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Great River Bluffs State Park, Winona

(65+ reviews on the web)
Geologic Formation
Great River Bluffs State Park is a state park of Minnesota, United States, on the Mississippi River southeast of Winona. Originally known as O. L. Kipp State Park, it was renamed in the late 1990s to describe better its resources. The park preserves steep-sided bluffs rising 500ft above the river and the narrow valleys between them, which support rare and fragile plant communities. Two of the bluffs have received further protection as King's and Queen's Bluff State Natural Area.GeologyThe region lies on sedimentary rock layers deposited on the floor of a shallow sea 500 million years ago. The lower, older layer is sandstone overlain by more recent dolomite rock. Much later a deep channel was carved into this stone by the ancient Mississippi River, which 10,000 years ago was greatly swollen from the melting glaciers to the north. The softer sandstone was eroded more easily, undercutting the dolomite on both banks of the river. The dolomite fractured off along vertical joints, leaving sheer rock faces still visible today. Side streams flowing into the Mississippi cut gullies into the river banks, creating a series of bluffs capped with erosion-resistant dolomite. Located in the Driftless Region of southeast Minnesota, the area was missed by the most recent Wisconsonian glaciation, and therefore is a region of deep river valleys dissecting the upland plains.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • This park was great. I especially appreciated the fire ring that was adorning Camp Site #23. It was the roundest fire ring I've ever seen. Heck, it was the roundest thing I've ever seen, period. It wa...  more »
  • Gorgeous, authentic A real Winona Treasure!! How to Visit Winona and miss this State Park should be grounds for receiving a Ticket for being uninterested in great natural beauty in the bluffs of the m...  more »
  • I spent part of a day here primarily for the views of the river valley. Took a couple of hikes and was pleased with what I saw. You're so high up at some spots you can see for miles and miles. Binocul...  more »
Google
  • Perfect for the well provisioned car campers. Nice outhouse facilities and close enough for a morning drive to quick trip for the squeamish, ha.
  • One of my top favorite State Parks In MN! Breathe taking scenery with many trails and scenic overlooks of the Mississippi river!
  • I live a few miles away and never get tired of it. It is very full feature. There are several extensive trails a complete campground, scenic overlooks of the Mississippi river, extensive trail side picnic areas, group camp area, water, toilets, full ranger station manned.
  • Good view of Mississippi River. Enjoy an afternoon hike.
  • Best state park I've ever stayed out. Beautiful scenery and nice campsites.