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Sugar Loaf, Winona

Categories: Geologic Formations, Hiking Trails, Nature & Parks, Outdoor Activities
Inspirock Rating:
4.3/5 based on 25+ reviews on the web
Sugar Loaf is a bluff on the Mississippi River topped by a rock pinnacle, overlooking the city of Winona, Minnesota, United States. The name "Sugar Loaf" is sometimes taken to mean just the rock pinnacle, which was created by quarrying in the 19th century. The bluff stands above the junction of U.S. Route 61 and State Highway 43. It towers over Lake Winona (a former part of the Mississippi River's main channel), and the pinnacle rises more than above the remainder of the bluff.Sugar Loaf was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1990 for having local significance in the theme of entertainment/recreation. It was nominated for being one of Minnesota's most famous landmarks to early travelers and tourists; a popular subject for stereopticon images, travel literature, and folklore.Rock pinnacleSugar Loaf's distinctive pinnacle resulted from quarrying the bluff's limestone cap layer through most of the 1880s, which was then used for Winona’s sidewalks and stone buildings. The mining was done by two brothers, John and Stephen O'Dea. The use of limestone (Oneota dolomite—a sedimentary limestone composed mainly of calcium carbonate and magnesium) began with the need to improve city sidewalks, most of which were made of wood and burned in the 1862 fire that destroyed 90 percent of the downtown district. Many miles of this limestone were installed before the turn of the 20th century and met with such success that a city ordinance was passed in late 1890 specifying stone-only for sidewalks. Buildings in the area also began to utilize the stone because of its texture. Quarry operations were shut down in 1887.
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  • When you see Sugar Loaf, you know that you have arrived in Winona, Minnesota. Sugar Loaf are natural bluffs which overlook Lake Winona and the town. It is nice easy hike for families and not overly ex...  read more »
  • I work on the American Queen steamboat and we stopped in Winona today so I took a crew bicycle and made my way across the beautiful town and lake to arrive at the little brown maintenance building on ...  read more »
  • From way out of town you suddenly see this oddly-shaped lump of rock sticking out above the trees on the bluff above the town. It's a real local landmark - well worth a photo or two. 
  • Climbed Sugar Loaf many times in the 90s with college freinds. It's beginner to intermediate level climbing depending on which face you attempt. The rear face is the simplist. Great view of Winona, lakes and bluffs to be had.
  • Although there isn't an official trail up to Sugar Loaf the one that people have created up there is more than sufficient to get you to the top. The view of Winona is fantastic and you can almost get all the way to the top of the rock itself. Overall an awesome way to spend a beautiful Saturday in the summer.
  • Caution:: Very Treacherous hike! But, It is totally worth the view!
  • I went to Sugar Loaf back in 2009 while visiting the girlfriend who was attending Winona State at the time. The loaf itself was awesome as the hike to it was real easy with parking near by as well. The loaf isn't very difficult to climb either and you need to seriously considering climbing it if you are out there as the view from the top is breath taking.
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