Fellow Minnesotans. We may have a secret gem for ya’ll.
Nerstrand Big Woods State Park (south of the twin cities by about 1 hour) has a secret.
After completing a beautiful half a mile hike, you arrive at the “hidden waterfall.” The park has ten-some hiking loops, each only about a mile….and one of them brings you directly to the falls.
The one mile hike itself was fabulous. A great introduction to hiking especially for our kids. It was just tough enough for them to make it an adventure, but just easy enough to make it enjoyable. They both walked 95% of the hike and Evy insisted on carrying the water-backpack and snacks. (she’s a tough one! #fierceandstrong) The banking trees and surrounding gorges made it incredibly breathtaking.
We eventually turned the corner to the falls. Right now, in mid-summer, the waters are low but it made it perfect….we were able to walk right up to it!
Of course our kids oohed-and-awed over the creek-bed that was just calling out to them to adventure around.
So the bulk of our morning (about an extra hour) was spent walking down the creek-bed in the water and rocks. Dear Lord they LOVED Your creation here. Ethan jumped from rock to rock. Evy just kicked up her feet and walked in any water she could find. I lost tract of how long we walked, but we eventually couldn’t see or even hear the falls anymore and told the kids we had to turn back around. It was amazing.
Matt and I both agreed it’s now on our list of top favorite places in Minnesota. It’s quiet and secluded yet very accessible. It’s adventurous and peaceful. If you haven’t been here, we’d highly recommend it! We will be returning again for sure. Here is some live action of our morning….