One of the last remnants of Big Woods vegetation in Minnesota, the Nerstrand Big Woods State Park will definitely get four paws up from your canine companion! This picturesque, nearly 3,000-acre park draws two- and four-legged nature lovers all year round thanks to its spring wildflowers, fall colors, and the Hidden Falls Waterfall.
There is no shortage of beautiful scenery and fun activities at the Nerstrand Big Woods, and the best way to enjoy this park is on foot (and paw). During the warmer months, 11 miles of hiking trails are available for you and your adventurous pupper to explore. Discover the Hidden Falls by following the Hidden Falls Trail, which will have you and Fido traversing steep terrain, packed dirt, stairs, and a boardwalk. But don't worry, there are benches along the way if you need to take a break. Various flora, including the endangered Minnesota dwarf trout lily, also line this trail, making for a scenic, enjoyable hike.
The mostly flat Big Woods Trail features the park's tallest and straightest Big Woods trees. Walk among ironwood, American hornbeam, and other Big Woods trees; be sure to check out the identification signs to know what you're looking at. During winter, only snowmobiles are allowed on this trail, but you and your dog may snowshoe in other areas of the park as long as they're not roped off or groomed trails.
If you and Fido would like to stay overnight, the park offers a dog-friendly campground with around 50 sites. More than half of the sites are equipped with electricity, and you'll find drinking water, hot showers, flush toilets, and a sanitary dump station in the campground. Wherever you go in the park, remember to always keep your furry pal on a 6-foot leash and pick up after them. Bring enough clean-up bags for your stay, as well as water.
Expect to have a puptastic time with your pooch at the Nerstrand Big Woods State Park!