Minnesota is an incredible state for hiking. With trails that range from rugged footpaths along the bluffs that march up the North Shore of Lake Superior to fairly level trails across the wide western prairies – and everything in between – you’ll find no shortage of Minnesota hiking trails. In curating this list of some of the best hikes in Minnesota, we used writer and reader experiences, as well as the extremely helpful reviews and tools available on AllTrails+ (try AllTrails+ for free and see for yourself!).

Because of the concentration of state parks, national park units, and national forests in the region – and, consequently, literally thousands of miles of trails – most folks’ favorite trails turned out to be in northern Minnesota. However, we did our best to include trails in other regions of the state, as well, so most folks should be able to hit one of these awesome spots for hiking in Minnesota without too much travel time.

Without further ado, here are our picks for the 20 best hikes in Minnesota.

Best Hikes in Minnesota

These are trails that are overall favorites among hikers in Minnesota. Not unsurprisingly, all but one of them are located along the North Shore of Lake Superior. But one thing these four best hiking trails in Minnesota have in common is that they traverse some of the most scenic terrain in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

Best Short & Easy Hikes in Minnesota

The best hiking trails in Minnesota are not all multi-milers that require an entire day. In fact, there are several short and easy hikes in the Land of 10,000 Lakes that offer the same types of payoffs in terms of scenery and natural beauty that you might expect to find on a longer trail. Here are a few of our favorites.

Hardest Hikes in Minnesota

The Superior National Forest is home to some of the most challenging, as well as some of the best places to hike in Minnesota. Three of the four difficult hikes we’ve included on this list are located in the forest. Although longer footpaths, like the Border Route Trail or the entirety of the Superior Hiking Trail, are not included here, you could certainly break a few of these hikes up into segments. The Kekekabic, for instance, will most certainly require at least one overnight on the trail.

Related Stories

Explore A Little-Known Arboretum In This Small Minnesota Northwoods Town

Explore A Little-Known Arboretum In This Small Minnesota Northwoods Town

The 2.7-Mile Bluffside Trail Leads Hikers To The Most Spectacular Fall Foliage In Minnesota

The 2.7-Mile Bluffside Trail Leads Hikers To The Most Spectacular Fall Foliage In Minnesota

The Easy Trail That Might As Well Be The River Capital Of Minnesota

The Easy Trail That Might As Well Be The River Capital Of Minnesota

Best Waterfront Hikes in Minnesota

With thousands of miles of shoreline to choose from in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, picking just a few waterfront hikes for this list was a monumental task. So, we tapped some trails that feature some of Minnesota’s most iconic bodies of water, or a combination of them, to give hikers a good representation of what can be found in the Land of Sky Blue Waters.

Best Winter Hikes in Minnesota

To paraphrase an old Scandinavian adage, there’s no such thing as bad weather – just bad gear. And we certainly adhere to that here in the Bold North where winter takes up an inordinate chunk of our calendar. Whether on snowshoes or cross-country skis, or simply out there slogging through the snow in our mukluks, we Minnesotans don’t let cold weather keep us inside. So, for those who need a little inspiration, here are our picks for the best hikes in Minnesota to take during the winter months.

Best Hikes near Minneapolis – St. Paul

Roughly 60 percent of the state’s population lives in and around the Twin Cities, so we’d be remiss not to include the best hikes in Minnesota near the metro. Like the rest of the state, the Twin Cities is blessed with considerable natural beauty – even in its most urban areas. Here are a few of our favorite places to escape from city life for a few minutes.

Clearly, although this is a list of some of the best hikes in Minnesota, it certainly does not include all of them. We hope you’ll suggest some that we’ve missed or let us know whether you agree or disagree with the trails that we’ve included here.

OnlyInYourState may earn compensation through affiliate links in this article. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

More to Explore

Best Hikes In Minnesota

Does Minnesota have good hiking trails?

With five national park units, two national forests, two national scenic trails, three federally-designated wilderness areas, and more than 80 state parks, waysides, and recreation areas, there are many well-maintained hiking trails in Minnesota.

What are the best months to hike in Minnesota?

Generally speaking, Minnesotans hike year round, but the best months to hike in Minnesota tend to be early fall - September and October - when the weather is not too warm (or cold), and mosquitoes are not as thick. Check out these suggestions for hiking by season in Minnesota:

 

Explore Minnesota