4357 W River Pkwy, Minneapolis, MN 55406, USA
Dawn until Dusk
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Hiking fun right in the city on the Winchell Trail.
The Winchell Trail is a beautiful five-mile round hike in Minneapolis. This low- to moderate-crowd hiking path is located near Minnehaha Falls and offers a far less-crowded, yet equally beautiful hiking option for families in Minneapolis. Nestled along a gorge flanking the Mississippi river, Winchell Trail can be tricky to find - but so worth it!
The entrance is relatively unmarked near Franklin Avenue and 44th Street. Here, you'll find a small parking lot facing the Mississippi River. Park here, and walk toward the river through the open ground area, located to the right of the parking lot. This will lead you to the entrance sign, which also details the background of the trail (worth a quick read). From here, you can find a small staircase on your left that leads into the trail. This hiking-only trail is separate from the bike trail, offering families a safe place to explore the woods and enjoy views of the river.
There is a paved trail along the top of the gorge, with other rustic trails leading into wooded areas closer to the river. Due to its proximity to the river, families can expect muddy conditions on some parts of the trail. This is especially true on the paths closest to the river. Rain boots or winter boots are recommended following rain or heavy snowmelt. Leashed dogs are also permitted on the trail.
What Kids Will Love
Due to its rustic nature, kids will love being able to poke around the woods in an urban area. In fact, in some places, you'll be hard-pressed to realize you're in the middle of Minneapolis! My daughter loves racing through the trails, spotting birds, and finding the best view of the river. This hike is also perfect for young hikers ready for something a little more strenuous than a typical walk. In some parts, you may need to crawl over fallen trees - making it all the more adventurous for kids! Parents will love that Winchell Trail is heavily shaded, making it perfect for warmer days or poor-weather days when you just need to get out!