For residents and visitors of the Twin Cities, it can be hard to see outside the blinders that are the metro’s first place parks, award-winning eateries and breweries, and traveling Broadway shows. But there’s life outside the confines of Minneapolis and St. Paul, specifically in their neighbors to the south, and they’re worthy of your attention.
Northern Minnesota isn’t the sole proprietor of awe-inspiring views and exceptional outdoor activities. The lower half of the state is also abundant in remarkable panoramic vistas that will make you want to pause for a minute to take it all in.
Alexander Ramsey Park
Sitting on 219 acres in Redwood Falls and nicknamed the “Little Yellowstone of Minnesota,” Alexander Ramsey Park might be the crown jewel of parks in southern Minnesota. The highlights include a campground, four miles of scenic, paved hiking trails, and the star of the show—picturesque Ramsey Falls. If all these outdoor activities still aren’t enough, be sure to visit the Ramsey Park Zoo for a close-up view of buffalo, elk, deer, prairie dogs, and numerous species of upland game and waterfowl.
Kerfoot Canopy Tours
Do your best Tarzan impression and get a bird’s eye view zip lining through the canopy in the forests of Henderson. This two and a half hour treetop adventure features 14 zip lines that bring you soaring through a mile of sky at extreme speeds, reaching heights of 175 feet or more. Summon your inner daredevil for a morning, afternoon or evening full of thrills, excitement and some of the best views Minnesota has to offer.
Minnesota Valley State Trail
Running alongside the Minnesota River, this trail is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy hiking, biking, horseback riding, or for taking a relaxing walk in the evening as the sets on the horizon. The trail connecting Shakopee and Chaska is paved for those looking for a smooth surface, and a slightly more au naturel portion snakes it way from Chaska to Belle Plaine.