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John Latsch State Park, Winona
(4/5 based on 15+ reviews on the web)
John A. Latsch State Park is a 1654acre state park of Minnesota, USA, on the Mississippi River, 12mi northwest of Winona. The park contains three steep bluffs rising 500ft above the river which are named Mount Faith, Mount Hope, and Mount Charity. The park is nearly undeveloped, with a small walk-in campground (closed to use currently) and only one trail. It functions primarily as a wayside on U.S. Route 61, which runs between the river and the base of the bluffs. Lock and Dam No. 5 is adjacent to the park.Natural historyThe park sits on limestone laid down on the floor of a shallow sea 500 million years ago. Torrents of runoff at the end of the Wisconsin glaciation 10,000 years ago carved the bed of the Mississippi River down into this limestone, leaving high bluffs along its banks. The park is situated in the Driftless Area, an atypically rugged region of the Upper Midwest because it was never glaciated and covered with a layer of glacial till, or drift.The steepness of the three bluffs deterred logging, and the forest cover today is a high quality mix of many different species. These include several kinds of oak, maple, elm, cedar, and ash, as well as black walnut, hickory, basswood, ironwood, birch, and poplar. A great variety of birds migrate past the park along the Mississippi Flyway. Terrestrial species include white-tailed deer, coyotes, foxes, opossums, and timber rattlesnakes.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • The steps and climb up to the top of the bluff aren't for the wimps.... It's quite a climb, but well worth it. Can see for miles up and downstream on a clear day 
  • My wife and I visited John Latsch State Park recently. It is a very small park with a challenging stairway climb to a bluff that overlooks the Mississippi River valley. It is not for the faint of hear...  more »
  • Challenging hike but worth it! We've taken the kids several time and even as young as 3 years old, they enjoyed the stairs but especially the view from the top. 
Google
  • Beautiful MN State Park. One of the smaller parks, but don't let that fool you. Great place for a picnic. Short hike to the lookout where you will have a grand view of the Mississippi River Valley and Lock & Dam #5.
  • Nice, pristine park, offering great scenic views in spots.
  • Great afternoon adventure for the outdoors type. I do not intend to give this state park a negative review at all. It was a beautiful afternoon excursion for my wife and I. There weren't facilities or service to be considered in my experience- just an outhouse and a picnic table... ...and these steps up 400 ft to a beautiful overlook of the Mississippi!
  • Small quite Park, long climb up to the top the view is worth the climb!
  • Great trails and view one of my favorite places