11 Short And Sweet Fall Hikes In Minnesota With A Spectacular End View

11 Short And Sweet Fall Hikes In Minnesota With A Spectacular End View

Oberg Trail – Tofte

As Minnesota reaches peak fall color season, you may be thinking of ways to get out and enjoy the colors. If you’ve already done a fall foliage road trip, the next step may be to get out of the car and see the leaves up close. Each of these trails is less than 5 miles, and each one leads to a spectacular view overflowing with autumn beauty. If you’re looking for some easy fall hikes, these are a great place to start.

Minneopa Falls – Mankato


We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now: https://www.onlyinyourstate.com/nominate/



Caledonia Area Fall Barn Quilt Tours: The Heart of Quilt Country – Calendonia, MN

Caledonia Area Fall Barn Quilt Tours: The Heart of Quilt Country – Calendonia, MN

Caledonia is located in the southeastern corner of the state, where the land transitions from rolling hills to scenic bluffs and the Mississippi River Valley. It is not uncommon to see majestic eagles soaring or sitting high in the treetops. Deer, wild turkeys and coyotes are plentiful. Bear, cougar and bobcats are present, but rarely seen. Area streams offer the trout fishermen access to some of the best trout fishing in the state. Bike trails, hiking trails, Beaver Creek Valley State Park, horse trails, boating and bird watching are activities that lure people to the area. Caledonia is proud to be a Historic Bluff Country city. Visit the Historic Bluff Country website here.

Caledonia is known as “The Heart of Quilt Country” and offers a scenic driving tour route of nearly 60 Houston County barns sporting squares of plywood painted in vivid colors in a variety of quilt patterns. We welcome you to our area to view beautiful barn paintings and our splendid natural and cultural resources. Caledonia makes a great “hub” for day trips because it is centrally located between some of the region’s favorite attractions. You can explore parts of three states: Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin, while headquartered in Caledonia. The Mississippi River is just 17 miles away. Plan one day as a “cruise day” on the Julia Belle Swain, a paddlewheeler docked in nearby La Crosse, Wis. Another day could be spent cycling nearby bike trails along the Root River. Explore Amish country in the nearby Canton-Harmony area. Hike the bluff lands and explore the Effigy Mounds near McGregor, IA. Canoe the Upper Iowa River or the Root River. Don’t forget to check out the Caledonia area, either! Take a tour of the town and check out the unique architecture of the historic downtown district, the impressive limestone courthouse and former jail, the Houston County Historical museum complex and much more.

To get to this very beautiful part of the world, look at the Minnesota map in the far southeast corner of the state. Two major highways come together here, State Hwy 76 which intersects with I-90, and State Hwy 44. The Houston County Airport is located just south on Hwy 76 and the La Crosse, Wis. airport, just 30 miles away, has you connected with the rest of the world. This area also boasts the only National Scenic Byway that parallels I-90 so travelers can enjoy the scenic 88 mile stretch of State Highway 16 from La Crescent to Dexter without any large detour.

The Caledonia area is becoming beautifully painted with barn quilts. We hope that while you are visiting the Caledonia area, you will take the tour of our wonderful countryside and see the magnificent quilts that are being displayed on local barns. Link here, you will find the name, owner, and address of all 59 registered barn quilts, as well as a map to help guide your tour.

Caledonia has much to offer for a weekend getaway or that week away from the office. Come see what you have been missing. Make plans to visit soon, you’ll be glad that you did!


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All Things Corn: The Moon,The Maze and The More! – Twin Cities – Otter Tail County, MN

All Things Corn: The Moon,The Maze and The More! – Twin Cities – Otter Tail County, MN

THE MOON: Emergence — The “Corn” moon appears from behind the city skyline – Greg Lundgren Photography

Most years, the September Full Moon is the Harvest Moon, but this particular name depends on the autumnal equinox. It is also called Full Corn Moon or Barley Moon. Visit: Greg Lundgren Photography for Fine Art images of the Twin Cities and beyond.
THE MAZE: Mother Goose, & Bean’s opens for the season on September 19th!  A local family offering a corn maze, kettle corn, pumpkins, Fall decor!

