Top Fall Metro Hikes

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October 11, 2018

leaves in fall

Fall officially arrived on Sept. 22, but folks in the Twin Cities didn’t start to feel Autumn’s chill until the following week. The change in season gets everyone in the mood for apple orchards, pumpkin patches and fall hiking. In the Twin Cities and southern Minnesota, you still have some time before colorful fall foliage reaches its peak. There is no better time to take in the crisp weather and go out for a fall hiking trip. Don’t know where to start? Our team members shared their favorite local fall hiking trails to give you a few ideas.

Elm Creek Park Reserve

12400 James Deane Parkway, Maple Grove, MN 55369

With over 50 miles of trails for hiking, Elm Creek is a wonderful place to explore. Multi-use turf trails are found throughout the park. The park reserve’s paved trails afford breathtaking views of woodlands, wetlands, and old farm fields. The trail system is connected to city trails in Maple Grove, Dayton and Champlin, and to the Rush Creek and Medicine Lake Regional Trails.

Fall Hiking – Lighted Trails: Hike under the lights this fall! The Northern Lights Trail at Elm Creek has lights on until 9 p.m. Lights turn off when the winter trail operations begin (typically after 2–3 inches of snowfall).

“The trails are endless and there is so much to explore. And the views are absolutely breathtaking.”

– North Memorial Health team member

Minnehaha Falls Regional Park 

4801 S Minnehaha Drive, Minneapolis, MN 55417

Wooded trails along the Mississippi River and a 53-foot waterfall puts Minnehaha Falls at the top of the list for fall foliage. Walk the stairs to get a view of the falls from below or take a longer hike to the junction of Minnehaha Creek and the Mississippi River. Minnehaha Falls Regional Park is part of Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway System, a 51-mile loop of connected parks in the Minneapolis area.

“An oldie but a goodie – I’ll never get tired of touring Minnehaha Falls. It’s also one of my favorite spots to take out of town visitors!”

– North Memorial Health team member

Interstate State Park

307 Miltown Road, Taylors Falls, MN 55084

Interstate Park is located on the southern edge of Taylors Falls, along the St. Croix River. This popular campground, also the first interstate park in the nation, sits on the border of Minnesota and Wisconsin. From cliff climbing, to kayaking, to hiking, there is so much to do at the park. Especially popular in the fall, you can traverse the park’s unique geology any time of the year by trail, water, or rock face. Whatever your preferred method of exploration, there’s something for everyone.

“Lovely scenery. Great place to view fall foliage, take a hike and climb cliffs.”

– North Memorial Health team member

Quaking Bog at Theodore Wirth Regional Park 

Theodore Wirth Parkway, south of Glenwood Ave., Minneapolis, MN 55411

A truly unique and rare ecosystem, the Quaking Bog is a 5-acre acid bog where grasses, mosses, mushrooms and tamarack trees all weave together to create what looks like a normal floor to wooded area. The bog is circled by a floating path way is the only thing separating visitors and the wet, swampy ground.

“The Quaking Bog is such a hidden gem. It’s right in the city but it feels like something you’d find on an adventure far, far away from a place like Minneapolis. Check out the Eloise Butler Flower Garden and Bird Sanctuary next door as well!”

– North Memorial Health team member

Dog with fall leaves

Silverwood Park

2500 County Road E, St. Anthony, MN 55421

Even though it is only minutes away from downtown Minneapolis, Silverwood Park feels like it’s a secluded nature reserve. The park includes lakeviews, an art gallery, outdoor amphitheater and a hiking trail decorated with art pieces. The sculptures are distributed along the trail to promote appreciation and awareness of creative interactions between people and nature.

“I had a great time here with friends. There are a lot of great photo ops in the area. The art was pretty fun to look out too – very interactive!”

– North Memorial Health team member

Now that our team members told you where they like to go, get outside and try a trail! The Twin Cities fall foliage will be past peak in a matter of weeks. Use the Fall Color Finder from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to follow along as leaves change color across the state. 

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