Traveler - Frozen Waterfalls

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Minnesota State Parks and Trails

January 2017

frozen waterfall

Minneopa State Park

When we think waterfalls in Minnesota, we often think North Shore, where the big falls are located. But there are smaller falls that are just as beautiful in locations far from the shores of Lake Superior.  Take, for example, the picturesque falls of Minneopa Creek at Minneopa State Park near Mankato. In winter, the frozen falls of this park form ice sculptures that tease the imagination; like the heart in ice that appeared around Valentine's Day in 2016 (see photo below).  Besides visiting the gorgeous falls at this park, visitors are offered an array of recreational opportunities including touring the historic Seppmann Mill and visiting the park's bison herd. Minneopa State Park also features splendid hiking opportunities with its oak savanna and native prairie grasslands overlooking the scenic Minnesota River Valley.     

  • Find maps, directions and other park info here.
  • See the beautiful sights of the park with this snapshot tour.


The List - Parks with Waterfalls

Waterfalls are magical and powerful acts of nature.  Like a moth to a flame, we are drawn to them.  We bask in their beauty and stand in awe of their roaring strength.  

During winter, frozen waterfalls offer opportunities for us to find new beauty in the icy sculptures crafted by Mother Nature. But this is a limited pleasure, for when springtime temperatures return, these works of art melt and return to the streams from whence they came. 

Consider visiting your favorite waterfall in winter.  Or plan a trip to view or photograph several frozen falls. You can find a list of Minnesota state parks with waterfalls here.  

  heart shape in ice


Discover more waterfalls across Minnesota.

Discover - Ski Trails

Did you know that Minnesota state parks and trails have over 1400 miles of cross-country ski trails?

You'll find a variety of terrains to appeal to every age and skill level.  Use the ParkFinder tool to find state parks with groomed ski trails and to explore other park features such as lodging, camping, program offerings and equipment rental, including ski rentals.

All skiers age 16 and older must have a ski pass to ski on groomed trails in Minnesota state parks or forests, or on state or grant-in-aid  trails.  Ski passes may be purchased at a state park office or by telephone or online.  

Remember to check snow depth and trail condition reports before heading out!

  child skier

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Learn more about ski passes.

Candlelight ski ice candle

January Events - Candlelit Trails

If candlelight events are not already a tradition for you, let this be the year to experience winter in a whole new light!  Check out some of these upcoming candlelight events! 


Find more candlelight events.

Keep reading! For past issues of the Traveler, click here.