Many trails get busy in nice weather and on weekends - consider visiting during off-peak hours if you can. Visitors are encouraged to use trails close to their homes, and to practice safe social distancing by keeping at least 6-10 feet away from others, including when approaching or passing on the trail. If you see a lot of cars in the parking lot or at the trailhead, turn around and find someplace else for outdoor recreation.
Updated April 10, 2020
The Casey Jones State Trail consists of three segments. The longest segment is 13 miles of former railroad grade between the city of Pipestone and the Pipestone/Murray county line. Five miles of this segment from Pipestone to County Road 16 is paved. The remaining 8 miles are natural-surfaced. A second, small, natural-surfaced segment runs west 1.5 miles from the city of Lake Wilson. The third portion of the trail is a 6 mile, paved loop between Lake Shetek State Park and the city of Currie.
The trail connects points of natural interest, such as remnants of tallgrass prairie, wooded ravines, Lake Shetek and the sloughs around it, which are remnants of the glacial landscape that once covered southwestern Minnesota. Historical and cultural sites around the area include sites associated with Laura Ingalls Wilder in Walnut Grove, railroad artifacts in Currie and Tracy, wind towers, and the pipestone quarries in the Pipestone National Monument.
The trail is situated in the rolling vastness of the agricultural landscape that characterizes the upper Great Plains, with individual homesteads appearing like islands in a sea of corn and soybeans. The landscape is truly the "heartland" of America. The seeming infinity and openness to the sky are highlights of this trail.
Who was Casey Jones?
The Casey Jones State Trail is named after the famed railroad engineer Casey Jones, who died in a railroad accident in 1900 and was immortalized in a well-known ballad. The trail was one of the first state trails authorized by the state of Minnesota when State Trail legislation was passed in the late 1960s.
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- Trail uses
Accessible Outdoors (electric wheelchairs allowed on Lake Sketek Loop)
Do not leave valuables in your vehicle!
Parking is available at the following trail accesses:
- Pipestone: Parking located off Highway 23.
- Woodstock: Parking available at the community park.
- Lake Wilson: Parking available at the community park.
- Currie: Parking available at the End-O-Line Railroad Park and Museum.
- Lake Shetek State Park: Parking available.
Restroom facilities are available along the trail at Lake Shetek State Park.
- Rules & etiquette
You are responsible for knowing the rules. For more information see: Minnesota Rules, State Recreational Trails, 6100.3000 through 6100.4300.
Rules about using e-bikes, Segways, and other uses on state trails.
- Stay on designated trail.
- Keep to the right so others can pass.
- Keep all pets on leash, and dispose of pet waste.
- Obey traffic signs and rules.
- Pack out all garbage and litter.
- Respect adjoining landowners' rights and privacy.
- Warn other trail users when passing by giving an audible signal.
- Overnight camping and campfires are permitted only in designated campsites. Never leave campfires unattended.
- Enjoy the beauty of wild plants and animals, but leave them undisturbed for all to enjoy.
The trail also connects with the Grants-in-Aid (GIA) trail system, which provides many miles of groomed snowmobile trails in the area.