Nerstrand Big Woods State Park

Loop • 3.2 mi • 0 ft

Nerstrand Big Woods State Park is home to one of the last remnants of Big Woods and the federally endangered, rare, endemic Minnesota dwarf trout lily—which you can admire and photograph along the featured hike. Rolling hills and valleys, oak savannas, prairie remnants, and a meandering creek with its Hidden Falls, lush plant life, and looping trail system make this a park well worth visiting. The park also encompasses a demonstration dairy farm designed to promote sustainable rotational grazing through cooperative efforts between the Department of Natural Resources, the Nature Conservancy, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, and the farm family.
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Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Northfield
Length: 3.2 total miles
Elevation Gain: Minimal
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Easy
Duration: 1.5 hours
Season: Year-round
Trailhead Elevation: 1,190 feet
Top Elevation: 1,190 feet
Other Uses: Dogs permitted
Local Contacts: Nerstrand Big Woods State Park, Nerstrand, MN; (507) 333-4840; www; Department of Natural Resources, Information Center, St. Paul, MN; (651) 296-6157 or (800) 646-6367 (only in MN);
Local Maps: USGS Nerstrand
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Recent Trail Reviews


This is a great backcountry state park!! It's got campsites that aren't too far from the trailhead (1-3 mi.) and enough close enough together that if one is full when you get there, you can move on to the next--each fully secluded from the next, but fairly close. They are also very near a lake/pond, which was really nice. There are also paved biking trails that one could take, or even car camping areas if that's your cup of tea.

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