The Top 5 Spring Hikes Near Minneapolis

Explore the best of the Twin Cities.

By: Allison Herreid + Save to a List

In Minnesota, April is often a month of hoping the snow flurries cease, but it’s also the beginning of Minnesotans emerging from the indoors to get outside and explore the nearby parks and trails. With recent snowmelt, waterfalls are flowing at a higher rate than they would in other seasons, making it a great time to explore and photograph some of the falls less than an hour from Minneapolis. Additionally, many nearby state parks provide hiking trails traversing diverse environments including forests, prairies, wetlands, and rivers. The close proximity of these parks to Minneapolis make them great options for getting outdoors after work or for a nearby weekend adventure.

1. Explore Minnehaha Falls

Photo: Joe Whitson

Minutes from the downtown area, Minnehaha Falls is a quick and easy place to get outside after work. Photograph the falls or check out the trails. Learn more.

2. Hike in Wild River State Park

Photo: Robin Pfeifer

Hike a 4.0 mile loop through forests, prairies, and along the St. Croix River. Learn more.

3. Hike Nerstrand-Big Woods State Park

Photo: Robin Pfeifer

Check out Hidden Falls and spring wildflowers on a 5.0 mile loop through the park, beginning at the Visitor’s Center. Learn more.

4. Explore Interstate State Park

Photo: Joe Whitson

Explore the scenic St. Croix River Gorge following a 3-mile trail beginning at the park entrance. This is an awesome place for rock climbing! Learn more.

5. Hike the Afton State Park Trail

Photo: Joe Whitson

Popular for skiing in the winter, Afton State Park provides another great hike along the St. Croix River. Also a great place for biking. Learn more.

Cover photo: Joe Whitson

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We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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