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Twin Cities Mom Collective

10 Twin Cities Area Waterfalls to Check Out

Despite what the group TLC warned us not to do, kids and adults alike love to go chasing for waterfalls. There is just something so powerful about standing by cascading water. There is peace in a gentle trickle down the rocks. There is exhilaration in coming around a corner and finding what you came hunting for.

Thankfully the Twin Cities offer plenty of opportunities to hunt for waterfalls. Some are easy to find, others require a little exploring and knowhow. Here are 10 of our favorite waterfalls within an hour’s drive, or less, of the Twin Cities. We give you permission: go chase these waterfalls!

10 Waterfalls to Check Out this Summer

Minnehaha Falls

Boom Site Falls | Stillwater, MN

Stillwater is the site of Saint Croix Boom Site Waterfalls. Look for the historical marker where logging companies once processed timber. There are three parking lots and sandstone caves to explore before making your way down the hiking trails to the falls.


Bridal Veil Falls | 351 E. River Pkwy., Minneapolis, MN

One of the lesser known waterfalls in the cities, Bridal Veil Falls is a secret spot you might want to visit. While it’s no longer as rushing as it once was, it’s still a fun place to hike and explore. Take the staircase near the Franklin Avenue Bridge or park at East River Flats Park, walk toward the U of M’s boathouse, and hike the trail snaking by the river. It’s always peaceful at this level of the river.


Caron Falls | 6816 170th Street East, Faribault, MN

If a quiet and peaceful experience is what you are looking for, just outside of Nerstrand Big Woods State Park near Northfield, is the secluded location of Caron Falls, also known as Wellstone Falls. The surrounding forests add to the peaceful ambiance, and a lovely break from the busy city.


Crosby Farm Regional Park | 2595 Crosby Farm Rd., St. Paul, MN

Crosby Farm is a great place to hike and bike, and it also holds a secret waterfall. Start in the parking lot just southwest of where I-35E hits Shepard Road, and take the unpaved trail on the north side of Crosby Lake, the falls will be on your right.


Hidden Falls Regional Park | 1313 Hidden Falls Dr., St. Paul, MN

You tell your kids you’re looking for the Hidden Falls, and they will certainly be motivated to find it! This one lies just below Mississippi River Boulevard accessible by the parking lot at the bottom by the river or at the top with a paved path and masonry staircase. While you are there enjoy a picnic in the park or a walk along the rocky beaches of the river. If you have a boat, it’s a great spot to launch into the water.


Minnehaha Falls | 4801 Minnehaha Dr. S., Minneapolis, MN

No waterfall list would be complete without this ultimate Twin Cities Waterfall destination. Its 53-foot torrent attracts visitors and locals alike. But the falls alone aren’t just the destination. The whole park is great to explore. There are hiking trails that wind throughout, playgrounds, perfect picnic spots, and of course the iconic Sea Salt Eatery.


Shadow Falls | 30 Mississippi Blvd. N., St. Paul, MN

University students love the Shadow Falls Park, across Cretin Avenue South from the University of St. Thomas. It’s a short trek with a great pay out. Head right (facing the river) from the WWI monument overlook, and follow the dirt trail down the hill. Don’t be surprised to see others enjoying the water on a hot day.


St. Anthony Falls | 1 Portland Ave., Minneapolis, MN

The best way to catch this waterfall is to stand on the Stone Arch Bridge, and catch it you may as the spray gushes over the spillway. This spot near the Guthrie on the Mississippi River represented a spiritual site for the Dakota people. In the mid-1800s, falls were harnessed into power for flour-milling industry. Visit the Mill City Museum to learn more about the history of these falls.


Vermillion Falls | 215 21st St E, Hastings, MN

Take a drive just outside of the Twin Cities to Hastings where you’ll find this 35-foot waterfall. Explore the rest of the park around the falls and enjoy a picnic with great views. The falls are also located right next to Ardent Mills facility, the first operating mill built in the state in the 19th century.


Willow Falls | 1034 Co Hwy A, Hudson, WI

If you’re willing to cross state lines, Willow River State Park in Hudson, Wisconsin is an easy drive from the Twin Cities. The Willow Falls are an impressive multi-level drop, and you can also walk behind the falls for an even more exciting view. sight to see, and you can even go behind the falling water. While you’re there enjoy the rest of the State Park for hiking, biking, and picnicking.

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