Edit ModuleShow Tags

Gateway Trailside Food Truck

A farm located along the state trail in Stillwater offers refreshing eats


Published:

Gateway Trailside food truck, Spruce Hill Farm
Photos by Valerie Turgeon

I was rolling along the Gateway State Trail wearing my favorite footwear (rollerblades) with intense concentration, as if in a video game, dodging sticks and wet leaves, and trying to predict the obstacles ahead. Note: fall is not the best season to go for a leisurely rollerblade. But when the path was clear and I could relieve my laser focus, I looked up to appreciate the fall scenery, the still and peaceful ponds, the bluebird resting on a branch, the horses jauntily trotting by on the dirt trail running parallel, and the solitude of getting away.

That’s what I love most about this section of the Gateway Trail between Mahtomedi and Stillwater. It starts in St. Paul, so it’s close to the Cities, but the further out you travel, the more rural and woodsy the trail becomes. On one outing, a gardener snake slithered by, and we once rescued a small turtle in danger of getting crushed by bicycle traffic.

But what about when you’re in the middle of your trek and you grow weary and hungry and you realized you forgot to pack that Cliff bar? That’s where the Gateway Trailside food truck in Stillwater comes in. For a trail with sections that wind through dirt roads and tree covered land without a car in sight, it seems like a good idea for a farm to offer food—incredibly fresh, tasty, and healthy food.

When you approach Trailside, located on Spruce Hill Farm, you instantly feel welcomed. Decorative signs and potted plants and flowers catch your attention on the side of the trail that lead up to the food truck. On the brisk October day that I visited, a small fire was crackling and a group of women were laughing and thoroughly savoring their break from biking. A few outdoor farm cats were also enjoying the weather as they monitored the area.

Gateway Trailside food truck, Spruce Hill Farm
Trailside's sign on Gateway Trail

The menu is short, but almost everything is homemade, and owner Tamra Hartman says she buys produce locally when she can. Most herbs are grown right on the farm—I saw her hand pick the basil for my strawberry basil lemonade. And the menu is reflected by the season. As an October special, made-from-scratch chicken noodle soup was offered, which was nice and hot, freshly seasoned, and packed with veggies and noodles. We also got a small hummus plate with tomatoes, peppers, carrots, and crackers. It’s food that won’t fill you up too much, but will energize you for all those miles you have left to run, bike, rollerblade, or trot (there’s a designated area for horses to rest at Trailside!). Hartman then sent us off with freshly baked ginger snaps and snickerdoodle cookies.

The only way to get to Trailside is by taking the Gateway Trail. There is not yet a parking lot, so you’ll have to put in a little more effort to get your meal, but it’s certainly worth it—not just for the food, but the hospitality. It’s obvious that Hartman loves meeting trail users who stop by. Since opening in 2015, she’s organized special events, bringing in musicians such as Reina del Cid, and hosted bonfires for trail users to snack on s’mores. Come winter, Hartman has talked about converting an old barn into a warming house for snowshoers and cross-country skiers.

My only disappointment is that I didn’t rollerblade on the Gateway Trail sooner to stumble upon the food truck. Hartman says she will close by the end of October, but with the leaves almost at their peak, it’s a great time to get on the trail.

Follow Trailside on Facebook for hours and special events. Trailside is located between Lansing Ave. and Hwy. 96 at mile marker 15.

Gateway Trailside food truck, Spruce Hill Farm
Strawberry Basil Bliss

Gateway Trailside food truck, Spruce Hill Farm
Homemade chicken noodle soup

Gateway Trailside food truck, Spruce Hill Farm
Gateway Trailside food truck is located on Spruce Hill Farm

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

Whether you are a seasoned Twin Cities traveler or planning your first trip to Minnesota, this blog will introduce you to many new adventures to add to your itinerary. From day trips and scenic discoveries to luxurious girls weekends, travel tips, and insider scoops, our editors will give you all the information you need to enjoy your stay Up North.

Learn about the contributing writers.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Travel Blog

Family Weekend in Mankato

From outdoor sites, to downtown discoveries, this college town offers a weekend of memorable experiences

Twin Cities Auto Show is Kid-Friendly (yes, really!)

The Twin Cities Auto Show, from March 12-20 at the Minneapolis Convention Center, promises fun for the whole family

Becoming Elizabeth Bennet

Enter the 19th century through Mia’s Jane Austen Reading Room and Emma Adaptation

Thrifter for a Day: Selby Avenue

Explore antique shops, thrift stores, and cafes along the lively section of St. Paul

Come Fly With Me at Twin Cities Trapeze

You don’t need to be an Olympic gymnast or part of the circus to feel the adrenaline of hanging upside down and flying through the air

Gotta Go to the 2016 Auto Show!

Scott Lambert, executive vice president of the Greater Metropolitan Automobile Dealers Association of Minnesota, talks about the 2016 Twin Cities Auto Show

Winterfest Celebrates the Best of Minnesota Brews

Winterfest 2016 February 26 and 27 will feature 80+ Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild member breweries and brewpubs at Union Depot in St. Paul

Valentine’s Weekend Ideas for those who are Single and Fabulous

We feature 6 fun Valentine's weekend activities that are perfect for singletons across the metro.

Stillwater Paints the Town Red

The town’s hotels, restaurants, and free carriage rides offer a weekend of romantic moments near the scenic St. Croix River.

Why the Art Shanty Projects Lure Locals Outdoors

Watch out ice fishers: Artists and spectators will take over White Bear Lake in February with a series of interactive events and art pieces.

Life Hacks for the Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport

The next time you need to fly out of the MSP Airport, simplify the process with these tips

Inside Mill City Museum: A Review

The Mill City Museum is fun (and informative) for kids and adults—the perfect indoor activity.

24 Hours in Uptown Minneapolis

A New England native moves to Uptown and shares her perfect itinerary

Minnesota Marine Art Museum: A Treasure Trove of Historic Masterworks

Winona's art museum has received national recognition in its ten years as a small town fine arts destination
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags