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Whitewater State Park Dakota Trails Loop

MODERATE 129 reviews
#1 of 1 trails in

Whitewater State Park Dakota Trails Loop is a 3.9 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Altura, Minnesota that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 3.9 miles Elevation Gain: 1,033 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

walking

bird watching

running

beach

cave

forest

lake

river

views

wildlife

bugs

rocky

snow

The blufflands of southeastern Minnesota are are well represented by Whitewater State Park with its dolomite cliffs, trout streams, and hardwood forests.

hiking
muddy
off trail
rocky
scramble
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

First off this trail is a combination of the Dakota trail and Chimney Rock Trail and works out to be about 5 miles. This needs to be updated by the AllTrails staff as it could have an impact on those planning for a 3.9 mile hike and instead getting a 5 mile hike. Other than that this is a great hike.

hiking
4 months ago

Overall great hike with nice views from atop the bluffs. My wife and I brought our dog and he did fine on the trails but struggled a bit on the steeper steps at the beginning. Lots of monarch butterflies out today.

hiking
4 months ago

This is my go to hike since it's only 20 minutes away. Takes me 2 hrs to do the entire loop. The nice part is that you can do 1, 2 or 3 bluffs depending upon your time or desire. I would rate it as easy/moderate and I'm not in that great of shape. The sign at the beginning of the trail rates it as difficult and taking 3.5 hrs. The most difficult part is the 342 steps at the beginning across from the store. I see very few people on this trail.

Moderate hike with lots of ups and downs. Mostly wooded with lots of shade. Many great vistas over the valleys.

hiking
over grown
5 months ago

A little overgrown in spots in late July - maybe all the rain in the area this summer? Not too buggy. Dry to start and then we were caught in a rogue thunderstorm and it was quite muddy toward the end.

hiking
6 months ago

Didn’t see too many bugs (mid July). Grass gets almost shoulder high at one point, but just for a small portion of the hike. Daily parking pass is $7, they do take credit cards

hiking
6 months ago

Old favorite. However it is much longer than the advertised 3.9. I put it at 5.1.

running
7 months ago

Fun trail running keeps the heart rate up due to lots of inclines. Lots of rocks and narrow trails so have to watch your footing but that’s part of the fun! Only downside ... the Gnats are horrible and I had lots of spray

hiking
bugs
7 months ago

Tons of bugs this time of year. Not a difficult hike. Would have really enjoyed the hike if the bugs weren't bad.

Our favorite hike in MN. Did a double loop. Very buggy today.

hiking
8 months ago

Awesome trail! Gave us a serious workout carrying our boys on our backs. Great views all along the hike.

hiking
8 months ago

We found over 7 miles to keep us hiking for over 3 hours. Lots of great lookouts.

hiking
8 months ago

trail was in good condition. I saw two groups out training to backpack. I saw a fawn laying on the ground waiting for her mother. the views were great. lots of up and downs.

hiking
Sat Dec 08 2018

This is my favorite hiking trail in Minnesota. It's consistent incline and keeps the heart rate up. I love it! In the winter make sure to wear snow shoes or spikes as it was very dangerously slippery last year.

hiking
Fri Nov 16 2018

It was a long and little hard trail. We didn’t have any snacks to help with the hike. We got very hungry.

hiking
Wed Oct 17 2018

Great trails! Many cliff overlooks, a few areas of steep bluff trails, and a lot of beautiful nature. I went a few days after heavy rain and only found a couple of small muddy areas. Met only 3 other people while on the trail, extremely quiet and peaceful! Would not recommend small children, some areas of trails are narrow at some areas of bluffs.

Sun Sep 16 2018

Good trail. Nice variety.

Tue Aug 14 2018

One of the best in the area.

hiking
Fri Aug 03 2018

Great rolling hills

hiking
Sun Jul 29 2018

We did the Coyote Point Section of the trail. Beautiful trail with some steep sections. Overall not too bad and 40 minutes for one way.

hiking
Sat Jun 23 2018

Trail is maintained well, episodic nice views of the river. A bit muddy in places, only because hiking .after several days of rain.

Sun Jun 17 2018

It was a hot and muggy day at Whitewater State Park, but my sister and I really enjoyed our first visit here! Hiked the Chimney Rock Trail to Inspiration Point, and then we did the Trout Run Creek Trail. The one by the creek was especially nice because of a refreshing breeze coming off the water. Terrain on Chimney Rock to Inspiration Point was definitely more than “moderate”!

hiking
Fri Jun 01 2018

loved this hike - for those looking for some moderate elevation gain. this one is challenging in places - there is some fairly steep grades and exposure. wear good boots. i had trek poles which helped as well. we did this hike in reverse. the stairs along the main road entry point is the standard entry. you can enter it in reverse as well. whitewater state park is a treasure unbeknownst to many native minnesotans. make a day trip! such incredible panoramas.

Sun Apr 29 2018

Fun trail. Not too difficult, but there are sections that are tricky. One of the better in the area

Tue Apr 24 2018

Very beautiful! a hidden treasure of a park in the middle of farmland. I would consider some of these trails as HARD due to how steep sections are, definitely had to crawl with all fours because it was that rocky and steep. Got pretty winded too.

hiking
Tue Jan 30 2018

Love this place for hiking. Unfortunately, people don't realize how beautiful their parks are, or never visit them.

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