Charles A. Lindbergh State Park: A Quick Pick

Sometimes you need to take advantage of surprise free time and hit the trails. I had a very busy weekend over MEA break. Lots of pet sitting! I thought there was no way we were going to spend any time in the woods on this gorgeous weekend. Oh well, there will be other opportunities, right? But luck struck, all of my clients ended up being back early on Sunday, I didn’t work at all in the afternoon! We quickly packed some snacks, chose a spot on the map and hit the road.

Quick Review: 7/10 Well maintained trails, beautiful river views and neat log benches to stop for a snack. There were a few places with tape to keep guests out, safety first I suppose and one not so sturdy railing for a set of stairs.

This park is located just west of Little Falls. It’s a short distance off of HWY 10. Google Maps will get you there! Even the drive to Charles A. Lindbergh Park at the end of October was appealing to the eye, some of the scenes looked like they belonged in a calendar.

Trails

There are seven miles of hiking trails available for exploring at this park. We chose to do a loop trail that crossed Pikes Creek a couple of times. This was a really neat fall hike. The oak and aspen trees hung their leaves over the trail with their gold and orange colors. When the sun decided to shine it made for some dazzling light play across the forest.

The terrain was pretty easy to traverse. Most of the trail was flat. We encountered two instances of stair cases. One wooded staircase right way, the next was stone. The stone staircase was very neat but don’t trust the railing. We crossed over a bridge that had a rock bed beneath it. This made a great little exploring spot for the kids. We could pretend to be the trolls under the bridge. Near the end of our adventure the kids made a pit stop at a log bench with a river view. It was a great place to rest and reflect on our time in the woods.

Near the trail head is a little park. The kids were more interested in the fallen trees and stumps than the swing set or slide. It made for an even more exciting natural playground! Good thing, the playground was a little dated and probably not the safest.

Main Park: The unique thing about this park is that the trails are not all in one place. The main park is on the west side of Grouse Road. This location contains most of the parks trails, camping, playground, and historic markers and sites.

Little Elk: Up the road lies a little section of park that is separate from the main park, but still considered Charles A. Lindbergh State Park. This is where you’ll find great views of the Mississippi river.

History

There is a tidbit of interesting history surrounding this little park. Congressman Charles A. Lindbergh Sr. is the parks namesake. His son Charles Jr. was the first man to fly a trans-Atlantic flight. There are locations throughout the park marking significant happenings. I wasn’t able to read all of the plaques as I was carrying a toddler on my back.

If you are into old homes and Minnesota history, try to visit in the summer. During this time, you’ll be able to tour the museum and Lindbergh home just across the street from the main park.

More to Explore

While most of the rentals and extra facilities were closed at the time of our visit, there is a lot offered at this park. Don’t forget; there is a whole little section of park just up the road.

Summer

  • Hiking (7 miles of trails)
  • Canoe rental (check office for availability)
  • Camping
  • Playground
  • Picnic area
  • Volleyball (equipment at park office)
  • Horseshoes (equipment at park office)

Winter

  • Snowshoe
  • Winter hiking (3 miles of trails)
  • Warming House (Picnic shelter doubles as warming house)

This is a great little park for a quick trip if you only have an afternoon. The park was not crowded and had spectacular views for a shorter hike. If you’ve only got half a day, this is a great park to pick. For the history lover, this park could take you all weekend. Not to mention all of the history just up the road in Little Falls.

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