Multicolor Hikes

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parks and rec


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October, 2019

Photo of Scenic State Park in the Fall

Scenic State Park

Multicolor Hikes

Visitors often ask about the best places to hike in Minnesota, especially during fall, when a walk in the woods can provide first-hand views of the most amazing and colorful foliage. The Minnesota HikeFinder can help you discover recommended hikes for just about every Minnesota state park and recreation area. To keep up with fall color changes across Minnesota check out our weekly fall color report

Where will you take your multicolor hike this fall?  Share your stories and photos with us.

Happy Trails!

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Mississippi Headwaters State Forest

Photo of Mississippi Headwaters State Forest

Jack and red pine dominate in the northern and eastern areas. The southwest supports aspen, birch, sugar maple, red oak, balsam fir, and lowland conifers in the meadows adjacent to the Mississippi River. You can also find white and black spruce, tamarack, and black and green ash

Explore along the most pristine section of the Mississippi River

The Mississippi Headwaters State Forest is popular for hiking, wildlife viewing, trail riding, hunting, trapping, snowmobiling, camping, and especially canoeing and kayaking on the first segment of the Mississippi River State Water Trail. The southwestern portion of the forest has steep hills that formed at the edge of glaciers that receded 10,000 years ago. The northern and eastern area of the forest are flatter.

Out and about icon

Laurencio Ronquillo

Hometown: Obregón, Sonora, Mexico
Favorite Outdoor Activity: Hiking, walking, cooling down in the water, or just sit back to admire and soak in the amazing views
Claim to Fame: Taco restaurant owner (and customer!)
Fuel for the Trail: Mandarin oranges and cashews

Laurencio at the headwaters of the Mississippi

Laurencio at headwaters Itasca SP

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Hiking & Dogs

Hikers with Dog

Dogs are welcome at all state trails and state park trails

While we all love to hit the trails with our best friend, even the best behaved dogs can pose safety concerns if trail rules and etiquette are ignored:

  1. Supervise your pet at all times.

  2. Always pick up after your pet.
  3. Keep your pet on a leash (no more than six feet long) and under control. It's the law! Off-leash pets can endanger themselves and others.

Hiking tips and a safety checklist.

Hike MN Fall Hikes Banner Ad

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Hammocks at Minnesota State Parks and Trails

Child on hammock at Mille Lacs Kathio State Park

Whether you want to lounge around or leave your tent at home, hammocking is a wonderful way to enjoy the outdoors. Hammocks are lightweight, easy to transport, and a great option for campers looking to pack less gear. Use them to enjoy a book by the lake or as a minimalist way to spend a night outdoors. 

Hanging your hammock:

  • Attach hammock to trees at least 12 inches in diameter.
  • Use straps at least 1-inch wide to attach hammock. 
  • Hang only ONE hammock per tree.
  • Hammocks must be hung over mowed areas.

More about hammocks at Minnesota State Parks and Trails.

From the MCV Archives

Hike the State’s Ancient Forests

From towering pines to 400-year-old birches, Minnesota’s old-growth forests let hikers travel back in time. In this article from the Minnesota Conservation Volunteer archives, author Gustave Axelson visits four of the state’s most primitive stands. Full story.  


Minnesota Conservation Volunteer is a print magazine dedicated to Minnesota’s wild places and creatures. For more stories, visit or subscribe.

November December 2007 MCV Cover
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Events this Month

Minnesota State Parks and Trails offer a wide variety of free programs for children and adults:

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Find your favorite activity and mark your calendar for some time outdoors this month!