Mother, Goose & Bean’s is owned and operated by Pat and Becca Dillon, along with their three daughters. We are located in beautiful Otter Tail County in north-central Minnesota. Our business is run from our homestead yard, and we strive to create a QUALITY, CLEAN, ENJOYABLE, and MEMORABLE experience for our customers. We (The Dillon Family) are 3rd generation farmers and look forward to continuing that tradition as we raise our family while providing our area with the largest variety of “fall” produce and experiences.We made the decision to embark on this journey after I (aka the mother of Mother, Goose & Bean’s) had returned home from a weekend trip to Wisconsin in 2010. It became clear to us that our area had no pumpkin stands or businesses that offered FUN and UNIQUE pumpkins… I had just driven home with a trunk FULL of creative pumpkins because I had never seen such ones before!


(218) 205-1543
Located half between Erhard & Elizabeth on Highway 59… follow the seasonal bales!


THE MORE: Food Network’s Off-the-Chart Corn on the Cob Recipes

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved


Picture summer without nibbling on at least one ear of corn. How could you? This time of year, this staple crop is sweeter and juicier than ever. And, though it doesn’t need much else than a humble slathering of butter, the possibilities for the in-season ear don’t end there.

Think of it as a kernelled canvas — one that can come drizzled, dusted or simply grilled to charred perfection with little effort at all. This week, take your pick of Food Network’s most-brazen corn-on-the-cob recipes and reinvent how your family devours corn on the cob.

Stephen Johnson, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved


Bobby Flay’s Perfectly Grilled Corn as seen on Food Network

In this summer heat, the most-fitting way to take your corn is by way of the grill. Bobby Flay’s Perfectly Grilled Corn on the Cob shows you how to do it once and for all. After giving the corn a good pre-soak, grill each ear with the husks on till the kernels are tender.

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved


Corn can be sweet and juicy on its own, but it definitely doesn’t stop there. Next time you’re grilling up some corn, hit it with a little smoked paprika for Food Network Magazine’s Smoky Corn on the Cob. If you have a hankering for a different kind of smoke, brush cooked corn with rendered bacon fat before coating with diced bacon, panko and chopped basil.

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved


Hey, it can even take a surprising Asian spin, with a brush of miso butter and a sprinkling of nori.

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.


Instead of reinventing the corn itself, think about the butter. Slather Tyler Florence’s Grilled Corn on the Cob with Lime Butter, and the citrus-spiked butter will work as a glue for queso fresco and his Ancho Chile Rub. Or simply puree fresh herbs with softened butter for Food Network Magazine’s Corn on the Cob with Basil Butter, which injects each ear with aromatic flavor. A sprinkling of Parmesan cheese couldn’t hurt either.It’s not necessarily sacrilegious to cook your corn off the grill this summer. Tyler makes Oven-Roasted Corn on the Cob so perfectly cooked there’s no need to even dress it up. Simply peel down the husks and use as a makeshift handle as you’re chowing down. Or if you’re feeling desperate, Microwave Corn on the Cob is a thing — and, if you ask us, it turns out to be pretty good.
THE MORE, MORE: Goska_Czekolada 

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🌽We love corn, don't we!? It would be almost tactless, if I wouldn't mention that Minnesota is the leading producer of corn. Vast majority of corn here is the field/dent corn- big business (mostly to feed the livestock, in ethanol production, in manufactured goods…)-4th in United States. There is sweet corn, the one we eat 🌽-1st largest crop in US and finally popcorn.🌽 There are some fun facts about corn. For example there are one ear of corn has about 16 rows and 800 kernels. Some corn🌽plants can grow to be more than 20 feet tall🌽 🌽Grilled sweet corn with butter+ lime juice+garlic+ parmesan+sweet paprika+parsley🌽 #corn #cornonthecob #summertaste #inspiracjekulinarne #iamsomartha #forthemaking #domowesmaki #fotografiakulinarna #firstweeat #eatcaptureshare #feelgoodfood #mspmag #jedzsmacznie #foodphotoshot #foodstyling #mywilliamsonoma #mnoutdors #marksofmaking #mycommontable #minnesotaphotography #youbetchamn #uffda #captivatemn #moodyinminnesota #captureminnesota #bestofminnesota1 #bestofminnesota #Minnesota #minnesota365

