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Glacial Potholes, Interstate State Park - Taylors Falls, WI

Dear Travel Diary,

Have I got a gem to share with you today ...

Located just 60 miles from the cities, Interstate State Park offers a unique perspective. In fact, it holds the distinction of being the country's first interstate park as it spans across regions in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Though Minnesota claims a "small" 281 acres compared to Wisconsin's 1,400, Minnesotans seem to be better acquainted with the park due to its proximity to a major city.

In the 1800s, the threat of mining prompted its preservation by state leaders on both sides of the border. Thank God they did, with Minnesota declaring it in 1895 and Wisconsin following suit in 1900. Today, visitors can hike and explore both sides with relative ease.

The geology that forms this land attracts geologists from around the world to study its unique composition. At least 10 different lava flows are exposed, along with two distinct glacial deposits, plus traces of old streams, valleys and faults.

What caught my attention were the glacial potholes. It's likely the park's biggest draw, as its not every day you can walk amongst and explore remnants of the Ice Age.

They were formed when a glacial river covered the rocks, and sediment in swirling eddies and whirlpools drilled these holes. The world's deepest explored pothole, appropriately named The Bottomless Pit, is located on the Minnesota side and reaches a depth of 60 feet. The potential for deeper holes exists, but many remain unexcavated and filled with silt, rocks and water.

If you go:
307 Milltown Road, Taylors Falls, MN 55084
Located just off Hwy 8

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