Past and Present Meet in Little Falls

By Explore Minnesota

Maple Island Park is among the scenic spots in Little FallsThe lovely town of Little Falls sits at a scenic spot along the Mississippi River, and carries rich chapters of Minnesota’s history. A driving or walking tour guide and downloadable podcasts from the visitors’ bureau give a good overview to the historic downtown district and other areas of Little Falls.

Famed aviator Charles A. Lindbergh spent his boyhood summers here, and his home is now part of a state historic site open during the summers. The visitor center at the site tells the fascinating story of the Lindbergh family, and includes a full-scale replica of the Spirit of St. Louis, the plane he flew solo across the Atlantic in 1927, a landmark achievement.

The area’s logging history is part of the focus of the Charles A. Weyerhaeuser Museum, and state’s fishing heritage is featured at the Minnesota Fishing Museum, with a large display of antique fishing equipment, an aquarium of native fish, and a replica of an old fish camp (precursors to today’s resorts). At Camp Ripley, seven miles north of town, the Minnesota Military Museum’s displays range from the Civil War to the present.

There are several scenic natural areas to explore, as well. Hike trails at the Crane Meadows National Wildlife Refuge or the Charles A. Lindbergh State Park. Observe a variety of animals at the Pine Grove Zoo, including prairie dogs, elk and cougars.

Right in town, stroll through Maple Island Park and Gardens along the Mississippi. There are several specialty shops downtown, and two large murals on building exteriors portray scenes from Little Falls’ history. Come for the Dam Festival in mid-June.

There are a variety of places to stay in and around Little Falls, including several motels, campground, a few resorts and a B&B.