Winchell Trail

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Location: Mississippi River Gorge between Franklin and Minnehaha Park

The Winchell Trail was named for American geologist Newton Horace Winchell. He settled in Minnesota in 1872. He taught geology, botany and zoology at the U of M.

The Winchell Trail runs about 5 miles round trip following the western bluff of the Mississippi River Gorge between Franklin and Minnehaha Park. This trail is believed to have been a Dakotah Trail. This is a natural trail that has been subject to erosion. It was repaired by the city in 1912 and again renovated by the Works Progress Administration (WPA). This was our cities first rustic trail.

This is a beautiful walk that will take you down to the river as well as through an oak savanna restoration project. This trail is often mentioned on “best walks and trails” websites. Wear your hiking shoes! This can be muddy and slippery and at some parts somewhat challenging! Enjoy the escape. It’s amazing that this nature is sitting right at our back door!

Photo: Carri Musil

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