Family Weekender: Minneapolis

Taylor's Falls at Interstate Park
By Mike Youngblood
GO GUIDE: Taylor's Falls at Interstate Park
* Activities: Rock climbing and bouldering; exploring Ice-Age geology; day hiking; canoeing
* Hours from Minneapolis: 1
* Getting There: The entrance to the Minnesota side of the park is 1.5 miles south of the town of Taylor's Falls on US Highway 8.
* Reference: Rock Climbing Minnesota and Wisconsin by Mike Farris. Falcon Publishing, (800) 582-2665. Hiking Minnesota by Mike Link and Kate Crowley. Human Kinetics Publishers, (800) 747-4457.
* Added Value: Take a river tour on a historic paddleboat. For launch times and tour information call park headquarters. Canoe rentals and shuttle service also available from the park.
* Contact: Interstate Park Headquarters - Minnesota, (651) 465-5711

There's something about kids and rocks-big rocks, the kind you can climb around on — and at Taylor's Falls this timeless fascination will infect even the most jaded adult.

Here, the Ice Age comes alive as you follow a kid-friendly interpretive path among fascinating pothole erosions in solid rock. Some of these are up to 60 feet deep and 10 feet wide, with cool names like "Bottomless Pit" and "Devil's Parlor" (these deep ones are well marked, with railings for safety). You can also hike to Curtain Falls, where an exposed 100-foot cliff of ancient sediments has lent its name to an entire geological period.

The trails along the St. Croix River offer excellent views of the area's uniquely shaped glacial dells, and fine opportunities to watch expert climbers on the cliff faces above. And if the kids want to try a little climbing for themselves, there are plenty of easy scrambles and large boulders to play on-just be sure to hold onto the back of your young one's shirt.

Whether you come for a day or camp overnight in the park, you'll find Taylor's Falls a great place for family adventure.

Published: 28 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 22 May 2011
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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