Hiking Charles Lindbergh State Park

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Family Hiking

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Hiking Charles Lindbergh State Park
Little Falls, Minnesota is located on the Mississippi River, making it home to some excellent hiking spots right in the heart of the city. Charles A. Lindbergh Park is one of the most popular spots for hiking in the city and it presents locals and visitors alike with 8 miles of hiking trails to explore. The park was created in 1913 when Lindbergh’s family donated the land in his memory, and today the park stretches for 570 acres in the middle of Little Falls. The park also includes a wooded campground, a picnic area, fishing, and historical sites. However, if you’re on the hunt for an exciting day of hiking in Little Falls, Charles A. Lindbergh Park and the adjacent Little Elk Area have you covered. Get started on your hiking adventure with these trails!

Kids Hiking

Photo by Imgorthand

Big Loop Trail
Once you arrive at Charles A. Lindbergh Park, there are a lot of different trails and two trail areas to explore. The terrain is mostly flat, with mowed grass, and the trails border two waterways, the Mississippi River and Pike Creek. Hiking can be done all year long, but you will want to be sure to bring the appropriate gear for each season to deal with snow, mud, and changes in temperature. The longest hike in the park takes you around the entirety of the park in a big loop from the parking lot. This trail, which is a Hiking Club route, is a little more than 2 and a half miles long and will allow you to see the site where Charles Lindbergh, Jr. landed his “Jenny” airplane in 1923. There are also two scenic overlooks along the loop for epic views of the natural beauty of Little Falls, no matter what season you are visiting the area.

Couple walking dog

Photo by Anselm Baumgart

Pike Creek Trail
Another trail for hikers, especially those who are staying at the park campground is the trail that takes you along Pike Creek. This trail is about 1.1 miles long and takes hikers to and from the parking lot to the campground area, and connects to the main loop of hiking trails. Here there are opportunities to look for wildlife and to go bird watching, as the Mississippi River and Pike Creek are ideal for seeing warblers and other songbirds. Other common wildlife includes bald eagles, foxes, white-tailed deer, raccoons, owls, and hawks. The trail that follows Pike Creek is a great short trail for those hiking with kids, or for those looking to go on a quick hike before heading out to do other activities.

women hiking

Photo by Golubovy

Mississippi River Trail
On the easternmost side of the park, nearest to the Mississippi River, hikers will find another trail. This park trail is a little longer than 1.2 miles and will take hikers along the mighty Mississippi River where they can see waterfowl such as mallard, teal, wood duck, mergansers, goldeneye, and Canada geese. This trail also features another historical site, the Charles Lindbergh House and Museum. Hikers can visit the site while on their hike, if the house and museum is open. Hours vary by month and day of the week, and can be checked here before arriving. The Charles Linbergh House and Museum commemorates Charles Lindbergh’s family home, offers an abundance of educational information about the family, and it is a National Historic Landmark run by the Minnesota Historical Society.

Elderly Hiking

Photo by Vorda

Little Elk Unit Trails
A short 3.5 mile drive north of the main Charles Lindbergh State park, the Elk Unit Trails are another place for hikers to discover trails in Little Falls. This area allows visitors to see the multitude of the Little Elk River and the Mississippi River, plus a couple more miles of trails to hike. The area amounts to around two miles of looping trails, but it offers the best scenic views of the two rivers and the point where they converge. This is another great area to bring the family to hike, as it is typical to see a variety of native flora and fauna, including some great views of bald eagles on the Mississippi. Depending on the time of day and the season, you may even get to see some of the barges and boats out on the water.

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Hiking Charles Lindbergh State Park

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The Little Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) is the marketing power behind the region. Our staff responds to visitor inquiries, assists convention planners and works with group tour operators to provide a fun and interesting stay for all who stop in the area.

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