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John Latsch State Park, Winona

3.9
#15 of 15 in Things to do in Winona
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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John Latsch State Park Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 3.5
22 reviews
Google
4.2
TripAdvisor
  • We enjoy coming back to this park. The trails are woodys and a little challenging -- but not too much. The view of the Mississippi River is excellent.  more »
  • My wife and I stopped here yesterday on our way back home from Winona. The State Park is situated just off of Highway 61 about 12 miles north of Winona, and about 20 miles or so south of Wabasha/Kello...  more »
  • There are many places to stop along the Minnesota portion of the Great River Road. This small state park is one of them. The major knock is there is only one trail, and calling it a trail is a stretch...  more »
Google
  • A great little State park on a wonderful piece of land. Know what you are getting into with this park, there is a great elevation change. By climbing the stairs you will rise over five hundred feet up above the Mississippi River. The over look is spectacular and you can see up and down the river for Mile's. In the fall this is great for looking at the fall colors. It's a tricky stop along the highway but you will not be disappointed
  • Lots of steps, not great for beginner hikers, but at the top the view is breathtaking.
  • It's excellent if you want a quick hike. Really small and a little tricky to catch the entrance. The hike was about a 500 foot elevation gain, but still really short. The view is worth it.
  • A good challenge to get the cobwebs out! I will do this trail again!
  • Be prepared for hundreds of stairs.

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Where to stay in Winona

The main hotels in Winona sit to the southeast of the lake and by the intersection of Highways 61 and 14. Motels along the main roads are particularly popular with those on a wider tour of the area, while family-run bed and breakfasts in the residential areas in the north of town are a good idea for those looking to stay a little longer. Campgrounds to the east of the main urban area and on the islands in the river provide a welcome option for budget travelers.
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