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08 Best Waterfalls near Minneapolis

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A Cook, Software analyst & Blogger.
Minneapolis, US
8:05 pm, September 23, 2023
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Love the idea of witnessing water cascading down from a great height?

Minnesota is home to many stunning waterfalls.

Waterfalls near Minneapolis: From multi-step waterfalls and gentle slopes to awe-inspiring drops, there is a wide variety of waterfalls that draw nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts alike.

Many of them are near the bustling city of Minneapolis where many tourists prefer to stay. 

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Wondering where to begin?

Let’s help you narrow down your choices with our list of the best waterfalls near Minneapolis: – 

Minnehaha Falls #1

Located in Minnehaha Regional Park, Minnehaha Falls are 53 feet long and are fed by the Minnehaha Creek during spring and summer.

Waterfalls near Minneapolis

You’ll find many hikes around the falls.

There are also limestone bluffs and river overlooks. From biking to playing on the disc golf course, and picnicking, there is a plethora of recreational activities to enjoy here.

Visiting with kids?

There’s a playground area as well. While you’re there, make sure you visit the pergola garden too.

What’s more?

It’s only a 12-minute drive from Minneapolis to Minnehaha Falls. You can reach it via Hiawatha Ave. 

Shadow Falls #2

Nestled in Shadow Falls Park near the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, it takes a short trek to reach this impressive waterfall but it’s worth the effort.

Waterfalls near Minneapolis

After parking your car in the free street parking space, travel along the walking path until you find its bend.

You’ll find a dirt path with a warming sign for ice climbers.

Move forward on the path as it will lead to the majestic falls. If the ground isn’t too muddy, you can get below it and enjoy a cool shower. Don’t forget to click pictures. 

Vermillion Falls #3

Only half an hour’s drive from Minneapolis, Vermillion Falls Park is just off Highway 61 at 21st Street East. You’ll find free parking here.

Take the path which goes along the Vermillion River. After a while, you’ll come across the Vermillion Gorge Bridge.

The bridge’s beauty is enhanced by the locks with names and initials that people add to it. Don’t forget to add yours to the fence too.

Waterfalls near Minneapolis

After a short walk of around five minutes from the bridge, you’ll come across the falls. These are adjacent to the Ardent Mills facility which was the first operating mill in the state, built in the 19th century.

The 35 feet waterfall is an awe-inspiring sight to behold. Get a great view from the observation deck. 

Wellstone Falls #4

Around an hour’s drive from Minneapolis is Caron Park, home to Wellstone Falls. The set of waterfalls is surrounded by a lush forest, making it seem straight out of a fairy tale.

This secluded area makes for a quiet haven to rejuvenate your senses amidst nature.

Just take the half-mile trail that is to the left of the bike trails to reach this scenic waterfall.

You’ll witness two different waterfalls created due to the convergence of two streams. The view is unforgettable. There are many stones here that people use to cross over when the river is low. 

Hidden Falls #5

Love the idea of finding the ‘hidden falls’?

Head to The Nerstrand Big Woods State Park, which is around an hour’s drive from Minneapolis. The waterfall is a short walk away from the park’s entrance.

Waterfalls near Minneapolis

These spring-fed falls are surrounded by lush vegetation. Move along the path beside the falls if you wish to spend some alone time with nature, away from the crowds.

Got some more time on your hands?

You can enjoy hiking, picnicking, birding, and fishing in the park. There’s also a boat launch if you wish to go for an enjoyable ride. Since it’s a state park, there’s a fee of around $7 per day. 

 Willow Falls #6

Nestled in Willow River State Park, witnessing the 45 feet long Willow Falls is a must-have on your bucket list.

It has an impressive width and goes through many individual falls that add to its charm. It takes only a 45-minute drive from Minneapolis to reach the park.

If you follow the trail away from the falls, you’ll come across Little Falls Lake on the willow river.

This shallow water body is perfect for kayaking and swimming during summer.

There’s also a picnic area and a nature centre along with numerous hiking trails in this impressive park. 

Minneopa Falls #7

One of the most spectacular waterfalls in the southern part of the state, Minneopa Falls features an impressive 40 feet drop before merging with the Minnesota River.

You’ll find the falls on the southern side of the Minneopa State Park.

Waterfalls near Minneapolis
It takes a short walk from the parking to reach an overlook point.

You can further take the bridge that crosses the creek between the waterfall’s two drops and continue on the trail to reach the gorge’s side.

A few steps down, you’ll reach a gorge and find another bridge across the creek. You can then go to either side of the creek or the falls’ base to soak in their sublime beauty. 

Boom Site Falls #8

Around 40 minutes from Minneapolis, Boom Site Falls is located in Stillwater.

Waterfalls near Minneapolis

There’s a staircase leading down from the free parking lot towards the St. Croix River. If you turn right, you’ll come across a cave that you can explore.

Want to head straight to the waterfall?

Head to your left and keep walking for around 20 minutes. Be careful since it’s a narrow path here.

If you’re visiting in peak winters, you can walk along the frozen river which makes it easy to reach the falls. Relax by the falls or go for a refreshing dip.

So, start with the one that attracts you the most and get ready for an unforgettable outing. 

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Q. What is the famous waterfall in Minneapolis?

Minnehaha Falls is the most famous waterfall in Minneapolis. 

Q. What is Minnesota’s highest waterfall?

The High Falls of the Pigeon River is Minnesota’s highest waterfall, which is around 120 feet in height. 

Q. What is the name of the falls in Minneapolis?

Minneapolis was developed around St. Anthony Falls which serves as an important landmark. 

Q. How many waterfalls are in Minnesota?

There are more than 140 waterfalls in Minnesota. 

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