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John Latsch State Park, Winona

4.0
#12 of 15 in Things to do in Winona
State Park Nature / Park
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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17 reviews
Google
4.2
  • This is a nice place to pack a lunch and watch the boats go by. There are interesting house boats to feast your eyes on. Good for people watching.  more »
  • 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  more »
  • 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 »
Google
  • Hidden in the bluff this 600 step hike has a fabulous view of the lock and dam. Bring your bug spray, camera and a bottle of water to make the vertical climb.
  • It's a hike, but you will thank yourself for doing it. The view is spectacular
  • The kids and I love coming every uear
  • Not very many facilities. Just an outhouse.
  • 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.