10 Easy Hikes To Add To Your Outdoor Bucket List In Minnesota
Did you know that Minnesota has 67 state parks? That doesn’t even count our national parks, recreation areas, state trails, or national and state forests. Needless to say, Minnesotans have a whole lot of outdoors to discover. And the best way to experience the outdoors? By taking a hike. At less than 5 miles each, these 10 easy Minnesota hiking trails are a perfect way to see the state without going too far off the beaten path. This list offers some of the
best hikes in Minnesota.
1. Barrier Falls Overlook Trail - 2 miles
Devil Track River, Minnesota 55604, USA
Kicking off our list of the best hikes in Minnesota is the Barrier Falls Overlook Trail. This trail follows the path of the Devil Track River. A hike along the trail will let you catch a glimpse of the biggest gorge in Minnesota. You'll walk through thick stands of birch and pine and, after walking a mile, arrive at Barrier Falls Outlook. Here, you'll spot Barrier Falls and see the Devil Track River cut its way through the gorge. If you enjoy this hike, you might also enjoy this additional
, another easy hike in Minnesota.
2. Upper Cliffline Trail at Blue Mounds State Park - 4 miles
Blue Mounds Township, MN 56381, USA
The Upper Cliffline Trail at
Blue Mounds State Park
offers gorgeous views of the pink quartzite cliffs that the park is known for. Visitors will also enjoy a panoramic view of the last of Minnesota's prairie. It should definitely be at the top of any hiking bucket list.
3. High Falls Trail at Grand Portage State Park - 1 mile
Grand Portage State Park, Minnesota 61, Grand Portage, MN, USA
You won't regret this short hike along the Pigeon River, especially when you get to the end of the trail. You'll hear the thundering high falls of the Pigeon River long before you see it. At the end of the trail, you'll have the option of ascending 40 steps to see the falls from the upper viewing platform, or of staying put below. Either way, this easy hike is more than worth the trip to
4. Tettegouche Lake Overlook Trail - 1.7 miles
Tettegouche State Park, Minnesota 61, Silver Bay, MN, USA
This trail in Tettegouche State Park travels just under a mile through dense forest to end at a scenic view of Lake Tettegouche from above. The area is home to an abundance of rocks that are rare on earth but commonly found on the moon! Also, be warned - the steep overlook does not have a guardrail. We’re not the only ones who think this is a great kid-friendly hike around Minnesota. The state park was recently named
best park in Michigan.
5. Oberg Mountain Loop - 4.3 miles
Oberg Mountain, Tofte Township, MN 55615, USA
When you get to the top of this trail, you'll be reminded of just how much forest Minnesota has. The loop winds up Oberg Mountain to offer a great view of Lake Superior, Leveaux Mountain, and Carlton Peak - not to mention Superior National Forest. The gradual ascent of this hike makes it ideal for those not interested in strenuous climbing. With plenty of scenic overlooks along the loop, you'll want to have your camera ready. While you’re in the area, don’t miss the beautiful
6. Dr. Roberts Trail in Itasca State Park - 2 miles
State Park Road, State Park Rd, Greenway Township, MN, USA
This trail in Itasca State Park is a great place to take an easy hike through nature. The trail passes by an interesting bog, and lady slippers often bloom along the trail's edge. A great view of Lake Itasca rounds out this 2-mile adventure. If you’re looking for a longer stay in the state park, here is a great
7. River Trail in Wild River State Park - 1.5 miles
Wild River State Park, b n, 39797 Park Trail, Center City, MN 55012, USA
VIDEO Wild River State Park
in Center City is home to 30 miles of hiking trails, including 14 miles of easy trails for beginners. One of those trails is the River Trail, which travels 1.5 miles through the forest alongside the St. Croix River and features an overlook of Nevers Dam.
8. Gooseberry River Loop in Gooseberry Falls State Park - 1.2 miles
Gooseberry Falls, Silver Creek Township, MN 55616, USA
This short trail is very popular - for good reason. You'll pass through birch forest along the Gooseberry River until you reach the dramatic conclusion: a breathtaking view of the upper falls of the Gooseberry River. This hike is a Minnesota classic and is definitely worthy of your bucket list. Not for nothing these are the most popular
waterfalls in Minnesota.
9. Congdon Park Trail - 1.3 miles
Congdon Park, Duluth, MN, USA
This trail offers a feeling of isolation even in the middle of Duluth. You'll use a series of wooden bridges to travel this trail along Tischer Creek. This little trail even boasts great views of the creek's small waterfalls. It's a definite must-do for nature lovers who visit
10. King's Bluff Trail in Great Bluffs State Park - 3.6 miles
Great Bluffs State Park Bike-In Campsites, Fern Glen Rd, Winona, MN 55987, USA
To cap off our list of the best hikes in Minnesota is a place that doesn't even look like Minnesota! But it is. The King's Bluff Trail will take you high above the Mississippi River in Winona. The sweeping view also encompasses the delta of Wisconsin's Black River, endless trees and river channels, and an impressive view of the nearby Queen's Bluff. All that in only 3.6 miles of easy hiking? Definitely the best hiking trail in
Great River Bluffs State Park.
Have you hiked any of these trails? Are you itching for even more great Minnesota hiking trails? Check out our previous article of 16 more of the
best hikes in Minnesota for more.
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More to Explore
Best Hikes in Minnesota
What makes these trails some of the best hikes in Minnesota?
These trails are scenic and diverse in their terrain offering a wide range of experiences for the nature lover.
They’re all five miles or less making them
kid-friendly hikes in Minnesota that are accessible to families. Within this list alone you’ll find rushing waterfalls, staggering cliffs and rock formations, peaceful wooded strolls, and historic bridges. You can experience a world of landscapes without ever leaving the state.
Why are so many of these hikes in state parks?
There are 75
state parks in Minnesota and recreation areas and so many of them are tucked away in hidden pockets of the state, unknown to lots of hikers. These rich natural spacious are precious in our technology-centric contemporary world and we wanted to illustrate how many varied opportunities there are to enjoy them.
These spaces aren’t just wonderful for hiking, though that’s a big draw, many of the state parks mentioned in this article also offer camping, picnicking, boating, bird watching, and other outdoor leisure activities.