Wednesday, February 14, 2024

A Candlelight Walk In Interstate Park and other Valentine's Weekend Highlight

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!  I absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Valentine's Day!  I think it's wonderful that we have a holiday to show all the people in our lives how much we love them!  I always give children and grandchildren Valentine gifts and cards so that they know how special they are to me,  and my husband and I always make special plans for just the two of us.  Since Valentine's Day fell on a Wednesday this year, I decided to take a break from showing you all my 2023 summer activities and share instead how we celebrated Valentine's Day this past weekend.  We celebrated early because the holiday fell mid-week.


We decided to spend a romantic weekend in the Osceola/St. Croix Falls area.  For almost a year I have been seeing the most delicious food advertised by The Watershed Cafe on Facebook, that I had to go and eat there myself.  The cafe is located right above a waterfall!  In the summer, you can even enjoy your food outside and listen to the sound of water as you eat.


Here is a photo of the waterfall behind the cafe:


The cafe offers the most incredible coffee beverages, so I had to get me some of that!  I had a hard time deciding as there were so many choices, but I ultimately chose a "French Toast" latte.  It was so incredible,  but I'm pretty sure I had more sugar in that one cup of coffee than I've had all month. 😂


The Watershed Cafe is " A sustainable restaurant featuring simple comfort food intentionally prepared with fresh, locally and seasonally sourced ingredients".  

My husband ordered a hamburger (of course) but said it was incredible because of the high quality beef.  The fries were also amazing, and I can attest to that because I stole one off his plate they looked so good!  I ordered a Hummus Sandwich which was also incredibly delicious, and to my surprise they came with a plate load of homemade potato chips.  OH MY GOODNESS, were those chips amazing!  I want the recipe!


After lunch we went down to the waterfall.  There's a nice trail called the "Falls Bluff Trail Loop"  that takes you right down to the waterfall, then along Osceola Creek to the St. Croix River.  From there you can return back to town or hike up the bluff for scenic views.  


Cascade Falls is only 25 feet tall but it is quite impressive because of its width, and the water is so shallow, you can walk right up to the spray.  You can even walk behind the waterfall!  I'm sure it is quite the popular swimming hole in the summer!


There is also a viewing deck for those who prefer to keep their feet dry.


There are a lot of stairs to take down from the town's Main Street to see the falls.  I don't know if you can see them all in the photo below but they go straight up to the sky line in the photo below.


After viewing the falls, we hiked the remainder of the trail that ran along the creek.  Most of it was boardwalk, which was really nice as this area can get muddy.



We spent two hours strolling through the shops of downtown Osceola.  They had some nice shops, but unfortunately I didn't take any photos of the town.  I always have a hard time capturing nice photos of towns anyway.  I feel the cars always ruin the photos and never capture the town's quaintness.  But trust me, it's a nice town full of cute shops you will want to visit.

Hubby of course had to have his photo taken next to the giant Indian statue.  He loves having his photo taken next to statues for some reason.  😆


After lunch and touring the town of Osceola we then headed over to Interstate Park.  It's called Interstate because half the park is located in the state of Wisconsin and the other half is in the state of Minnesota with the St. Croix River separating the two parks.

We only did one short day hike because we knew we'd be hiking more that evening.  I had hip replacement surgery in October, so this was my first test run with the new hip and I didn't want to overdue it.  As it turned out, I had zero pain with all the walking we did all day, but I was woken up with pain in the middle of the night and had to take Ibuprofen to get through it.  So I probably did too much too soon.


The day hike in Interstate Park that we did was just a short 0.5 mile loop called "Echo Canyon Trail".  It was awesome because it ran along the Lake O'the Dalles and then up through an extinct river bed carved by glacial meltwaters.


There was lots and lots of interesting rock formations and strewn rocks along the trail.


I usually have a hard time seeing the shapes that unusual rock formations get their names from, but there was no mistaking the Indian head in the rock formation below.





After our day hike in Interstate Park, we checked into our hotel, rested a bit, then headed out to dinner.  And finally, after dinner, we got to the most romantic part of our Valentine Day weekend:  A Candlelight Walk through the forest after dark!



