Minneapolis: Willow Falls Trail

This easy 3-mile loop in Willow River State Park is spiked with cool sights and sounds: rolling bluffs, loud waterfalls, and beautiful lakeshore views.
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This easy 3-mile loop in Willow River State Park is spiked with cool sights and sounds: rolling bluffs, loud waterfalls, and beautiful lakeshore views.

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 4.9

Waypoints

WRT001

Location: 45.0139656066894, -92.6856918334961

Start NE on Pioneer Trail, skirting top of bluff

WRT002

Location: 45.0157890319824, -92.6807327270508

L @ T

WRT003

Location: 45.016658782959, -92.6778564453125

Trail passes graves of former Scott homestead,
some of the original settlers in this region

WRT004

Location: 45.0176887512207, -92.6759567260742

Turn L near the Willow Falls parking lot and head downhill

WRT005

Location: 45.0179290771484, -92.6780090332031

The roar of the river is heard before it’s seen; continue descent

WRT006

Location: 45.0191993713379, -92.6782836914062

Turn R @ T, cross bridge for short spur on Willow Falls Trail to a series of bird’s-eye panoramas above Willow Falls and Willow River Gorge. These shallow, boisterous falls create a long whitewater wash. Return to T-intersection and go straight

WRT007

Location: 45.018871307373, -92.6822128295898

Continue heading SW on Willow Falls Trail; ahead, path winds along wooded riverbank to small peninsula

WRT008

Location: 45.0183792114258, -92.691650390625

Views extend shore-to-shore over Little Falls Lake (only 18 ft. at its deepest). Wrap around peninsula, then swing S and slightly uphill to family campground

WRT009

Location: 45.0153198242188, -92.6913223266602

Walk 200 yards through campground to camp host station; 300 yds. after host station, turn L (E) onto Pioneer Trail to close loop