Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Hiking Minnesota

Great River Bluffs Park offers great views of Wisconsin

By Gregg Hoffmann, Beyond Milwaukee

Great River Bluffs Park (GRBF) actually sits in Minnesota, but it offers some of the most spectacular views of Wisconsin in the region.

Located at the junction of Hwy. 61 and I-90 across the river from and north of La Crosse, GRBF hiking trails take you right along the bluffs hanging over the Mississippi River. To the east, you can see the bluffs of Wisconsin, La Crosse to the south, Trempelau County to the north, and the backwaters of the Great River along the Badger State's "West Coast."

The drive you take into GRBF is called Apple Blossom Scenic Drive. It is one of two scenic drives in the state specially designated by the Minnesota Legislature. Naturally, the best time to take the drive is spring, when the apple trees are indeed blossoming.

Winter offers groomed cross country (8.7 miles) and hiking trails (6.5 miles) in the park. Summer is beautiful, but you will encounter more hikers and tourists in general. Camping is popular during summer. GRBF has 31 sites, but reservations end at the end of October.
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