I've stayed at this park numerous times in their cart-in sites. The first two are lack luster since the campers in sites 3 and 4 will be walking right by and fairly close to your site. The last site (which I believe is four) is great. Fairly secluded, not a far hike and provides space for a tent and/or a hammock. Hiking in the park in nice but not a full-days worth. I would say this park would be nice for a arrive Friday night, pack up, hike saturday and head home.
What a beautiful & peaceful gem of a place in south eastern Minnesota! Came here knowing that besides the mini hikes and river/valley overlook views and birdwatching, there weren’t much activity, which we were fine with since we were just looking to relax. The views are breathtaking! The sites are a bit too close to each other, but do offer enough privacy. We saw a cardinal and 3 hummingbirds because they came to hang out right in our campsite! The fireflies at night were an added bonus!
Great River Bluff State Park is located outside of Winona, MN. The trails at this park are very easy to hike with hardly any incline. The trail system is well mapped and easy to direct yourself through
I found the campsites to be very simple. Each site did have a picnic table and fire ring. The mosquitos were very bad when I visited. I suggest going in late fall when the weather is cooler.
Spent the whole day hiking the Great River Bluffs. The trail system is very well labeled with maps along each trail. The trail system is mostly level and I would label as easy hiking with rolling hills. The park contains two viewing areas King’s and Queen’s Bluff.
The campsites are spacious, completely shaded, and have a fire pit as well as picnic tables. Since the park is in a heavily wooded area you do have to watch out for the Minnesota state bird (the mosquito).
- Bring bug spray
- Bring binoculars; the river valley is a great viewing area for waterfowl, eagles, and hawks.
This campground is nestled in the woods above the Mississippi River. There's a beautiful view from King's Bluff Overlook which is about a 2.5 mile roundtrip from the parking area. You could make it about 5.5 miles if you hike from campground. There are also short walks to a few other overlooks.
We were just spending the night but I'm not sure there's anything else to do. The information sheet says there are 7 miles of hiking trails, but there really isn't anything interesting other than the overlooks. It was a quiet place for a one night stay.
I think fall would be the best time to visit after the mosquitoes are gone and when the leaves have turned. Winter would also be good. There are 9 miles of groomed X-country ski trails; you need a MN Ski Pass.
There are 31 pull in/back in sites (38 is the highest number but some numbers are skipped), 4 cart in sites, and 5 sites for bicyclists (off the Great River Road bike route below the campground across from the Mississippi River). The sites are spacious and shaded and have a picnic table and fire pit.
Very Basic Campground
There's a bathroom with toilets, showers, and sinks. The showers are push button so you get no heat control and the water shuts off after about 30 seconds. There are also pit toilets that may be closer to your site. Drinking water and trash dumpsters are near the bathroom.
It's $19 plus the $7 MN state park fee. There was no camp host on site, but I saw a ranger drive through. We have a MN parks sticker on our window and paid online the day we came in because the office was closed. There was no online reservation fee when we paid online on the day of our stay.
Lots of trails climbing the bluffs. Breathtaking scenery in the wide open areas. Campsites are clean and bathrooms are near by.
I love this area as the bluffs are stunning. It's Minnesota's little Switzerland. The park isn't much to look at and there's only a few look-out point onto the Mississippi but its a nice little campground.