The little town of Miesville, Minnesota (population 125) straddles Highway 61 about 10 miles (16 km) due west of the Mississippi River. If you go straight south from the middle of town, you’ll soon reach the drainage that feeds Trout Brook.
Over the ages, this brook has carved a distinctive dent – a ravine if you will – in the landscape as it flows south to its confluence with the Cannon River. A good portion of this dent is now within Dakota County’s Miesville Ravine Park Reserve.
Two days ago, on a day with near perfect weather for hiking, the Miesville Ravine lost out to a longer hike at Whitetail Woods. But, after spending yesterday at the Minnesota State Fair 😁, we felt Miesville deserved to be hiked today. Out of fairness, sure, but mainly because we needed to start working off some, but probably not all 😔, of the amazingly tasty food we “sampled” at the fair. Best soft real ice cream we’ve ever eaten 🍦🍦 – ever! 😋
Miesville Ravine (Hike #38 in 60 Hikes) features a shorter set of hikes than those at Whitetail Woods, which is good because today the weather was less hiker friendly – much hotter and much more humid. We started with an out-and-back along Trout Brook, through the heart of the ravine – a level, mostly forested route with just a few views of the brook.
We returned to the parking lot, then continued on, over a stout bridge, to the trail along the Cannon River. The guidebook indicated that this is a popular take-out for folks floating down from Cannon Falls but today we were there alone.
We eventually came to where the river trail makes a sharp turn and starts back to the picnic area. Both 60 Hikes and AllTrails (of which I am not a fan) showed a trail heading north from this turn to 280th Street. What we saw was a thick wall of late summer veg with nary an evident use trail through it. Although we’ve done plenty of cross-country in our time, plowing through veg while already hot and sticky from the rising heat and humidity didn’t appeal. Not at all. So we went back on the mowed trail.
Covering these two trails came to just 3.1 miles (4.9 km). But this was more than enough get us hot and plenty sweaty. So it was the right hike for the day, in a place we hadn’t visited before, with views of a brook, the Cannon River, and trout. 🐟 We were also unfamiliar with those frilly Bur Oak acorns – so we got a botany lesson too.
On the way back, we stopped in charming little Cannon Falls for lunch. Our first choice – Nick’s Downtown Diner – was packed with bikers (the pedaling kind). Considering we were all sweaty, it would have been a perfect fit – except there were no tables available. 😥
So we shuffled over to the Mill Street Tavern where we found a table, A/C, and an excellent meal 😋 – the consumption of which only added to our excesses at the state fair! So now it’ll be rice cakes and distilled water for a few days, but we regret nothing! Not even one bite! 😁
When we got home, we pulled up a USGS topo map (from 1974) that showed an old road going from the turn in the mowed trail up to 280th Street. It also showed a building and two collapsed buildings at this turn. It might would be worth returning in late Fall or during winter – after the veg has died back – to explore these seasonally elusive features.