Upcoming trolley tours will offer a glimpse of the history and lively arts scene north of Stillwater.


From bite-size chocolates to giant sculptures, a ghost-town play to a lively drink, upcoming trolley tours will offer a glimpse into the arts and history north of Stillwater.

Stops on the Art Trolley Adventures are scheduled in Scandia, Marine, May Township, Franconia and Shafer. Organized by Wahoo! Adventures, riders will join Heather Rutledge, executive director of ArtReach St. Croix, for tours, visits with artists and hands-on demonstrations.

“The really cool thing is it’s a behind-the-scenes look,” Rutledge said of the tours. “The itineraries were pulled together in collaboration with the artists, but Kerri [Kolstad of Wahoo!] also provides an experience, lunch and vino. It’s such a treat to have her hospitality and have her take care of all the details.”

The series launched last week with a trip to Afton and Hudson.

“It was fun!” Rutledge said of the tour, which stopped to paint with Sharon Weiser in Stillwater, craft a haiku with writer Greg Seitz at Belwin Conservancy, visit Patrick and Linda Casanova’s Hudson glass blowing studio and sample the goods at Knoke Chocolates.

An August 30 tour will bring visitors to the abandoned sawmilling village of Arcola, now in May Township’s jurisdiction, where they’ll watch actors from Stillwater High School perform a short version of “Newsies.” Next up, the Gammelgården Museum for insights on how Swedish immigrants lived in the 1800s. Finally, a stop at the Marine Mills Folk School to learn about and taste kombucha and other fermented drinks.

A September 27 tour will be part of the annual Take Me to the River arts event. First stop: a visit to Judd Street Exchange in Marine for a visit with the gallery’s owner, painter Mary Jo Van Dell. Then a walk up the street for handmade truffles and local wine at St. Croix Chocolate Co. Next up, Shafer to meet potter Peter Jadoonath, followed by a tour and lunch at Franconia Sculpture Park. Before heading back to Stillwater, the trolley will stop at the studio and shop of potter Guillermo Cuellar.

According to Rutledge, the tours were inspired in part by work ArtReach did around cultural tourism. 

“As an adventure and logistics expert, Kerri saw that Wahoo! Adventures could contribute to cultural tourism in the St. Croix Valley,” she said. “So many of these community ideas are artist driven or ArtReach Driven. For her to see that her business had a role to play in people’s connection to the arts here was really great.”

“Art is not just a stop in Stillwater,” Kolstad said. “It’s as vast the Valley.”

For more information or to register, visit

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