Minneopa Falls

June 2005

State: Minnesota

Location: Minneopa State Park, near Mankato

Height: 39

Crest: 20 (varies)

Water Source: Minneopa Creek

Waypoint: 44.14861N 94.08996W

Summary: Minneopa Falls is the most scenic waterfall in southern Minnesota that I have seen. There is a fee to visit the state park, but it is worth it if you like waterfalls. The park is about a 90 minute drive from Minneapolis.

Minneopa Falls is located in Minneopa State Park in southern Minnesota. This is a very scenic waterfall. Minneopa Creek tumbles over a 8' ledge, and then plummets nearly 40 feet into a beautiful gorge on its way to meet the Minnesota River.

The park is divided into two parts. The larger northern part lies along the Minnesota River. Here you will find the campground, hiking trails, and a 19th century windwill. The falls are located in the smaller southern part. Road signs will direct you towards the falls. From the parking area it is a short walk to an overlook of the falls. A bridge crosses the creek between the two drops. The trail continues along the side of the gorge, provided some nice, but somewhat obstructed views of the falls.

The trail continues down a set of stairs into a gorge. Another bridge crosses the creek. From here you can work you way up either side of the creek to the base of the falls for some really nice views. These are not official trails, but they are not that difficult.

I had the good fortune to visit the falls the day after several heavy thunderstorms. I have seen photos of the falls with a lot less water than this. If you show up in late summer you probably will not see this much water going over the falls.

Here is a short movie of the falls.

Nearby Falls

Minnemishinona Falls is a few miles away on the north side of the Minnesota River. The falls was on private property but has recently been acquired by the county. Minnemishinona Falls does not carry as much water as Minneopa Falls but it is a few feet higher.

Minnehaha Falls in Minneapolis is about 90 minutes away. Hidden Falls in Nerstrand Big Woods State Park is also about 90 minutes to the east. Ramsey Falls is a two hour drive to the west.

Photo Gallery

The Upper Falls

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