Nature November 15, 2020
7 Of The Greatest Scenic Hiking Trails In Minnesota For Beginners
The Land of 10,000 Lakes is full of hiking trails! This comes as no surprise given our state’s beautiful landscape. But what may be surprising is that some of Minnesota’s most scenic trails are also some of the easiest. These low-key hiking trails don’t require any special equipment or hiking know-how. All you need to do is put on some comfy shoes and make your way down the path. As you hike, you’ll encounter some of Minnesota’s most breathtaking scenery. Read on below to learn about 7 of Minnesota’s best scenic hiking trails for beginners.
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
Hidden Falls Trail - Nerstrand Big Woods State Park
This easy loop trail at Nerstrand Big Woods State Park comes with a wonderful payoff. Hidden in the woods is a small but beautiful waterfall that not many people know about. The trail passes through a beautiful forest and is made up of flat terrain, so most people will be able to complete it. Head down to southern Minnesota, near the city of Faribault, to hike the Hidden Falls Trail.
Silver Creek Trail - Jay Cooke State Park
At Jay Cooke State Park, the Silver Creek Trail is an easy hiking trail that is great for beginners. Though it is 3.5 miles, the terrain should be easy to cross for most hikers. You'll enjoy views of the rugged Silver Creek as it churns its way towards Lake Superior. Aside from the creek, another highlight is the park's famous swinging bridge.
Lower Cliffline Trail - Blue Mounds State Park
Most people haven’t visited Blue Mounds State Park. After all, its location in the southwestern corner of the state makes it far away for most Minnesotans. But if you ever find yourself in the area, do make a trip to the park to hike the Lower Cliffline Trail. The trail is a flat, 1-mile stretch that is paved in some areas, making it easy to traverse for most. It follows along the bottom of a set of gorgeous pink quartzite cliffs. Set against the backdrop of a wide-open prairie, it’s absolutely stunning.
Circle Trail - Pipestone National Monument
Southwestern Minnesota is home to Pipestone National Monument. This 281-acre area is home to sacred quarries from which Sioux people have gathered ceremonial pipestone for many centuries. Visitors can walk the 3/4-mile paved trail through the grounds. Pink quartzite rock formations rise above the trail, which leads to the beautiful Winnewissa Falls before ending back at the visitor center.
Dr. Roberts Trail - Itasca State Park
There's a lot to see at Itasca State Park. One of the most popular hikes is the 2-mile Dr. Roberts Trail. It's a loop trail that passes through a bog, near an old-fashioned cabin, and along the beautiful Lyendecker Lake. The trail is made up of gravel and wooden sections, so be sure to bring sturdy, closed-toed shoes. This is a great way to explore Minnesota's first state park!
Quarry Loop Trail - Banning State Park
The 1.8-mile Quarry Loop through Banning State Park is a flat trail that crosses through some of the park's prettiest landscapes. You'll hike through the park's thick forest, get a glimpse of some abandoned quarry ruins, and find yourself along the banks of the roaring Kettle River. This easy trail is a must-do for Minnesota hikers.
Pike Island Trail - Fort Snelling State Park
On the Pike Island Trail, hikers get to see the point where the Minnesota River flows into the Mississippi. The flat trail can be done in a loop of 1 to 3 miles. Each option provides the opportunity to see Minnesota's beautiful landscape. If you're lucky, you may also catch a glimpse of a beaver, otter, or other creature!
Have you hiked any of these trails? Do you have any other favorites? Let us know in the comments below! And if you’re looking for more Minnesota hiking trails to explore, check out our past list of
18 hiking trails to add to your Minnesota bucket list. Address: 780 MN-210, Carlton, MN 55718, USA Address: Banning State Park, 61101 Banning Park Rd, Sandstone, MN 55072, USA Address: 101 Snelling Lake Rd, St Paul, MN 55111, USA Address: Pipestone National Monument, 36 Reservation Ave, Pipestone, MN 56164, USA Address: 1410 161st St, Luverne, MN 56156, USA Address: Nerstrand Big Woods State Park, 9700 170th St E, Nerstrand, MN 55053, USA Address: Itasca State Park, 36750 Main Park Drive, Park Rapids, MN 56470, USA