Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Franz Jevne State Park: September 3, 2012

The last of the four State Parks we visited on our Canada Trip was Franz Jevne State Park.  It's just a little park - the smallest State Park in Minnesota, at 118 acres.  How great could it be, really?  Would you be surprised if I said that it was my favorite of the four parks we visited, and one of my favorites of all time?

The park is so small and so out of the way that it isn't even staffed.  We just drove right in and - with the help of my handy Hiking Club book - found the start of the trail at one of the campsites.  The park seems to be mainly comprised of rustic campsites alongside the Rainy River.  We found the trailhead for the Hiking Club trail at campsite #15.  It was eerily quiet.  It was Labor Day Weekend, and we were pretty sure we were the only people in the park.

The leaves were already starting to turn and coat the path.

Upon further reading about Franz Jevne State Park, I discovered that it's main draw is the great fishing in the spring and fall.  Perhaps it was the non-fishing season?  Perhaps that's why we had the place to ourselves?  It seems strange to complain about having some solitude on what is traditionally a crazy busy weekend, but it did make me wonder.  Especially since it was such a wonderful place for a hike and some relaxation.

The trees!  Oh!

It was just breathtaking.  The trees were so tall! We walked alongside the Rainy River and looked across the way to Canada.  The leaves were just starting to change and we had a warm sun and cool breeze.  It couldn't have been a better day for dawdling along a hiking path.

The path turned from the woods to the banks of the river, where we saw a few large islands.  We had the same thought at the same time: 'let's wade across to this mysterious island, lying halfway between the USA and Canada in the middle of the Rainy River.'

Hello from No Man's Island: population One (until I got across)

We spent a good deal of time on the island: poking around, throwing rocks into the water, looking across to Canada.  I think that pictures speak louder than words here.

Rocks, trees, sky and river.  Leaves changing, river running, clouds lazing along overhead

I think that we will have to go back to this park again.  Sure, it's only 118 acres, but what a great place to go camping for the weekend.  So what if there's not a lot to do?  Sometimes that's just the right amount.

Down by the riverside

What a great way to wrap up the trip.  We did complete the 1.3 mile Hiking Club Trail, bringing us to a grand total of 48.3 miles for the year so far.  Unless the next trail is a real shortie, we'll be getting our 50 mile patch very soon.  But it's not always about the mileage.  The best times can be had just hanging out with your favorite guy on an island in a river, finding frogs and skipping stones.

Total miles hiked today: (this park) 1.3
Total miles hiked (in 2012): 120.0
Total ticks today: Joe - 0; Thunderdog - n/a; Elly - 0
Total ticks (in 2012): 48

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