Nature February 19, 2017
Escape To These 11 Hidden Oases In Minnesota To Find Peace And Quiet
Where do you go when you want to escape the busyness of everyday life? If you live in Minnesota, there are hundreds of great places to kick back and relax, including more than a few that are a little off the beaten track. These 11 places in Minnesota are perfect hidden oases to escape to.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life. While we continue to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, please take proper precautions or add them to your bucket list to see at a later date. If you know of a local business that could use some extra support during these times, please nominate them here:
1. Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge - Rochert
This gorgeous wildlife refuge is located in Rochert, Minnesota, about 200 miles northwest of the Twin Cities. Woodland and prairie converge in this 42,000-acre refuge to create a wilderness area that hosts many different animals. When you visit, you'll get to see forests, bogs, marshes and more.
2. River Bend Nature Center - Faribault
This nature center along the Straight River is home to over 700 acres of trees, wetlands, and prairie. Ten miles of hiking trails give easy access to the area, and they can even be used for snowshoeing or cross-country skiing in the winter. It's the perfect spot to get active - and get away from it all.
3. Little American Falls - Effie
These little falls in Effie aren't quite as impressive as Gooseberry, but that's kind of the appeal. When you visit, you'll run into far fewer people. But you'll get to enjoy the full effect of beautiful rushing water.
4. Frontenac State Park - Frontenac
When everyone else is going north for beautiful nature scenes, consider going south. Frontenac State Park is just a few miles east of Red Wing, along the Mississippi River. The best view in the park is from the 430-foot-tall limestone bluff overlooking Lake Pepin. Also at the top of the bluff is a natural limestone arch.
5. George H. Crosby Manitou State Park - Finland
This state park is one of the least visited in Minnesota, making it a perfect spot for some peace and quiet. Waterfalls and thick forests add to the natural beauty of the area, and rustic campsites are available for those who desire to
really get away from it all.
6. Crosby Farm Regional Park - St. Paul
Want to get away without straying too far from the city? Crosby Farm Regional Park in St. Paul is a good choice. A series of lovely trails along the Mississippi River makes it seem like you're nowhere near the city. Many different kinds of birds are found here as well. If you're stuck in the city, this is a great choice for a quick trip.
7. Schoolcraft State Park - Deer River
Here's another lesser known - but still quite beautiful - state park. It's also located on the Mississippi River, but a bit further upstream. A hike through the woods or a solitary canoe trip could be just what you need. If you have time to make the drive, you won't be disappointed.
8. Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary - Minneapolis
This Minneapolis park is truly beautiful, especially when you visit during peak times. Depending on the time of the year, you have a chance to see bluebells, lady's slippers, irises, and more. With the addition of birds that flock to the area, it's a fantastic way to spend a quiet afternoon. Check out the
for more information about peak times.
9. Great River Bluffs State Park - Winona
The river bluffs region of southeastern Minnesota is one of the most underrated parts of the state. Great River Bluffs State Park is truly one of the best. Climb atop the bluffs for a view of the river below, with a glimpse of Winona in the distance.
10. Alexander Ramsey Park - Redwood Falls
This park is sometimes known as the "Little Yellowstone of Minnesota." If you've ever seen the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River, you might understand why. The Ramsey Falls flows over rocky cliffs into a gorgeous pool below. It's an unexpected sight in Minnesota, and definitely reminiscent of Yellowstone's peace and beauty.
Iona's Beach - Two Harbors
Iona's Beach's claim to fame is its unique pink color. The rocky beach provides excellent views of Lake Superior as it washes ashore, and it's a great place to pause to think or relax.
Looking for more secret spots in Minnesota? Check out this list of
11 spots in Minnesota you never knew existed.