|Distance||2.5 miles roundtrip|
- Unique bog plants
- Peaceful lake
- Beautiful forest with wide variety of trees
If you are camping at Savanna Portage State Park, it is mandatory that you do this hike. Even if you aren't camping, this is the best easy hike in the park and you shouldn't miss it. Shumway Lake is closed to boats with gasoline engines, so the only noise you will hear will be the wind in the trees and the gentle splashing of water on the shore. This is probably one of the most perfect after dinner hikes in Minnesota because of its proximity to the campground; you can simply walk to the other side of the lake and watch the sunset without having to drive somewhere else. I just couldn't get enough of this lake, so now you can enjoy the most pictures I've included in a post as of yet.
Dogs are allowed on leash, and this is the most family friendly hike in the park, especially since you can access the trailhead directly from the campground. This trail is good in all seasons, though the trail can be wet and muddy in some areas after a good rain. In the winter, the trail is ungroomed and open to all uses, hiking included, although the bog boardwalk is closed. You can easily predict how busy the trail will be based on the number of occupied campsites; you are unlikely to be alone except at night or early early morning.
From the parking lot, walk toward the lake and look for the clearly marked Shumway Lake trailhead on the left. In 1/3 mile, you will have the option to turn left to visit the bog boardwalk; this side trip is about half a mile roundtrip and is included in the distance listed for this hike. Interpretive signs line the boardwalk and inform you about the peat bog environment around you. Walk slowly and look closely at the ground to observe the many unique plants that thrive here, like the carnivorous pitcher plant pictured below. The end of the boardwalk overlooks the small lake in the second picture below.
This hike is truly a magical journey and a great introduction to Savanna Portage State Park. Hopefully you chose to stay here for more than one day so you can experience the fantastic scenery throughout the rest of the park. As a parting gift, I will show you another picture of a storm blowing over Shumway Lake. Let me know what you think in the comments section below and be sure to use #nocoastbestcoast on Twitter and Instagram!
From the Twin Cities, take Interstate 35W north to U.S. Highway 10 west. In Blaine, exit for Minnesota Highway 65 (Central Avenue) and turn right. Follow Minnesota Highway 65 north for about 2 hours. In McGregor, turn left, then turn right to stay on Minnesota Highway 65. Turn right on Lake Ave (County Road 14) and continue straight until the park. Pay your fee at the park office on the right, then turn right and follow the dirt road approximately 1.5 miles to the boat launch area and parking lot.
Google Maps Directions
Parking, Fees, and Facilities
Like all Minnesota State Parks and Recreation Areas, you must pay a vehicle entry fee of $7 per day or $35 for an annual pass (highly recommended if you frequently go to Minnesota State Parks). There is a vault toilet, boat launch, fishing dock, and several canoes and small boats for rent (pay at the park office) near this lot.