10 Fall Hikes

Hike_MN_logo-05-01-01.pngLooking for a great place to hike in Minnesota this fall? While there are hundreds of wonderful options, these 10 trails stand out for their natural beauty, wide range of scenery and fantastic fall color. From the northeast corner to the southern border, these trails are the perfect places to enjoy nature and get some exercise in the great outdoors. Plan your trip to visit one or all 10 this fall, and find places to stay and other things to do to round out your getaway.

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Northeast
Rates: $7 daily, $14-23 daily camping fees, $35 annual, $26 second vehicle, $12 handicapped

Banning State Park is just minutes off I-35 near Sandstone and a 30-minute drive from St. Croix State Park. A bird watcher's delight, the park has over 184 species within the park's 6,237 acres and 17 hiking trails. A 10-mile stretch of the Kettle River bisects the park and has five rushing rapids: Blueberry Slide, Mother's Delight, Dragon's Tooth, Little Banning and Hell's Gate. Banning State Park is located within the Mille Lacs Uplands subsection and includes aspen-birch, mixed hardwoods, pines, conifers, tamaracks, and wetland vegetation.

Trail Map | Panoramic Tour | Snapshot Tour

 

Northeast
Rates: $7 daily, $14-23 daily camping fees, $35 annual, $26 second vehicle, $12 handicapped

Tettegouche State Park has year-round camping and miles of trails overlooking the Sawtooth Mountains and Lake Superior, with a diversity of habitat supporting 140 species of birds. The park's 9,346 acres contain a unique combination of rugged, semi-mountainous terrain, a mile of Lake Superior shoreline, six inland lakes, cascading rivers and waterfalls, and undisturbed forests. Hiking trails along the Baptism River provide views of many waterfalls and cascades including the spectacular 60-foot High Falls.

All-Season Trail Map | Campground Map | Recreation Compass

 

Northwest
Rates: No fee required, free parking

Discover the prairie of Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge, one of the 50 best places in the U.S. to observe a diversity of birds and mammals. Packs of wolves, moose, waterfowl, and 300 species of birds make this refuge a wildlife wonderland. The Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge is a hotspot during migration, with 4,000 acres of black spruces, open water marshes, willows, and upland grassland. Agassiz Refuge offers three hiking trails and an auto tour route for your exploration.

Trail map | Photo Gallery

 

Northwest
Rates: $7 daily, $14-23 daily camping fees, $35 annual, $26 second vehicle, $12 handicapped

12 miles of hiking trails wind through one of Minnesota's finest and largest remnant prairies. Hikers will encounter deer frequently along trails, and beavers can be seen building their homes on the banks of the river. In all, more than 200 species of birds, including woodpeckers, great crested flycatchers, phoebes, warblers and more than 250 species of wildflowers and grasses. The park features a swimming and picnic area as well as camping.

Trail map | Panoramic Tour | Snapshot Tour

 

Central
Rates: No fee required, free parking

12 miles of hiking trails wind through one of Minnesota's largest remnant prairies. Hikers may encounter deer along trails, and beavers can be seen building their homes on the banks of the Buffalo river. The hardwood forest are home to more than 200 bird species including woodpeckers, great crested flycatchers, phoebes, and warblers. The landscape contains more than 250 species of wildflowers and grasses. The park is bordered by a river bottom forest of elm, ash, cottonwood, oak, and basswood.

Hiking Trail Map

 

Central
Rates: $7 daily, $14-23 daily camping fees, $35 annual, $26 second vehicle, $12 handicapped

Named after Henry Hastings Sibley, Minnesota's first governor, Sibley State Park's trails wind through forest dominated by oak, red cedar, ironwood, and maple, with remnants of prairie. Hike to Mount Tom and see a patchwork of forest, farmland, prairie knolls, and lakes. Canoeists can paddle Henschien and Swan Lake. The park offers campgrounds, a modern group center, horseback camps, a picnic area, and year-round interpretive programs.

Trail Map | Panoramic Map | Snapshot Tour |

 

Minneapolis-St. Paul Area
Rates: No fee for parking or entry; fees required for some activities such as boat trailer parking

On the western edge of the Twin Cities, Carver Park Reserve is home to Lowry Nature Center, Grimm Farm Historic Site and the King Waterbird Sanctuary. Explore year-round activities that take advantage of 36 miles of winding trails and overlooks, rolling wooded terrain and interconnected lakes and marshes. Spot trumpeter swans, osprey, mink, white-tailed deer, barred owls and a variety of waterfowl and songbirds.

Trail Map

 

Minneapolis-St. Paul Area
Rates: No fee required

Spring Lake Park Reserve is a wooded area that sits above the Mississippi River. Schaar’s Bluff trails, more than three miles long, feature shady, moss-covered forest paths and expansive river views. On a clear day, hikers can see the big city some 30 miles away. And there’s no better place in the area to see a sunset. Wonder the trails of the park’s forests and fields through a habitat of more than 20 types of wildflowers.

Trail Map

 

Southern
Rates: $7 daily, $14-23 daily camping fees, $35 annual, $26 second vehicle, $12 handicapped

Minneopa was named the third state park in Minnesota in 1905. Since then, tall grasses have sheltered a wide variety of songbirds who call Minneopa their home. The word Minneopa comes from the Dakota language and is interpreted to mean "water falling twice," referring to the beautiful waterfalls of the Minneopa Creek. Stroll the 4.5 miles of trails which eventually encircles the falls, leading down a limestone stairway to the expanding valley below.

Trail Map | Panoramic Tour | Snapshot Tour

 

Southern
Rates: No fee required

An hour's drive from the Twin Cities and a hotspot for open-air recreation with rock climbing, birding, nature photography and hiking, Barn Bluff is one of the state's most thrilling hiking endeavors. A trip to the top and back takes one to two hours. The 340-foot Red Wing landmark looms over the Mississippi River. Three hiking trails ranging from easy to moderate run up to the summit of the bluff.

Trail map