This week's travel post will be the last of my fall hiking adventures, then I won't have anything to share with you for a while until we do our Valentine's Day weekend getaway. 😞 We won't be going on any more trips until spring. But my fall travel post is a good one, for we went to a beautiful park in Minnesota that we had never been to before: Great River Bluff State Park.
Great River Bluffs State Park has six and one half miles of easy trails with scenic overlooks of the Mississippi River Valley. Unfortunately, we were a little short on time so we weren't able to do all the trails, but we did see the highlights. Now we just have a great excuse to go back!
The first trail we took was King's Bluff. This is a 2.5 mile out and back trail that takes you through a forest to an overlook. Because this is a park where you drive to the top, then get out and hike, all the trails are very level. No mountain climbing involved!
When you get to the end of the trail, you have two views: this one of the Mississippi River, then just turn around and you will see the next view of the valley in the second photo.
You can just park your car and hike all the trails at once, but because we were short on time, we kept getting back in the car and driving to the next overlook. Our next stop was just a pull over along the road. The Mississippi River looked so breath taking through the dark canopy of the forest trees.
(Hill of Many Timbers Overlook)
I had read that the Hill of Many Timbers was the best view in the park, so I did not want to miss it. It is a very short trail from the campground, but you can't park there if you're not camping. There is a small parking lot near the East Overlook, but during busy times you may not be able to find a spot. It is only 0.6 miles out-and-back, and the forest views are worth the little hike!
But the view is what really makes the short hike worth it! Wow! Yes, I agreed with the reviews I had read, this was definitely the best view in the park!
It was super windy from the top of the overlook, even though it was not a windy day. My husband took this funny video for the grandchildren.
We only had time for one more little hike, so we jumped back into the car and drove to the South Overlook. The foliage was amazing on this trail.
This trail is the easiest trail in the park. It's just a short 0.7 miles from the parking lot to see both the North and South Overlooks. The trail actually forms a Y. You hike to an intersection, and then you can turn right to see the South Overlook or left to see the North Overlook. We only had time for one, and for whatever reason, we turned right.
At the end of the trail is a deck with an overlook.
Each overlook always has information on the view before you.
Once again, the trail was nice and level, I didn't even need my walking sticks!
You can even enjoy some views of the Mississippi on your return trip!
We really enjoyed hiking this little park in Minnesota. It's the perfect park for fall hiking, and I think it would make a great park for snowshoeing in winter since all the trails are so level. Maybe I will suggest that to the hubby, and we can go back this winter to hit the overlooks we missed the first visit.
I hope you enjoyed my fall travel series!
Have A Great Day! Amy
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