Prairie and Deer Valley Loop

MODERATE 95 reviews
#1 of 5 trails in

Prairie and Deer Valley Loop is a 19.3 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Hastings, Minnesota that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

19.3 miles
2,208 feet

dogs on leash



cross country skiing


nature trips


trail running






wild flowers

10 months ago

One of the best State Parks south of "up north". The overlook on the north side is worth the climb up.

11 months ago

There's a lot of differing terrain. From prairie walks to rock-laden trails. It was a peaceful surprise for a park so close to a metro area.

11 months ago

Amazing park for being so closed to the twin cities!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

lots of mosquitos due to swamps and river but miles of trails. lots of wildflowers.

trail running
Monday, May 29, 2017

One of the best trails in the area. Being from the PNW and living in MN was difficult but this park/trail helped cope. Would go here all the time to trail run, hike and even introduced the kids to backpacking here.

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

You have a lot of options here, some paved, some natural. The Deer trail is very wooded and lovely. My big complain is the ridiculous trail marking. Not well marked. Almost every sign has different info and the map is different as well.

Friday, February 17, 2017


Saturday, February 04, 2017

Beautiful park

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Just awesome trails and ACTUAL hiking as opposed to walking in the woods. The camping is also great with sites spread far apart and a solid hike in.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Love the beach area

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Afton is a great State Park with wonderful pack-in campsites. We stayed in #18 and felt all alone. The hiking itself is personally nothing to write home about. Most of the trails are on a mowed path through prairie, which is just fine for children or those folks not in it for the thrill, necessarily. There is one loop to the southwest of the park that is fairly up, through forest, and slightly more up and down.. I liked this trail but short and, frankly, goes by far too quickly! We were able to see many deer in our couple days camping and hiking here, probably 6 or 7 total!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

I hike here all the time with my dog. Busy down by the St. Croix River, so if you're looking for peaceful I'd say stay in the prairies. If you go near sundown you'll see a lot of deer. It's really nice because it's completely open year round, including camping.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Trails have something for all skill levels...set the pace and you'll be satisfied.

Monday, April 04, 2016

Nice hike

trail running
Friday, September 11, 2015

it should be called buckthorn State Park but it is a beautiful park with a lot of other plants and animals with aggressive train options. The Prairie atop the bluff is beautiful this time of year.

Monday, September 07, 2015

nice hike. pretty wild flowers, water and views. not to difficult. did 4 Miles with two pomeranians. they are tired but did great.

Monday, July 13, 2015

This is a great park not far from the Twin Cities. Hiking is nice with varied terrain. Trails are all easy, with a steeper grade now and then. It's a great place to get away for a few hours, especially if you live in the Twin Cities.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Beautiful park!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Great hike for the area! The trail is more steep and varied as you head down the bluff to the St. Croix river shoreline, which is a nice addition to the overall gentle sloping trail.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

A fav park 4 snowshoeing 2!! The park has something 4 every active outdoor enthusiast :)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A fav park! Gr8 all 4 seasons of the yr :)).

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Great trail with river views and sandy beaches for lunch. Trail generally easy with some moderate inclines along the bluff.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Beautiful trail. I walked along the river for awhile and ended up seeing a huge buck coming to get a drink. For a busy state park the trails are quiet especially the prairie side. The bluffs and ravines are steep enough to be challenging. Even the prairie side's rolling hills had my legs begging for mercy. It's a fun trail, very scenic, and not crowded like the other St Croix river trail.

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