Hiking in Greater MankatoVisit Mankato
Whether you’re out for a casual stroll or seeking a more adventurous trek, Greater Mankato’s trail system of more than 50 miles offers a spectacular scenic view of the areas that may not always be explored, especially if you stick to the road. Trail users will follow streams and cross upland and wetland areas, where you are sure to see all kinds of wildlife. Travel through our prairie land or hike our river valley bluffs for amazing views throughout all four seasons. You never know what is around the next bend.
Minneopa State Park
You could spend hours watching the waterfall, but you can also hike along the 4.5 miles of trails that encircle the falls and lead down a limestone stairway to the expanding valley below. Watch the birds, visit Seppman Mill, an abandoned windmill, or camp in one of the picturesque sites.
Red Jacket Trail
The Red Jacket Trail includes a beautiful route through an open countryside, beside the Minnesota River, on railroad trestles which stand more than 80 feet high and 550 feet long, over wooden bridges and under a landmark tunnel at the new southern bypass all the way to Rapidan. Make a stop at the Rapidan Dam Store, where you can find delicious, award-winning pie, as fuel for your hike or a reward after it.
Seven Mile Creek Trail
Seven Mile Park is a 628-acre county park located off Highway 169 between North Mankato and St. Peter. There are eight miles of multi-use trails and a highway underpass. Several footbridges cross Seven Mile Creek.
Minnesota River Trail
This trail connects the Sakatah and Minneopa Trails. It is a multi-use trail taking users along the Minnesota River, highlighting Mankato’s prime location on the river valley from Riverfront Park, through City Center Mankato to Sibley Park in West Mankato.
The wooded trails surrounding the Elks Nature Center at Rasmussen Woods are ideal for hikers, birdwatchers and anyone who loves nature. This features a 150-acre tract perfect for hiking and observing wildlife throughout the seasons. There are over five miles of hiking trails, inclusive meadows, wetlands, floating trails, cliffs and a park overlook. The woods are located just off Stoltzman Road.
Sakatah Singing Hills Trail
Follow 39 miles of abandoned railroad grade from Mankato (the trail begins on Lime Valley Road, just past the intersection of Riverfront Drive and Highway 14) to Faribault. The blacktopped trail meanders through rich farmland and small towns and follows several lakes, including Madison and Cannon, where there are swimming beaches. There are parks and six great cultural pit stops in communities every few miles. The trail, which intersects Sakatah State Park, is open for hiking, biking, in-line skating and cross country skiing.
Kiwanis Recreation Area
This 100 acre park provides a range of activities for people to enjoy including hiking, fishing and cross country skiing. Winter offers opportunities to view bald eagles that frequent the area. Kiwanis Recreation Area also has five miles of mountain bike trails and was named one of Minnesota’s “20 Popular Fat Bike Trails You’ve Never Heard Of” by Singletracks. It provides easy access to the Minnesota River for water sport enthusiasts.
Check out a comprehensive hiking and biking guide to Greater Mankato with maps and suggested routes here.
These are just some hiking ideas you can do in Mankato. Check out our travel guides for more ideas, and look more closely at all the things to do in Mankato on our website.