Take a short, scenic hike to this secluded waterfall. There are also great opportunities for canoeing and kayaking on the Kettle River.

Just off of Highway 35 near Sandstone, Minnesota, Banning State Park provides several areas to explore including the Kettle River, Historic Sandstone Quarry, and my favorite - Wolf Creek Falls.

While the Kettle River is a popular attraction for hikers as well as kayakers, the scenic hike to Wolf Creek Falls is well worth the trip. Added time to explore other areas of Wolf Creek is highly recommended.

There are a number of trails you can take to get to the Wolf Creek Trail if you are exploring other areas of the park, but the shortest route is 1.2 miles round-trip. The trailhead begins at the parking lot next to the campground. Upon entrance to the park, follow the signs for the campground and you will come to the parking lot, which will be on the left. There will be an obvious sign marking where the trail begins. Follow the relatively flat trail a short 0.6 miles to reach the falls.

Once you get to Wolf Creek Falls, you will feel as though you have found a waterfall in the middle of nowhere. Going in the spring or early summer is ideal as the water levels will still be high enough to produce the waterfall as it is pictured above. There are several other small rapids upstream that are fun to explore and photograph on your way out of the park.

Pack List

  • Camera gear
  • $5 for one-day Vehicle Permit
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RT Distance 1.2 Miles
Activities Camping, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Spring
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Picnic Area
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Nice hike but needs better markings.

It was a nice hike but once you get to the rocky part by the creek, the trail disappears. They need to mark that better.

Easy Hike

Easy little hike to a stunning little waterfall! Recommended if your in the area!

Hidden Gem

I love Banning! The ferns, tall pines, and moss-carpeted ground makes you feel like you're in the lush forests of the west coast. It is close enough to Minneapolis to be a quick getaway from the city, and the falls are small, but whimsical. Just off the trail as you near the falls there are some fun rocks/bluffs to scramble over. Definitely dog friendly, but keep your eye out for skunks!


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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