The Easy 1.5-Mile Upper Cliffline Trail Will Lead You Through The Minnesota Prairie
For outdoor adventurers who love to hike, Minnesota has dozens of trails that offer all difficulty levels and cater to all abilities. It might be tough to know which one to pick first, but Upper Cliffline Trail is a great place to start.
Just a few minutes drive from Luverne, this trail sits within the beautiful Blue Mounds State Park. It features paved and graveled terrain, offering just enough challenge to stay interesting while keeping it accessible for everyone.
Though the trail is relatively tame, with an elevation change of less than 150 feet, you'll traverse through gorgeous cliffs carved from walls of Sioux quartzite. It's a natural mineral formed from sandstone unique to the area where Minnesota, Iowa, and South Dakota meet.
At various points along the trail, you'll be able to see across the horizon into the neighboring states.
Visitors also enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of the prairies and grasslands found in the park. You might also catch a glimpse of the park's native bison herd if you're lucky.
Upper Cliffline Trail also passes along the ridge of cliffs surrounding a historic quarry. If you're there in the spring or summer, keep an eye out for colorful flowers and another unique feature of the park: prickly pear cactus! This is the only place in Minnesota where you can find the plant.
When you reach the end of the path, you can double back or connect your hike to the Mound Trail or Lower Cliffline Trail to take in new views from different angles.
The Hiking Project has ranked Upper Cliffline Trail as the best hiking trail in Blue Mounds State Park and among the top 20 in Minnesota.
Have you hiked along the Upper Cliffline Trail? How was your experience? We’d love to hear from you!
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Upper Cliffline Trail, Mound Township, MN 56156, USA