The Minnesota River makes it way through Mankato MN making it one of the most photographic destinations I have visited. With Minneopa State Park, Bike Trails, Waterways and City Art they are a photographers dream. To get the most out of your trip, make sure to check out these locations.
*VisitMankato provided us with gift cards to enjoy some of the restaurants in the area. However, all opinions are my own.
The Top Instagram Worthy Spots in Mankato MN
The Minneopa Falls comprises 2 cascading falls. Accessible at the top of the falls. They provide a paved path for you. If you are up for a little closer look, venture down the stone steps and see it at the base. The trail leading up to the falls provided a lot of different terrains, so bring steady shoes. There are great spots to snap a pic in both locations. I recommend checking out the creek right before the first falls. I want to plan another trip down to see it in the winter. I can only imagine how amazing it will be. For more info, check out:
With 331 acres to roam, the Bison can be hit or miss. On the plus side, they like to stay in their herd, so they are easier to spot. When I went, the Bison were right up front and close to the road. What I found even more spectacular about the trial was the natural Prairie. The park has done an excellent job on finding restoring the natural prairies that once stood here. Feel free to stop along the way. Just don’t get out of the car. Bison can be unpredictable and could pop up anywhere. If you are looking for a closer picture of the prairie, check out Seppmann Mill.
The mill was constructed in 1864. At its height, people from 30 miles away would come in to have their grain milled for flour. Today it remains in Minneopa Park. Arrive early morning to take advantage of some of the best light. There is also a series of trails located around the mill to provide some amazing views of the prairie. To visit the Mill, take the Bison Trail in Minneapa Park. For more information about the Mill, check out:
Le Sueur River Bridge
Also known as the Red Jacket Trestle Bridge, located off OLD HWY66. This bridge is part of the Red Jacket Bike Trail that starts in Mankato MN and ends in Rapidan. The bridge was built by the Chicago, Milwaukee St. Paul and Pacific Railway in 1901. It spans 475 feet and is 95 ft high. When the railway abandoned it, they covered in wood for the bike path. On a hot summer’s day, climb up and catch a good breeze. There is a good vantage point for pictures at the base. Or grab a canoe and go on the water to see it.
Red Jacket Valley Park
Located at 19950 Old HWY 66 in Mankato, MN this stop was a fun stop. The county transformed this old Guaranteed Sand and Gravel Pit into a lake for swimming or fishing. They have a drive up access for people looking to launch their canoes or kayaking into the water. Because of its size, it’s perfect for beginner kayaking.
One of the most interesting parts was one of the old buildings left behind by the Guaranteed Sand and Gravel Pit. It seemed like something from a horror movie. It was very fun to shoot, but at the same time, I didn’t step more than a foot inside the doors.
CityArt Walking Sculpture Tour
Find a new perspective on the art located throughout 2nd Street in downtown Mankato. There are 33 different works of art presented by the CityArt Mankato
. Each has its own unique treasures inside. Spend some time seeing what new things you can find.
What Can You Do?
Mankato Minnesota is such a colorful town with a so much to do. Grab your camera and head on down to start exploring. When you do, make sure to tag #DayTripMankato and show me what you found. I’d love to see the pictures.
More Info: Visit Mankato
Directions: Mankato MN
When To Visit: Spring, Summer and Fall for Bike Trails and Winter for the Frozen Falls
Recommended Guide: Minneopa State Park | Waterfalls, Bison and Prairie
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