The Charles A Lindbergh State Park in Little Falls is one of the smaller parks, but it packs a punch. It has good hiking, camping, and river views. In wintertime, it becomes a snowshoe dream with flat terrain. It mixes history with beautiful landscapes. And its close proximity to the Twin Cities made me excited to check it out.
Charles A Lindberg State Park Highlights
The State Park was all land donated by the Congressman Charles A Lindbergh Sr. The father of the more famous Charles A Lindberg who flew the Spirit of St. Louis who made the first solo Trans-Atlantic crossing. The farmland was donated to the State in 1931.
Today, the State Park celebrates the history of both the Senator and his Son’s accomplishments. Most notable is the Stone Water Tower and the site of Charles A Lindbergh’s first flight.
Hiking at Charles A Lindbergh State Park
The Charles A Lindberg State Park Hiking Club State Trail
Miles: 2.8 miles
Total Miles Hiked: 65.4 miles
MN State Parks Hiking Club Trail is a loop. My favorite kind! Pulling into the main entrance of Charles A Lindbergh State Park, the parking for the hiking area is just to the left. It is impossible to miss.
After a quick break at the playground, we set off immediately. It’s amazing how great a couple of swings and a slide can be for a couple of kids that have been stuck in quarantine for I don’t know how long anymore.
Do you still need your Charles A Lindberg State Park Map? Download a free GeoPDF map from Avenza. This way you’ll be able to track your location on the trail with your phone’s GPS.
The hiking club trail sign is just off the right of the large tree stump. Down a short trail, you’ll first come across a bridge to the hiking club trail. The trail splits to start off your loop. We chose to go left and stay close to the water.
The trail map promised a lot of scenic overlooks but didn’t deliver. It was the one disappointing thing about the trip. And before you ask, we were in the right locations, I was using GPS to confirm.
Most of the scenic overlooks are on spurtrails. If stunning stream views are your thing, take them all!
Jenny Landing Historic Site
One of the highlights listed on the map that I was excited about was the site where the “Jenny landed”. Before we can get there, you are probably wondering what a Jenny is?
In 1923, Charles Sr bought his son his first Airplane, a Curtis JN4-D, more commonly called a Jenny. Charles took his first flight here and landed in the field. The site is a stop on the Hiking Club Trail.
I found it a very anti-climatic sight. Basically, the plane landed in the field.
The thing that made it special was that this was, this was the first time Charles A Lindbergh Jr had flown a plane solo. They mark the occasion with a sign and some additional information about the landing.
The Hiking Club Password
The hiking club trail password was easy to find. As much as I would love to tell you exactly where to go, I won’t. But thankfully they didn’t hide it on this adventure.
Other Things to See At Charles A Lindbergh State Park
Stone Water Tower
One of the more interesting finds on the Charles A Lindberg State Park Hiking Club Trail is the stone water tower. It was built by the Works Progress Administration in 1939 and held over 5,00 gallons of water.
The water tower supplied the restrooms, water fountains, and caretakers’ residences at the park.
Though it doesn’t hold water anymore, it’s still a feature of the park. During that time the WPA also created footpaths, and parking lots and planted over 4,000 trees and bushes on the farmland.
The water tower is located at the parking area for the hiking club trail.
The Charles A Lindberg Home
You can visit the Charles A Lindberg Home. Due to COVID restrictions, the house was closed on my visit. The original home actually burned down at some point and was rebuilt, so I’m not sure you’d call it Charles A Lindborg’s ‘childhood’ home. But the farm and land where Charles spent his time before going to college are the same.
You can tour the grounds for free, but the inside property is run by the Minnesota Historical Society. They charge a small fee to get in unless you are a member.
The home is on the opposite side of the street as the entrance to the park.
Charles A Lindbergh State Park has 38 Drive-in Sites, 15 Electric, and 2 Cart in Sites. I’ve stayed at this park multiple times when I was younger and have nothing to say but good things. The, best part, it’s close to the Mississippi!
Staying the night, make sure to check out the 6 Fun Things To Do In Little Falls MN
The park has two campsites for rent along Pike Creek. They are only accessible by cart or boat. The river is part of the Mississippi River State Water Trail, section six.
Just south of the State Park, is the Charles A Weyerhaeuser Museum. Named to honor one of the men in charge of Pine Tree Lumber Company. The two business partners build houses feet from each other.
The houses are now owned by the City of Little Falls, along with the surrounding property known as Linden Hills.
The museum sits on the banks of the Mississippi River with stunning views from its overlooking gazebo. The museum has prairie gardens and a Victorian-style fountain. Self-guided tours are free.
Would I go back to Charles A Lindbergh State Park?
Yes, the hike at Charles A Lindbergh State Park was very relaxing. The crowds were non-existent and it was a beautiful day. Seriously, if you got the opportunity to visit, I would definitely recommend going. Check out 6 fun things to do in Little Falls while you are in the area.