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.
Be careful on the trail
The recent severe spring storm (April 10 – 12) that impacted much of Minnesota has left its mark along the Trail. The high winds and freezing precipitation are responsible for downed power lines and trees along the trail corridor. This includes the most recently completed section along State Highway 56 between Rose Creek and Austin. Please do not enter the trail corridor in this area until the power company has finished making repairs to the lines. Wooded sections of the trail near LeRoy, Lake Louise State Park, Taopi, Adams, and Rose Creek have most likely been affected. Use caution if using the trail in these areas. Do not attempt to go around barricades or through areas where crews are removing downed trees.
(Updated April 12, 2019)
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.
No other fees or passes are required to use the trail, although parking in the state parks does require a daily or annual pass.
- Trail uses
Accessible Outdoors (electric wheelchairs allowed)
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
- In the area
Nearby DNR recreational areas include:
State Water Trail
Scientific and Natural Area
State Wildlife Management Areas
Attractions and points of interest
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.