Lake Rebecca Park Reserve (Rockford, MN) 03-Sep-2022

Lake Rebecca Park Reserve, Minnesota

A cold front found its way across us last night, causing both the air temperature and humidity to plummet into the excellent for hiking range – sunny, clear, cool, and bug-free! 😎 Still working off our (delicious) excesses 🍦 at the State Fair’s Dairy Building, we looked around for some longer, more caloric hike possibilities. This led us to Lake Rebecca Park Reserve out west near Rockford.

With Lake Rebecca in mind, we considered Hike #47 in our 60 Hikes guide. At 6.5 miles (10.4 km) this walk was long enough but was described as all on paved surfaces. Frankly, walking on asphalt didn’t appeal. But the park’s online map indicated a dirt hiker/horse trail that roughly paralleled the paved route around Lake Rebecca. And it was a slightly longer route too. And it would allow us to avoid becoming entangled in the maze of singletrack mountain biking trails just west of the lake. And so we drove west to fulfill our destiny as hikers… 🙄

We ended up parking at the Mountain Bike Trailhead because we could easily access the perimeter hiking trail from there (and, to be honest, because it has two vault toilets). Folks must be making a last run to the North Shore for this holiday weekend because there were only about a dozen other cars at the trailhead and we passed only a handful of hikers, bikers, and horse riders on the trail.

From the parking lot, we went south on a dirt hiker only trail to the paved trail and then went west on that until we could connect with the dirt hiker/horse trail. Two horse riders passed us along here. We stayed on this trail until it intersected the paved trail on the east side of Kasma Marsh.

Early morning on the paved trail
Under a canopy of Big Woods on the hiker/horse trail
Through a field heavy with Goldenrod
Sunshine on the prairie
A leaf in the abstract
Another passage through the Big Woods
Turkey Tail fungus
On the trail along the park’s southern boundary
A Butter & Eggs flower with a tiny spider waiting for its prey

We diverted back on to the paved trail just past Kasma Marsh in hopes of accessing the south end of Lake Rebecca – only to find impenetrable stands of cattails. So the irony of our loop at Lake Rebecca is that we got only minimal views of the lake itself – at least from its southern and eastern side. 🤨 If we’d had the presence of mind to go a ways north on East Rebecca Lake Road we might have gotten a closer look at the east side of the lake.

Lake Rebecca, Lake Rebecca Park Reserve, Rockford, Minnesota
Lake Rebecca from the south – the light colored swimming beach is barely visible on the far shore

After sorta seeing the lake, we went back on to the dirt trail and followed it – stopping for a snack at the Don Myron Rest Area – all the way around to where it crosses the main park entrance road. From there, we followed the road back to the Mountain Bike Trailhead.

Continuing on under the forest canopy
Artist's Conk fungus
Artist’s Conk fungus
Past a field entirely taken over by Goldenrod
Ending the season with a flash of color
Rattail Lake, Lake Rebecca Park Reserve
Rattail Lake
Fall colors are coming on fast
Past yet more color
A colorful polypore fungus
One last pass under the trees

Our hybrid dirt/paved route came to 8.0 miles (12.8 km) with 500 feet (152 m) of cumulative elevation gain across this rolling terrain. It proved to be a very good, long rolling walk through forest and prairie. We didn’t see much of Lake Rebecca from the trail – but might have if we’d thought about East Rebecca Lake Road in time. And it could have been an even longer walk if we’d done the loop around Sarah Creek too.

Later in the hike, if we’d been on the paved trail around the north side of the lake, it would have taken us past the amenities there – including two fishing piers with good views of the lake. We later learned that the dirt hiking trail connects with the paved trail via the maintenance facility service road in this area (this connection isn’t obvious on most maps). Well, maybe next time.

From the park, we drove into nearby Rockford and had lunch at The Brothers Eatery – a neat, clean establishment with good food at reasonable prices. 🍔😋👍

Our loop around Lake Rebecca (picnic table is rest area)
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5 thoughts on “Lake Rebecca Park Reserve (Rockford, MN) 03-Sep-2022

  1. It wasn’t bad when we started up but got hot rather quickly. The smoke wasn’t terrible other than obscuring views. We saw one other group of hikers and one bicyclist.

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  2. Great photos, as always!!! Thought of you guys today (in Wisconsin that would be yous guys or simply “yous”)…we hiked to Tunnel Ridge. It was good to be back, hadn’t been up there since high school. We made a loop with Bear Gulch.

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