Jay Cooke State Park
Date: June 23, 2018
Location: Carlton, MN
Length: 4.5 Miles
Difficulty: Easy-Moderate (there are some pretty large hills to climb - the trail is easy if you don't mind hills)
Cumulative Hiking Club Miles: N/A
It's Lady Slipper season in Minnesota. The Showy Lady Slipper is the MN State Flower and seeing one of these flowers in the wild has been on my bucket list since the 6th grade when I had to make my Minnesota Scrapbook... Now let's be real - I really hadn't put much effort into finding them until this year.
Until I started the MN Hiking Club.
I'd been researching which parks I'd have the best chance in seeing them and when their blooming season is, Usually between Father's Day and the 4th of July. That is a short window when you will have to drive at least 2 hours to possibly see them. I knew the yellow lady slippers had started blooming the week before so we were heading up there on a hope and a prayer. Either way the trip wouldn't be a waste - my mom still needed to do the Hiking Club trail.
Jay Cooke is one of my favorite state parks - I spent a lot of time here while I was in college - there is always something new to see - plus this park is HUGE. Not only did we do the HCT - and it looked way different than when I first hiked that trail last fall (see previous post) - but we saw what we came here for - the showy lady slipper. They are impressive flowers!
It was an awfully humid day for a hike but it was worth it!!!