Minnesota Hiking, Nature May 24, 2017
11 Glorious Waterfront Trails In Minnesota To Take On A Summer’s Day
Summer in Minnesota gets pretty humid. But because the season is so short, we Minnesotans would rather not resort to the air-conditioned indoors to escape the heat. In a state with more than 10,000 lakes, it’s much better – and maybe much easier – to find a nice lake or stream to cool off in instead. These 11 waterfront trails will help you cool off while you enjoy the outdoors.
1. Hidden Falls Trail
At St. Paul's Hidden Falls Regional Park, this trail is just the thing you need to cool down on a hot day. At 1.2 miles, it's a pretty short walk that leads to a nice, refreshing waterfall.
2. Nerstrand-Big Woods State Park Loop
This trail is a bit long, but it's a great day trip if you're in the mood for a longer hike. At 8.3 miles, it'll take a few hours to complete. But when you feel the mist of the little-known Hidden Falls, it'll all be worth it.
3. Wolf Creek Falls Trail
You'd be hard pressed to find a state park as lovely as Banning. With many hiking trails along a rushing river, it's one of Minnesota's best. The 1.5-mile Wolf Creek Falls Trail in the park prove it. The fast-moving water will cool you down enough to enjoy the rest of this beautiful park.
4. Kadunce River Wayside Trail
Here's a little-known trail near Grand Marais that is
definitely worth a visit. That goes double when the weather is warm. You'll pass several small waterfalls on this 1.2-mile trail. Once you've cooled off, take a minute to enjoy the gorgeous North Shore scenery. This trail has all the makings for a perfect summer day.
5. Pipestone National Monument Trail
This 1.2-mile trail at Pipestone National Monument takes you to the beautiful Winnewissa Falls. Surrounded in the pink quartzite native to the area, it's a unique view that you just can't get anywhere else in Minnesota.
6. Vermillion River Trail
This trail is a 5.7-mile loop along the Vermillion River in Hastings. The trail starts in Lake Rebecca County Park, a scenic area that is perfect for a great day outside.
7. River Trail Loop
This trail is at Wild River State Park near North Branch. At 5.7 miles long, it's not the shortest trail on this list. But it leads you along the scenic St. Croix River. Aside from the cooling river views, you'll also trek through grassy prairie and thick woodlands.
8. Minneopa State Park Loop
Minneopa Falls is the tallest waterfall in southern Minnesota. For that reason, it's definitely worth a visit. Luckily, it's pretty easy to reach. A 3.3-mile trek through the park will lead you straight to it.
9. Mille Lacs Loop - Mille Lacs Kathio State Park
Mille Lacs Kathio State Park is not the most well-known park in Minnesota, but don't let that stop you from taking a visit. This loop is 4.7 miles and leads alongside a lovely, calm river. It's the perfect spot to spend a lazy day outside.
10. Rum River Regional Trail
This trail is 6.2 miles and is rated moderately difficult. But if you're up for the challenge, you'll be treated to the beauty of the Rum River near Anoka. Part of the trail also passes through town, so it is an interesting, diverse trail for anyone who chooses to follow it.
11. Eagle Mountain Trail
6.4 mile in and out passes lakes whale lake
This trail is perhaps the most challenging on the list, but it is completely worth it. The entire length of its 6.4 miles is unpaved, leading up to Minnesota's highest point. Along the way, you'll pass Whale Lake, a refreshing spot buried deep in Minnesota's northern woods. But don't stop there. The view from the top of Minnesota is a must-see.
Have you hiked any of these waterfront trails? Let us know your favorites! For more great hikes, check out this list of
12 Minnesota hiking trails under 3 miles.