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.
A portion of the Shooting Star State Trail between Lake Louise State Park and State Highway 56 will be closed while the power company sets structures for it’s overhead transmission line in Mower County. More specifically, this project will be located along a ½ mile segment of the trail that parallels Mower County Highway 8. This work, originally scheduled for May 27, was delayed due to significant rainfall just prior to construction. The work has been rescheduled for June 9 and should take less than an hour. Signage notifying users of the trail closure in the immediate area of the project, as well as 200 feet north and south of the closure, will be installed soon. Please do not enter the project area during the time the project is under construction.
Updated June 2, 2020
The Shooting Star State Trail is currently paved for about 20 miles, between LeRoy and Rose Creek. It begins in the city of LeRoy in Mower County, and travels north through Lake Louise State Park, west toward Taopi, and on to the city of Rose Creek. When complete, the trail will also connect the towns of Austin and Lyle.
Current and future portions of the trail will parallel Highway 56, also known as the Shooting Star Wildflower and Historic Route Scenic Byway. The native wildflowers and grasses are a highlight of this byway and trail. Most tallgrass prairie has been taken for agricultural use, but prairie remnants are places where prairie smoke, rattlesnake master and wild indigo, sunflowers, asters, goldenrods, and blazing stars, are found. The trail connects to Lake Louise State Park. The Upper Iowa River had been dammed to provide power for a grist mill, forming a lake. After the mill was abandoned, the site became Wildwood Park and later a state park. In the summer, the trail is popular for hiking, bicycling, and in-line skating. Winter uses include cross-country skiing.
The trail passes by several additional interpretive/recreational opportunities, including Rustic Retreat Wildlife Management Area, Shooting Star Prairie Scientific and Natural Area, Taopi Prairie Interpretive Area, and Mower County Natural and Scenic Area.
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- Trail uses
Accessible Outdoors (electric wheelchairs allowed)
No other fees or passes are required to use the trail, although parking in the state parks does require a daily or annual pass.
Do not leave valuables in your vehicle!
Parking is available at the following trail accesses:
- Adams: Located on the south side of Highway 56 (West Main Street) just west of 5th Street
- LeRoy: Located east of County Road 14 on Lowell Street
- Rowe Pit: Located north of LeRoy off County Road 14
- Lake Louise State Park: (park permit required)
- Shooting Star Prairie SNA: From LeRoy 4.5 miles northwest on Highway 56. Turn west at 130th St and park on north road shoulder.
- Taopi: Located on south side of Highway 56, between Maple and Main Streets
Restroom facilities are provided along the trail at these points:
- Adams City Park and Campground: The park is located on the west site of town.
- Lake Louise State Park: Lake Louise picnic area and swimming beach (park permit required)
- City of Taopi
Share the trail with others.
- Stay on the trail.
- Keep to the right.
- All pets must be on a leash.
- Clean up all pet waste.
- Obey traffic signs and rules.
- Respect private property adjacent to the trail.
- Camping and campfires are not permitted on the Shooting Star State Trail.
- Enjoy the beauty of wild plants and animals, but leave them undisturbed for all to enjoy.
- Minnesota Rules, 6100.3000 apply on the Shooting Star State Trail.
Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and hiking are permitted winter uses. Trails are not groomed or packed. There is no snowmobiling on the trail.