Minneapolis to Red Wing : Mother’s Day Hiking Trip


Frontenac State Park

To say that this winter was awful in Minnesota is an understatement. Subzero temperatures, school and daycare cancelled – leading to missed days of work. It was really a nightmare. Then, like magic – things started to change. The lakes melted, the snow went away, and the trees began to bud. It’s finally spring time in Minnesota, and I couldn’t be happier.

Traditionally, my family enjoys spending Mother’s Day outdoors. Hiking, grilling, and enjoying nature. It’s usually our first chance to get everyone outdoors for an extended period of time. I have two children – a 4 year old boy, and a 1 year old little girl. If you can imagine 8 months indoors, then you can also imagine the bliss that comes with 8 straight hours outdoors.


A Hiking Trail at Frontenac State Park

My wife loves this tradition, and when I suggested that we take a trip from Minneapolis down the river to Red Wing – she couldn’t have been happier. The trip takes about an hour and half each way, which was just enough time to allow the baby her morning nap. It also gave us some time to decompress, and enjoy each others company. We usually camp as a family a handful of times each summer, but those trips are usually longer, and involve pulling a scamp down to the Driftless Region of Iowa.

Our destination this year was Frontenac State Park just south of Red Wing, north of Wabasha along the Mississippi River, overlooking Lake Pepin. This was to be our Mother’s Day Hiking Trip destination. We had never been, but heard that this hiking spot was ideal for families with children. Because Mother’s Day weekend falls so early, we weren’t expecting much in the way of greenery. We knew that there’d be dead leaves, deserted campsites, and messy paths. What we found excited us. The forest was in bloom. Not explosive bloom, but rather the type that we were feeling ourselves. It had survived a long, harsh Minnesota winter – and it was time to come back to life.


Frontenac State Park

If you find yourself looking for an early season hiking destination that’s really accessible from the Twin Cities, I’d suggest Frontenac State Park to anyone. The views of Lake Pepin and the Mississippi River were majestic. The drive down provides time to connect with your family. And, let’s be honest – after we’ve survived another Minnesota winter, we all need a rebirth.


Frontenac State Park


Frontenac State Park


Frontenac State Park


The views of Lake Pepin and the Mississippi River were majestic