Have you ever heard of Carley State Park? If you’re like most of us Minnesotans, you probably haven’t. This little-known state park is tucked away in our southeastern corner, about halfway between Rochester and Winona in the town of Plainview. But what the park lacks in fame, it makes up for in beauty. It has some of the best hikes in Minnesota. In fact, there’s a gorgeous trail there where you’ll find a combination of river crossings and wildflowers that is, simply put, magical. Read on below to learn more about the Carley State Park trails as we take you on this unique outdoor adventure:

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Have you hiked in Carley State Park along the wildflowers in Minnesota? Let us know in the comments below! Before you head out on your magical trek, be sure to download AllTrails+ for easy navigation on the trails.

Also, check out our past list of 11 lesser-known state parks in Minnesota that you’ll love.

11 Lesser-Known State Parks In Minnesota That Will Absolutely Amaze You

 

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More to Explore

Best Trails In Minnesota

What are the best hikes in Minnesota?

Minnesota offers a variety of lesser-known, yet picturesque hiking trails. Hidden Falls Trail features a secluded waterfall just a 1/3-mile hike away. Caribou Falls Trail, a 3/4-mile trek, leads to the 35-foot Caribou Falls. Cannon Valley Trail, a 19-mile multi-use route, boasts cliffs, wetlands, and forests. The colossal North Country Trail covers parts of northern Minnesota, providing stunning Lake Superior views. Other beautiful trails include Border Route Trail, Snowbank Trail, Hyland Lake Trail, Kekekabic Trail, Mazomani Trail, Goldenrod Trail at Tamarack Nature Center, and Angleworm Lake Trail. These scenic hikes promise solitude and natural beauty.

What are some more state parks that are great for hiking in Minnesota?

If you enjoyed your trek at Carley State Park, we recommend that you add these state parks that are great for hiking in Minnesota. 

  • Interstate State Park, Taylors Fall
  • John A. Latsch State Park, Minnesota City
  • Itasca State Park, Park Rapids
  • Temperance River State Park, Schroeder
  • Afton State Park, Hastings
  • Gooseberry Falls State Park, Two Harbors
  • George Crosby Manitou State Park, Finland
  • Banning State Park, Sandstone
  • Whitewater State Park, Altura
  • Split Rock Lighthouse, Two Harbors

Read our previous article to learn more about these state parks that are great destinations for hiking in Minnesota.  

What are some fun outdoor adventures in Minnesota?

Minnesota is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a wide range of adventures to suit various interests:

  1. Hiking: Explore the numerous state parks and scenic trails such as the Superior Hiking Trail or the Hidden Falls Trail.
  2. Biking: Pedal along the many bike trails like the Cannon Valley Trail, Paul Bunyan State Trail, or the Root River State Trail.
  3. Canoeing and Kayaking: Paddle through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, one of the best canoeing destinations in the world.
  4. Fishing: Cast a line in one of the 10,000+ lakes including Lake Mille Lacs, Lake of the Woods, and Lake Superior.
  5. Wildlife Watching: Observe Minnesota's rich wildlife such as moose, deer, and various bird species, at parks like the Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge or Sax-Zim Bog.
  6. Camping: Spend a night under the stars at picturesque campgrounds in state parks like Itasca, Jay Cooke, or Tettegouche.
  7. Skiing and Snowboarding: Hit the slopes at popular ski resorts like Lutsen Mountains, Spirit Mountain, or Giants Ridge during the winter months.
  8. Snowmobiling: Traverse the snowy landscape on miles of groomed snowmobile trails across the state.
  9. Ice Fishing: Enjoy the tranquility of ice fishing on frozen lakes during the winter season.
  10. Ziplining: Experience the adrenaline rush of ziplining through forests and over rivers at locations like Kerfoot Canopy Tour or Sand Creek Adventures.

 

With its diverse landscapes and abundant natural beauty, Minnesota offers endless opportunities for outdoor adventure and exploration.

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