Minnesota is known for it's dazzling and impressive fall landscape. According to the DNR, due to the heavy rainfall we saw in the summer, this year's autumn is supposed to be a "near perfect fall leaf season" in Minnesota. Here are five places around the St. Croix Valley to see some gorgeous fall scenery and few places we picked out for a day or overnight trip. So grab your hiking boots, pumpkin spiced flavored anything and check these out!
We are bit biased on this one, but once you see the gorgeous bluffs of the St. Croix River Valley in the fall, you will understand why. Stroll through downtown Stillwater and enjoy the views from Lowell Park or cruise up highway 95 and take in all the scenery of the riverside. If you plan on coming to Stillwater this weekend, don't forget to check out the Rivertown Art and Music Festival. This two-day event has over 140 artists featured at Lowell Park and live music all weekend long.
Located just south of charming Taylors Falls. Take in all the hues of yellows and reds while hiking the river trail, climbing the cliffs of the St. Croix River Dalles, paddling down the river in a canoe, or exploring the Glacial Potholes Trail.
Large oak trees, grasslands, and prairie flowers line this park. Trails wind down the deep ravines and come up to the bluffs looking over the scenic St. Croix River. Late season wildflowers are currently in full bloom with sumac starting to turn deep red. Watch for hawks, eagles, turkeys, and deer while exploring the fall colors.
This 1,653-acre park lines the bank of the St. Croix River. Oak and hickory forests with marshes and rolling meadows create the landscape for this beautiful park. Camp overnight, fish on the St. Croix, bird watch, or canoe down the river to see some incredible fall colors.
Over 18 miles of autumn colors can be viewed on the Gateway Trail. The trail begins in St. Paul and end north in Pine Point Park, just outside of Stillwater. Bike, ride, run, walk, horseback ride, or in-line skate on this wonderful trail, we do all the time. Take a slight detour on Brown's Creek trail (about 4 miles from the end of the trail if you are heading north) to head to downtown Stillwater.
Day or Overnight Trips
On the eastern side of the Mississippi in Wisconsin is 6,446 acres of gorgeous fall setting with various wildlife, oak savannas, marches and bottomland forests. Located just across from Winona, you can spot migratory birds such as the sandhill crane and monarchs as they make their way south. Deer sightings increase as they enter their mating season and the fall foliage is abundant. Just the beautiful drive down along the bluffs of the Mississippi, either on the Wisconsin or Minnesota side is worth the 2-hour drive to the refuge.
Located 15 miles east of Hinkley, this 34,000-acre park covers 21 miles of the St. Croix River. Canoe on the St. Croix or the scenic Kettle River to view the beautiful landscape. Take in the sights and smells of autumn on the extensive trail system and camp overnight. The St. Croix State Park boasts aspen, conifers, eagles, owls, raccoons, grey and red fox, deer, bobcats, bears, and the occasional eastern timber wolf.
Known as the gateway to the North Shore, Gooseberry Falls has north woods, 5 stunning waterfalls, a river gorge, and spectacular views of the Lake Superior shoreline. Evergreen, aspen, birch forest, and vibrant fall flowers cover the landscape. You can also spot deer, black bears, wolves, and various migratory birds that use the park as part of the North Shore flyway. Gooseberry State Park is located 13 miles north of the town of Two Harbors.