This loop traverses the Louisville Swamp, featuring wetlands, forests, the Johnson Slough, Sand Creek, an interesting glacial boulder, and the Minnesota River.
Features: Birding — River/Creek — Views — Wildlife
Trail portions that go through wetlands can be very muddy, especially following rain or thaw.
The run starts at the northern parking area and heads south. Stay left to avoid getting stuck at the closed portion of the trail. You'll pass the Ehmiller Homesite, a bottomland forest, and a crossing of Sand Creek. More forests, wetlands, and another stream crossing will get you to Middle Road
. Follow this trail, noting the large glacial boulder off the trail to the right.
Turn right at Flood's Road
. Stay left at the fork, running to the intersection with the State Corridor Trail. Follow this trail north along the Minnesota River, passing a canoe-in campsite and traveling back into the bottomland forest. Johnson Slough will be visible on your right.
Once you've reached the northern end of the area, the trail will move away from the river, crossing Sand Creek. Once you reach the access trail, follow it south and east until you arrive back at the parking lot.
The Louisville Swamp Unit was once home to a Wahpeton Sioux village called Inyan Ceyaka Otonwe (Little Rapids). The unit’s Mazomani Trail
is named after a Wahpeton chief. Jean-Baptiste Faribault built a fur trading post near the village in 1802 and lived here for seven years. The exact site of the village and trading post are lost, but the remains of two historic farmsteads are still visible. The Ehmiller Farmstead is in ruins, but at the Jabs Farm, two buildings have been restored and a third stabilized. The barn was built in 1880 by Robert and Anna Riedel. Frederick Jabs bought the 379 acre farmstead in 1905 and his family lived there as subsistence farmers until 1952.