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Great River Bluffs State Park, Winona

4.5
#4 of 15 in Things to do in Winona
Geologic Formation State Park
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 Traveler Rating
71 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • This park offers miles of hiking trails with gorgeous views of the Mississippi and the bluffs that line the river. I will be back!  more »
  • We took the longest hike up to the view point. They say it takes 2 hours but it only took us 1 at a good pace. Great signage, trail maintenance, and great views. I would recommend!  more »
  • We hiked the 2.5 mile Minnesota State Park Hiking Club trail. It includes varied terrain, interpretive signs, and beautiful views.  more »
Google
  • Great park. We stayed in the cart in spots. Easy and very private. Beautiful views a short walk from the campsite
  • Nice state park with good camping and hiking options. It rained while we were there but everything was marked and easy to find.
  • Well kept park, with good separation between campers. although the camping spots a little small for tenting.
  • Perfect for the well provisioned car campers. Nice outhouse facilities and close enough for a morning drive to quick trip for the squeamish, ha.
  • It is a beautiful park and there's tons to explore. My only issue is the cost of a camp site seems pretty expensive for a primitive site.

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