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Mankato's Minneopa Waterfalls and Bison in Spring


 

Another weekend, another hiking trip. This time Minneopa State Park. We started with the Hiking Club Trail.

The Hiking Club is a great way to get the kids excited about our hikes. Rather than just going out for a hike they're searching for the secret password along the trail.

Where there's rocks Meadow will climb. 

 
It's nice to finally see signs of spring. 

Oh look another rock! 
 
We did in fact stop at every boulder along the trail.

Cool ravine? This time the big and little kids wanted to check it out.


Once we found the password Theo was ready to be carried. 

He lasted until they found another big rock. 


Meadow was checking out leaves and rocks along the trail with her tiny microscope. Theo still hasn't figured out how to close one eye, so he didn't get to peak through the microscope.

Unlike some of the other hiking club trails this one back tracks. 

This time we packed a lunch. 

We always get very hungry after our hikes. This was a much better plan.


Goofs had to goof off for a little longer before our next stop.

The cool part of Minneopa is that it has a bison area that you can drive through. After going to Theodore Roosevelt National Park the kids weren't as impressed.
 
I'd probably pick going to Roosevelt National Park and seeing them much closer, but this is cool to see right in Minnesota.

The bison road leads to an old windmill from the 1860's.


You can also spot the bison from up here.

We were here most of the day and still hadn't viewed the waterfall.

This is our third time coming to this park. Our first time was when Meadow was a couple months old and the waterfall was completely dried up. Our second time was last fall and we couldn't go down to the waterfall due to open hunting season. 
 
It was definitely better than the first time we visited.

This time we could get up close to the waterfall. 


We went down the "closed trail" across the creek and then made our way down. It turns out part of the trail across the creek washed out and it seems like the state parks just decided to let go it back to nature.



 The kids loved jumping along the rocks near the waterfall.


Look at that cool gal.


In her element. 

Little Theo, has to copy everything Meadow does. 

These two never want to leave the house, but have so much fun when get to any of our adventures.



It was great to get back to Minneopa Falls when the creek wasn't a trickle, with our kiddos in tow.

Even after we climbed back up form the falls the kiddos still wanted to play in the upper creek.

After some pretend dinner we headed out to get real dinner. Or so we thought.

I have so many saved places in my Google Maps of places I want to go to. I knew I had more waterfalls saved that were in the area. Why not go see one more? 
 
Well, we were hungry, but that didn't stop us from taking a quick detour.
 
On the other side of the Minnesota River from the park is Minnemishinona Falls. Taller than the Minneopa Falls, this is as close to it as you can get. The area surrounding the falls is private land so no going down below. Still was cool to see.

We decided we weren't that hungry and ordered our favorite takeout from Orale back in Minneapolis. It was another good day of hiking and waterfall chasing.

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