“Experience Beautiful Bluff Country!”
This is beautiful bluff country! The park contains two Scientific and Natural Areas (SNAs), King's and Queen's Bluff. The King's Bluff trail offers a breathtaking view of the Mississippi River Valley. Bring your binoculars; the river valley is a major flyway for waterfowl, eagles, and hawks. Explore the diversity in this park: oak-hickory and maple-basswood forests, pine plantations, fields, and goat prairies offer visitors excellent hiking and a diversity of wildlife. Look for ruffed grouse, wild turkeys, coyotes, and many species of songbirds. The park attracts more than 35 species of mammals, 17 species of reptiles and amphibians, and well over 100 species of birds. Rabbits, mice, and ground squirrels are common in the patches of prairie in the park. Predators of these mammals include red-tailed hawks, great horned owls, and red foxes. The hardwood forest provides habitat for opossums, skunks, Indigo buntings, ruffed grouse, and wild turkeys. In the winter, visitors report seeing bald eagles. The prairie draws uncommon species of wildlife: a lizard, the six-lined racer; and a prairie bird, the bobolink. When the European settlers came to the area, much of the upland floodplain was plowed for crops. The soil type and the slope of the upland caused soil erosion. Check dams were installed, but even so, many fields had to be abandoned. In the early 1960s, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Division of Forestry purchased much of the land that now makes up the park. At the time, plantations of red and white pine, green ash, and walnut were started. The creation of Great River Bluffs State Park in 1976 on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River Valley grew from a public need for better access to the bluffland area of southeastern Minnesota. The park's 2,835 acres lie within the Richard J. Dorer Memorial Hardwood Forest. Classified as a "Natural State Park," park staff are dedicated to the protection and restoration of natural resources.
This park is beautiful and clean, with nice bathroom and shower facilities. We drove in late and had to leave early so we didn't have time to check out the trails, but the surroundings that we did see were beautiful. You can drive in and get permits after hours at a self check-in station near the entrance.
Beautiful location, hiking/skiing trails all over. Very clean bathrooms, close to the campsites. Somewhat private sites, not very busy. Easy check in at the entrance. Car fee in addition to campsite fee.
A very pretty state park. Well-maintained, that offers camping and loads of hiking trails.
The place was beautiful. Very private and lonely. The restroom/shower house was nice and clean. It is most definitely wilderness camping. The views of the Mississippi were also amazing. Only negative thing I would complain about are the Mosquitos. They were big and nasty.
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Great River Bluffs State Park
- Sun - Sat: 12:00 am - 11:59 pm
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