Throughout Minnesota, hundreds of hiking trails loop through state parks and nature areas. There’s something for everyone, whether you prefer exploring thick forests or taking in wildflower fields. And lucky for us, there are plenty of trails to explore no matter your experience or ability level. Although these are short hikes in Minnesota, we think they’re some of the best hikes in the state, and as an added perk, each one is under three miles, so you won’t have to give up an entire day if you don’t want to.

Have you ever hiked any of these Minnesota trails? Let us know which ones you like best! If you’re looking for something just a bit longer, check out our list of easy hikes in Minnesota under five miles. You can download offline maps and get route tips and guidance for any of the trails with AllTrails+.

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best hikes in Minnesota

What are the most well-known parks in Minnesota?

Did you know that there are 66 state parks in Minnesota? One of the most popular state parks is Gooseberry Falls, home to one of the most well-known waterfalls in Minnesota. One of the most scenic state parks in Minnesota has got to be Itasca State Park, and if you can catch this beauty of a park during the fall when the leaves begin to change, you’re in for a real treat.

What are the best wildflower hikes in Minnesota?

If you get your timing right, wildflower hikes can be some of the most scenic hikes in Minnesota. The Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary is a great place to start. The 15-acre oasis in Minneapolis features some of the most colorful and kid-friendly hikes around Minnesota. After you visit that wildflower garden, head over to Carley State Park in Plainview, a tiny but mighty state park that’s home to a gorgeous two-mile loop trail that follows along the Whitewater River. Between the waterfront views and the wildflowers dotting your path, it’s no wonder why this is one of the most scenic hikes in Minnesota.

What are the best waterfall hikes in Minnesota?

There are hundreds of waterfalls in Minnesota, and once you see one, you’ll want to see them all. If you want to start at the top, visit Minnesota’s tallest waterfall, High Falls. The 1.2-mile trail is short and sweet, and might just be the best hike in Minnesota since it leads to the massive 120-foot waterfall. For a lesser-known waterfall, head over to Nerstrand Big Woods State Park where you can take the half-mile waterfall trail to one of the most underrated waterfalls in Minnesota.

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