Anyone snowmobile in the Chengwatana State Forest or St. Croix State Park?

  • TheFamousGrouse
    St. Paul, MN
    Posts: 10370

    Well, hopefully winter in on it’s way sometime in the next 6-8 weeks…

    The one thing that’s really missing (as far as I can tell) from the MN DNR’s interactive snowmobile trail map is info on parking. Last winter this was a major issue for me because with a trailer you can’t just go down a bunch of podunk roads looking for trail access and HOPING there’s room somewhere to turn the whole rig around if there’s no access or room to park. This really sucks for all the money we pay for license fees to have so little designated parking.

    BTW, if there’s an atlas or some kind of online resource that shows trail access parking areas, please let me in on the secret.

    Anyone able to share any info about parking in these areas:

    Chengwatana State Forest (east of Pine City) – I’m trying to access this state forest and Trail 189, but other than questionably legal parking on streets and roads in/near Pine City, is there any trailer-safe plowed parking area actually near or in the state forest itself?

    St. Croix State Park – This is a big park, so is there any good parking areas that access the eastern half of the park? Specifically in the area where Trail 52 does a loop in the park that comes up and has a short spur that touches Hwy 48 that runs east out of Hinckley. Are there any parking areas that are plowed off of 48?

    My kids and I are running older two smoker machines so fuel economy is an issue and we can’t always do long out and back runs that allow us to park in towns and then ditch ride out to the trail crossing. It’s way better if we can park close to the trailhead.

    Grateful for any tips and info anyone can share about accessing these two areas.

    Posts: 1738

    The state park has plenty of good parking. We use to take day trips up there when I rode alot. Trails are usually in great shape in the park. Heading north on the Mathew lowery is usually pretty rough in the past.

    St. Paul, MN
    Posts: 10370

    Good to know that the state park has decent parking and the trails are good.

    Is it usually very busy in the park and does parking fill up?

    The map of the Chengwatana State Forest shows lots of designated parking areas, but it does not specify which are summer only and which are plowed in the winter. I did find a contact there so I’ll be giving them a call to see if they can tell me which ones, if any get plowed. It would be nice if someone thought to add this to the map.

    Dbright, do you happen to know are there any parking areas east of Hinckley where the trails cross 48? I really don’t want to park on the side of the road.

    Many thanks.

    Woodbury, Mn
    Posts: 17531

    A mile up the road from the Snake River landing is a gravel lot. I used to park there to hunt and met a group that unloaded there and although I dont remember exactly, the trail had to be close since it follows the river in that area.

    1. Pine-City.png

    St. Paul, MN
    Posts: 10370

    Thanks for the tips, guys.

    And now for the snow…

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