Hiking to Willow River Falls in Hudson WI



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Willow River Falls in Hudson WI
Willow River Falls in Hudson WI


The Willow River courses though a 200 foot gorge of 600 million year old rock where it cascades over four prominent falls. The shallow pools below the falls are popular wading pools in the summer months. Rock Climbing is also popular on the fossilized walls of the gorge.

Only a 40 minute drive from downtown Minneapolis, this park near the Minnesota/Wisconsin border is easily accessible to large populations and a popular side trip for national and international travelers to the Twin Cities.

A short 1/4 mile walking path leads from the main parking lot to the falls. Another more interesting option is to take the Burkhardt trail along the top of the gorge to see the falls from above and then to descend a steep staircase into the gorge to the falls.





Willow River Falls in Hudson WI
Willow River Falls in Hudson WI


Willow River State Park is an obvious diversion in any season. It is an easy to access park, not far from Interstate 94 east of the Twin Cities. In the winter visitors come to see the frozen ice falls; In the Autumn to see the golden and red autumn leaves falling into the gorge. The Willow River Falls runs fastest and fullest in Spring; and, in summer it is fun to cool off on a hot day in the spray of the falls and to wade in the pools.

The state park also includes camping and many miles of hiking trails. In years past it had a great swimming and quiet sport boating lake, but the dam that created this lake is in disrepair and the lake has been drained. In 2017 the dam is scheduled to be replaced. Rock hounding is also popular at this state park - you might stumble on a trilobite or other ancient fossil in good condition on one of the outcroppings or on boulders in the Willow River at the falls.

stairs from overlook to Willow River Falls
stairs from overlook to Willow River Falls



Overview: Burkhardt Trail to Willow River Falls


COUNTY: St Croix
COMMUNITIES: Hudson

TOTAL MILES: 2 miles
DIFFICULTY: Moderate

POINTS OF INTEREST: Overlooks, Stairs from Overlook to Falls, Willow River, Willow River State Park

CAMPING: Willow River State Park




Directions and Trail Map




If viewing on a mobile device, open the trail map above to load into Google Maps App by touching the expand rectangle in the upper right corner.


Address for your GPS: 642 River Rd Hudson, WI 54016
| coordinates: 45.028343, -92.667339 |

From Milwaukee4.5 Hours
From Madison3.5 Hours
From Green Bay4 Hours
From Wausau3 Hours
From Minneapolis40 Minutes
From Chicago6 Hours




Photos


Willow River Falls in Hudson WI
Willow River Falls in Hudson WI


Willow River Falls in Hudson WI
Willow River Falls in Hudson WI

Willow River Falls in Hudson WI
Willow River Falls in Hudson WI

Willow River Falls in Hudson WI
Willow River Falls in Hudson WI

Bridge Across Willow River at Willow River State Park in Hudson WI
Bridge Across Willow River at Willow River State Park in Hudson WI

Willow River State Park in Hudson WI
Willow River State Park in Hudson WI

Overlook at Willow River State Park in Hudson WI
Overlook at Willow River State Park in Hudson WI

Burkhardt Trail at Willow River State Park
Burkhardt Trail at Willow River State Park

Burkhardt Trail at Willow River State Park
Burkhardt Trail at Willow River State Park



Video



Willow River State Park waterfalls, August 2010 from Douglas Feltman on Vimeo.
It was a warm muggy day and I was on my way back from a service call in Hammond WI. I stopped by the park for some exercise, air and video work. The park was full of people exploring the falls. Not many opportunities to get many shots without people.

The falls are bigger than they look and are very powerful. My first HD upload. Shot on a Sony H-55 digital pocket camera.