On the way to a family gathering in the woods, I stopped and hiked the Platt River Trail in Crane Meadows National Wildlife Refuge. Crane Meadows is one of the refuges proposed to open for hunting this fall, it’s located about five miles east of Little Falls, Minnesota. Watch for signs, neither county road 35 or the refuge itself appear on the official Minnesota state road map.

The trail itself runs along the river, winding between open prairie and forest, until it reaches the river outlet from Rice Lake.