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John Latsch State Park, Winona

3.8
#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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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
20 reviews
Google
4.2
TripAdvisor
  • July 21, 2017
    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 »
  • July 16, 2017
    We took our kids (7 and 8) on this quick hike up the Riverview Trail. Lots of steps but totally doable and it takes nowhere near the time listed on the sign. If you're in the area, make the hike up th...  more »
  • June 25, 2017
    The park seems to mostly be a staircase that leads up the bluff. Not a place for those with balance problems or bad knees. Seriously a lot of steps (800+) and not always on even ground or with a handr...  more »
Google
  • June 19, 2017
    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.
  • June 28, 2017
    It's a hike, but you will thank yourself for doing it. The view is spectacular
  • April 9, 2017
    The kids and I love coming every uear
  • June 15, 2017
    Not very many facilities. Just an outhouse.
  • May 19, 2016
    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.

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