Work Play Earth Day postponed.

Work Play Earth Day on the Stower has been canceled due to Rain (April 27). We will likely reschedule for May 11.

Low temps draw big crowd for Amery Candlelight Hike

Possibly prompted by recent trail-use decisions, nearly 200 souls bundled up and braved single-digit temps for the annual Candlelight Hike, Fat Bike and Ski event in Amery on Saturday. A sufficient layer of recently accumulated snow made for good hiking and fat biking and even allowed families to pull sleds and push all-terrain strollers.
Luminaries lit the way for nearly two miles of trail stretching from Amery's Soo Line Park to County Road C. In lieu of skiing and snowshoeing this year, families took part in a special scavenger hunt for colored lights.
Everyone stayed warm thanks to a roaring bonfire and free giveaways like glow sticks, hand warmers, neck warmers, cider, and chili—all courtesy of The Farm Table and Amery Hospital and Clinic's PowerUp program.
The candlelight event is just one of many annual activities organized by the non-profit Friends of the Stower Seven Lakes State Trail, a group that has historically helped maintain the non-motorized state trail. While this year's candlelight event went on as scheduled, trail maintenance and the future of such events are now uncertain given a recent decision by Polk County officials to allow snowmobile use on the trail.

2019 Events

Friends of S7LST

Every Saturday on the Stower varied start points Walk, Bike, Snowshoe, See Facebook for details

  • January 1 First Hike and Bike Amery Soo Line Park
  • January 26 Candlelight Ski Amery Soo Line Park
  • April 27 Work Play Earth Day
  • May 11 Power Up Family 2K - 5K Walk Run
  • June 1-2 Free Trail Pass Days
  • June 22 Triathlon On-line Registration @ Runsignup
  • July 4 Wapo- Beartrap 5K Fun Run
  • August 3 Half Marathon On-line Registration @ Runsignup
  • October 12 Changing Colors Ride/Annual meeting

For More information: Stower Seven Lakes State Trail Facebook

First Day Hikes in America’s State Parks State Parks *

72,700 participants and 150,280 miles hiked!!
United States has 8,565 State Parks with 807 million annual visits and contribute over $20, Billion to the US economy.

Polk County is fortunate to have five Wisconsin State Park properties, Interstate and Straight Lake State Parks, and Gandy Dancer, Stower Seven Lakes and Cattail State Trails. Let's recognize these properties for the GREAT assets they are to our community and economy.

Across the Nation, Provided Invigorating Start to New Year in 2019

Stower Seven Lakes 1st day
Thousands of Americans across the nation started 2019 with an invigorating First Day Hike on January 1, 2019, in America’s State Parks. There were 1,270 guided First Day Hikes offered across the United States from Alaska to Florida and park rangers hiked with more than 72,700 participants covering over 150,280 miles. This was a record number of hikers and even included international participation from Canada where they hosted 6 hikes for 185 attendees.

Devils Lake 1st day 1
“America’s state parks provide people a place to explore the outdoors, habitat for plants and animals, and protect historic places for future generations. The First Day Hikes are away park rangers, naturalists and volunteers can get people outside to connect with nature and history and start new healthy lifestyles,” said Ellen Graham, First Day Hikes Coordinator and Chief Naturalist, Georgia State Parks, Recreation & Historic Sites.

KMSU 1st day 2
Highlights from many parts of the country included warmer temperatures leading to great hikerWyoming saw dedicated hikers at sixteen of their parks and historic sites, and Kansas, where temperatures were frigid, saw their statewide attendance figures double from 2017.
turnout include: Alabama State Parks reported having a significant increase from last year, and those that turned out received a special edition “I hiked Alabama State Parks New Years’ Day” car decal that was a big hit! Milder weather in Arkansas and Indiana led to record numbers of hikers throughout those states. In Massachusetts, over 1,200 people attended the hike where the First Day Hikes initiative began at Blue Hills Reservation. Even areas of the country in the grip of winter, like

Mirror Lake
At Lake D’arbonne State Park in Louisiana, the Boy Scouts turned out to hike in order to earn merit badges. Lone Pine State Park in Montana offered a night hike lit by luminaries, and hikers braved tough conditions at scenic Taughannock Falls State Park which welcomed 1,242 participants and Walkway Over the Hudson (Hudson Valley) drew over 1,400 hikers. North Dakota State Parks offered snowshoe and ski-related events at several of their parks and Virginia rebounded from last year’s cold weather with warmer temperatures and a great turnout at many of their sites. Overall, First Day Hikes continues to be a hit around the nation.

One participant from Delaware summed up the First Day Hike experience, "Awesome adventure for the first day of 2019!"


The National Association of State Park Directors promotes and advocates for the state park systems across America in providing for conservation and management of natural and cultural resources, quality outdoor recreation experiences, connecting children and families to nature and the outdoors, and more. With more than 8,565 park areas and visitation of 807 million annually, the economic impact to local communities is estimated to exceed $20 billion each year. America’s State Parks is an alliance of state park systems in all 50 states.

*Press Release: National Association of State Park Directors P.O. Box 91567 Raleigh, NC 27675 January 8, 2019 Contacts: Ellen Graham, (706) 878-4703 Lewis Ledford, (919) 218-9222