Hiking Club Trail #3
Date: September 27, 2017
Location: Sandstone, MN
Length: 2.6 Miles (Hiking Club Trail) + High Bluff and Wolf Creek trails and a bit of the Hells Gate
Difficulty: HCT Easy: Mostly flat packed dirt trails. Wolf Creek and High Bluff gets steep. Hells Gate is HARD - don't bring children - we had to turn back because it was too much for the dog.
Cumulative Hiking Club Miles: 6.6 of 197
I LOVE FALL!
However hiking in the fall can be a bit dangerous - leaves hide all of the obstacles on the ground so a turned ankle can happen quick - Be careful out there!
This park quickly became one of my favorites - the combo of rock formations, old ruins, small caves, waterfalls and terrain for any level makes this park pretty appealing.
The HCT gives you a good taste of what this park is all about it brings you along the Kettle River and through the Quarry ruins. The Quarry operated from the late 1890's to 1905 - rock was chiseled into massive blocks and used as building materials - until steel became a more popular choice.
But the real gem of this park is a 20' waterfall hidden in the woods - it's about a 4 mile round trip from the parking lot down the Wolf Creek Trail - but it is well worth it. When we reached the waterfall we were the only ones out there.
The Hells Gate Trail was a highlight for me - the trail is challenging, requires climbing and hanging pretty close to the edge of the cliff, there are glacial potholes and some great rock formations. We got a ways down the trail and had to turn back because the trail was getting too risky with the dog along. This trail will be a challenge I will enjoy - I will come back without Penny next time and try it again!