Trail Report Week 7 Minnehaha Falls, Minneapolis, Minnesota

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Up to this point in the series, we have just covered hiking trails in the greater Kansas City area. Since I had a chance to visit Iowa and Minnesota on vacation, I wanted to include some of the marvelous trails I discovered there. 

As the name implies, Minnehaha Falls Park definitely has a waterfall. The falls feature a drop of over fifty feet as the water moves from a series of lakes through a series of lakes down the Minnehaha Creek and onward to the Mississippi River.

 

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There are two viewing platforms for the falls one above and one below. From the lower platform, a trail runs along the creek and follows the water flow until it meets the Mississippi River.

 

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The view of Minnehaha falls from the lower platform. While not technically do a lot of people had claimed over the fence and sitting in the small cavern behind the falls.  I didn’t feel as bold. After all, I was a guest in the city.  (but it did look kind of fun)

The Minnehaha Falls trail runs in a circular path along the creek until it meets the Mississippi then there is a bridge that crosses the water and winds along the other side of the Minnehaha back to the trailhead. Several stone bridges that cross the stream along the path, so it is easy to cut the trip short and head back.

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The series of stone bridges are placed every quarter mile or so. They give a hiker an ability to shorten their walk and also make a great spot for photographs.

 

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The path runs for about a mile each way and is a dirt path. Since the trail runs in a ravine,  the dirt path can get muddy very quickly. Be aware of the weather conditions before starting your hike.

 

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The Minnehaha runs through a very steep ravine several trails run up along the ridge, but the path is very steep.

 

 

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A Blue Heron stands sentry over the rapids looking for lunch.

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The creek has created several impromptu islands.

 

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The trail seems so rustic it’s hard to believe you are in the middle of a major American City.

 

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The trail is very popular with the locals, yet everyone was quiet and just taking the nature in.

 

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The creek gets wider as it flowed and created a natural pool that was a favorite place for waders.

 

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As the creek widens, the ground got boggier. The path became a raised platform to avoid the mud.

 

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I could tell I was approaching the Mississippi as the water flow had almost stopped completely.

 

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Minnehaha Creek meets the Mississippi River

 

 

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The Mississippi River is quite narrow at this point in its path, but by the time it gets to New Orleans the river will be over two miles wide.

 

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Fishing at the mouth of the creek as it meets the river.

 

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Just north of the nexus of the creek, the Mississippi is damned up.

 

The Minnehaha Creek Trail Pros: A stunning slice of nature in the middle of the city, A relatively short trail that you can hike through in an hour or two.

Cons: The Park is free, but parking is not. You’ll pay a dollar an hour. The trail is in a ravine and can be prone to flash flooding, The winters are longer here than most of the country, and the path could be treacherous in winter. 

The Trail is a real gem and not to be missed if you are visiting the twin cities. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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