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Frontenac State Park, Frontenac

(30+ reviews on the web)
State Park Nature / Park
Frontenac State Park is a state park of Minnesota, United States, on the Mississippi River 10mi southeast of Red Wing. The park is notable both for its history and for its birdwatching opportunities. The centerpiece of the park is a 430ft, 3mi steep limestone bluff overlooking Lake Pepin, a natural widening of the Mississippi. The bluff is variously called Garrard's Bluff or Point No-Point, the latter name coming from riverboat captains because of the optical illusion that it protruded into the Mississippi River. There is a natural limestone arch on the blufftop called In-Yan-Teopa, a Dakota name meaning "Rock With Opening". Park lands entirely surround the town of Frontenac, once a high-class resort at the end of the 19th century.GeologyThe limestone was laid down 500 million years ago as organic sediments settled to the bottom of a shallow sea that covered much of the Midwest. Much later Glacial River Warren carried torrents of runoff from the melting glaciers of the last ice age. Flowing out of Lake Agassiz, Glacial River Warren carved the Minnesota River valley and the Mississippi River Valley, leaving steep bluffs along the latter's banks. At times Glacial River Warren overflowed its bed and Garrard's Bluff would have been an island. The area is near the northern extreme of the Driftless Area of Minnesota, a region that remained unglaciated during the phases of the last ice age.
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  • The campsites are nice with a solid table and big shade trees. Some sites overlook Lake Peppin. The hike can be rugged with stairs as we tower about the banks of water. We tent camped on a gorgeous Ap...  more »
  • We went to this park to do some walking/hiking. First thing I noticed was the beautiful views of the river valley. Stunning! we started on an easy hike then decided to do the harder one. It was long a...  more »
  • We hiked about 2 miles, but it was very challenging. The signs warn you that it is a difficult hike and they are not kidding. We enjoyed it immensely for getting the heart rate up. The "rock with a ho...  more »
  • Great place to camp! Campsites are somewhat secluded and offers privacy from neighbors. Mississippi river is right next to the campgrounds s make sure you catch a sunset or sunrise. Bathrooms and showers are nice, and showers have hot water. If you need wood for building a fire after the park rangers leave they allow you to leave cash or credit card number at the park office and you can just take the bundles of wood (honor system). Overall, wonderful campground with good hiking trails!
  • This is the place to go to see bald eagles. There are a great deal of oak trees and you might even see some white tail deer if you are lucky. I did the Bluffside Trail (rated as difficult on All Trails) and it was great--just be sure to wear sturdy hiking boots as there are switchbacks on the way down to the river.
  • Challenging trails in this park provide great views of the river and lake Pepin. Wear good shoes of you plan to take the bluff trail as it's Rocky and rooted in sections.
  • Hiking trails were well marked, very clean and not over crowded. The trail marked difficult was very challenging after a rain Lots of rocks and tree roots. Can't look up 😂. Beautiful overlooks.
  • Nice park, even in the winter. Trails were will maintained. Looking forward to going back in the summer! - Summer trails in the spring are super nice!