The Goodhue Pioneer State Trail is a work in progress as part of a planned 47-mile trail linking the cities of Red Wing, Goodhue, Zumbrota, Mazeppa, Bellechester and Pine Island along an abandoned railroad corridor. The line was originally constructed by the Duluth, Red Wing & Southern Railroad in 1888 and was embargoed by the Chicago Great Western in 1964 after a derailment. Currently, two sections of trail separated by a 6-mile gap are open for recreational use.
The 4-mile northern segment begins at Pioneer Road on the southern edge of Red Wing. The trail follows Hay Creek as it winds through the Richard J. Dorer Memorial Hardwood State Forest. The scenery here consists of rugged hills primarily forested with oak, elm, birch, basswood and black cherry trees. An adjacent unpaved trail allows for equestrian use. This portion of the trail currently ends at the private Hay Creek Valley Campground in Hay Creek Township.
The 5.2-mile southern half begins at Covered Bridge Park in Zumbrota, home to Minnesota's last remaining covered bridge. This section of trail crosses agricultural land and native prairie before ending north of 410th Street in rural Minneola Township. The trail is popular with snowmobilers in the winter.
In Red Wing, trail users can take a city trail about 2 miles north and a couple blocks west to reach the eastern trailhead for the popular Cannon Valley Trail
. In the future, the Goodhue Pioneer State Trail will also connect to the Douglas State Trail
in Pine Island.
Parking for the Goodhue Pioneer State Trail is available on city streets in Red Wing or in the Hay Creek Unit of the Richard J. Dorer Memorial Hardwood State Forest. In Zumbrota, park in Covered Bridge Park on N. Main Street/State Route 58.
In early June I tried the "other" section of this trail starting in Zumbrota. To begin with it's hard to find. There are no signs directing you to the start. There is a short park loop which is how you get to it mostly by trial and error. I asked some ...
Since this has been paved it's provides a nice extension onto the Cannon Valley Trail from Red Wing. A little east (2-3 blocks) of the main Red Wing trail head you take a city trail south (maybe 2-3 miles) then it connects to the Goodhue Pioneer Trail ...
We parked at the #61 Cannon Valley Trail small lot, just off #19 and had a grand ride to the east end of the Cannon Valley Trail, along streets to the Red Wing Hay Creek trail to the Pioneer/Goodhue trail to Hay Creek and back to the bakery east of the ...