

This is simply the view of the lake opposite our starting point.

Lake o' the Dalles

Near the end of the loop was this bendy tree – still very much alive.

Bendy tree

And that’s it! With the completion of this hike, we have walked in every Wisconsin state park and have done it in two non-winter hiking seasons.

Yay us!

Location

Nearest City

St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin (adjacent)

Nearest Emergency Facility

St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin (adjacent)

Hours

6:00 AM to 11:00 PM, year-round

Cost

Vehicle admission sticker required

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