The park selected four trails to hike and lined the trails with candlelight.  Here is a short video of one of the hikes, the Ojibwa Trail.


The Ojibwa Trail was only 0.5 miles so we decided we were still up for doing another trail, but first we decided to warm up by the fire pit which the park so generously prepared for us.  Oh my, it was so toasty warm and it felt so good!  The park even gave out free S'more fixings, but I don't like S'more's so I didn't have any.





Once our weary old bones were warmed we went on our second and last hike of the evening the "Skyline" hike.  I could see city lights in the distance, so I'm guessing that is how it got its name.  


After our final Candlelight Walk, we went inside the Visitor Center to enjoy some refreshments and music.




We loved the Candlelight Walk.  The forest was just so peaceful and the candlelight gave it such a romantic feeling.  What a perfect way to spend Valentine's Day!

However, our weekend wasn't over yet!  The following morning we went and explored the Minnesota side of Interstate Park.




We saw some amazing panoramic views of the St. Croix river.


 We had such a wonderful Valentine Day weekend, and we didn't have to drive too far from home to enjoy it.  Osceola is only 2 hours and 15 minutes away from our house!  We enjoyed it so much, we wondered why we never visited before;  but we will be back!  I can't wait to explore the area more in the fall!

Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!

21 comments:

  1. A wonderful place to visit! Love the Candlelight Hike. Happy Valentine!

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    1. It was so much fun and a very unique experience for us. Happy belated Valentines to you too.

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  2. I love that area! We go there quite a bit in the summer. But we've gone in the winter, too. Once on Christmas Eve. But no longer, since we're wintering in Florida now. The big parks are great, but my favorite trail is near Osceola. The Bedrock Glades, I think.

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    1. We have been to the parks before, but not to Osceola. Why, I have no idea. We definitely want to spend more time in the area now and plan on going back. Thanks for the tip about the Bedrock Glades. I hadn't heard of that one.

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  3. Such a cool time. You go on the best hikes. Very nice.

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    1. It was cool. We try to find the best hikes. They can be a challenge to find sometimes.

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  4. That sounds like such a fabulous weekend! I am loving those photos from your candlelit walk.

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    1. It was so much fun, and very romantic. The perfect Valentine Day weekend for us!

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  5. What a wonderful winter weekend getaway! You always have such fun trips planned and I love that many of them are closer to home! The candlelight walk does look so romantic, not heard of any before, so perfect for Valentines Day. I too am not a fan of s'mores and would have skipped it too :)

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    1. It really was so special. As for "planned" the only plan I had was to go to that restaurant. We just happened to be in the area the night of the candlelight walk. It was such a nice coincidence. I've seen candlelight walk before but I never thought my husband would be interested because he doesn't like to drive at night. But this time it was only 5 minutes from our hotel, so it all worked out perfectly.

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  6. Seems like you had a lot of fun. Love those chips you had - yes I would also love that recipe should you get hold of it.
    Thanks so much for participating and sharing at #WW 14. See you again next week!

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    1. Oh yes, so much fun! I wish I could get that recipe. I never had such great tasting homemade chips before.

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  7. What a neat place! The candlelight and fires make it lovely at night, too. I love homemade chips--those look delicious. Visiting from Sweet Tea & Friends.

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    1. Thanks for sharing this post at the Will Blog for Comments #26 linkup, too! :)

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  8. Amy, I’m always excited to see the amazing adventures you embark on next. Your Valentine’s weekend seems to have been delightful, especially that candlelight walk – it looks beautiful! Thank you for sharing with us over at The Crazy Little Lovebirds link party #25.

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    1. That's good to hear! Yes, it was a wonderful Valentine weekend.

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  9. What a lovely day, thank you for sharing with us at WTJR!

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  10. Oh my I'm loving that candle light walk. Oh those chips look sooo good!
    Thank you bunches for sharing this with Sweet Tea & Friends this month sweet friend.

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    1. It was so fun and romantic, and the chips were incredible! You're so welcome!

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