This short hike on the bluffs of the Mississippi River provides unparalleled views of the river valley with the chance to bald eagles. A perfect stop along Hwy. 61, the Great River Road.

John A. Latsh State Park is directly off of Hwy. 61 a few miles north of Winona. Begin your hike at the parking lot, following the signs for the Riverview Trail. The hike itself is a short, but steep climb on a series of steps up the side of the Mt. Charity Bluff. Winding through verdant valley forest, thick with ferns and wildflowers, the stairs eventually emerge onto a bluffland prairie scattered with birch and sumac. 

A series of overlooks provide a panorama of the Mississippi River including Lock and Dam No. 5 to the south. Right at the heart of the Mississippi River Flyway/Greenway, the Mt. Charity overlook is the perfect place to catch rare migrating birds like Bald Eagles, Sandhill Cranes, and Trumpeter Swans as well as a variety of mammals like fox, coyote, and deer. Watch out of rattle snakes! 

John A. Latsch State Park is open all year round, but is best to visit in the fall to see the changing colors of the surrounding forest.  

Pack List

  • Sturdy Boots
  • Water
  • Camera
  • Birding Guide 
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RT Distance 1 Miles
Elevation Gain 500 Feet
Activities Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Food Nearby
Forest
River
Scenic

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