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North Shore Scenic Railroad: Anniversary Milestone Day for Railroading in Duluth

North Shore Scenic Railroad: Anniversary Milestone Day for Railroading in Duluth

In Duluth 150 years ago, the Lake Superior & Mississippi Railroad began daily passenger service between the newly minted Zenith City and St. Paul, with LS&M president William Banning hosting dignitaries in a specially outfitted train on the trip from the state capital to the Zenith City. The coming of the Jay Cooke’s railroads, the LS&M and the Northern Pacific, was perhaps the most important element of Duluth’s early success. Read more about the LS&M’s early years in Duluth:  Zenithcity-the-lake-superior-mississippi-railroad-begins-daily-service

Whether you are looking for a short trip to Lester River or a leisurely ride up the north shore to Two Harbors, the North Shore Scenic Railroad is your one-stop shop for train lovers one and all.

Train excursions on the North Shore Scenic Railroad are operating this summer, and available 7-days-a-week! Trains have reduced capacities and social distancing, reservations are strongly recommended. Daytime short rides, and evening longer excursions that include dinner, all starting at the St. Louis County Depot. Learn more and get tickets at: www.DuluthTrains.com

Heading Northbound on the North Shore Scenic Railroad tonight.

Posted by North Shore Scenic Railroad on Friday, August 21, 2020


All Aboard: Train excursions on the North Shore Scenic Railroad also depart daily from the Lake Superior Railroad Museum. See the trains, then ride the trains! Lots of excursion options can be found at DuluthTrains.com

North Shore Scenic Railroad



Summer Park Activities & Highlights: Jay Cooke State Park – Carlton, MN

Summer Park Activities & Highlights: Jay Cooke State Park – Carlton, MN

Park Activities & Highlights

  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Swinging Bridge
  • Pioneer Cemetery
  • Thomson Dam
  • Oldenburg Point

Park Information

Trailblazers: this park is a must! Park trails link up to the Willard Munger State Trail at the north edge of the park; perfect for backpackers, bikers (both mountain and tour), hikers, horseback riders, and skiers.

Check out the wildflowers in the spring, and the vivid colors in the fall. Walk on the swinging suspension bridge high above the raging St. Louis River. Visit the historic cemetery and the gorge at Thomson Dam.


The promise of food and protection make Jay Cooke State Park an important wintering area for white-tailed deer. Black bear, timber wolf, and coyote are among the largest of 46 animal species in the park. The pileated woodpecker, marsh hawk and the great blue heron are just a few of 173 species of birds that nest and feed in the park. Sixteen species of reptiles and amphibians (none of which are poisonous) are found in the park.


When the 13 colonies were developing on the eastern seaboard, French fur trade was thriving in the Jay Cooke area because of the St. Louis River trade route. The Dakota Indians and the French traded for many years. As westward expansion increased, the Ojibwe drove the Dakota out to the plains. Shortly thereafter, disputes broke out between the French and the British over trapping rights. Eventually the fur trade slowed down and only a few small settlements remained.

Many years later, the railroads reached northern Minnesota. The “iron horse” brought substantial numbers of immigrant farmers northward. Although much land surrounding the park was cleared, the rough terrain was never suitable for farming.

Jay Cooke State Park was established in 1915 when the St. Louis River Power Company donated 2,350 acres of land. In 1945, the state purchased additional land. Other sections have been added over the years giving Jay Cooke State Park its present size of 8,125 acres.


The geological makeup of Jay Cooke State Park is one of slate, greywacke and red clay. The St. Louis River, Lake Superior’s largest U. S. tributary, has exposed the bedrock in many places. Slate beds were formed from original layers of mud and sand, which were deposited in a sea that occupied this area 1.9 billion years ago. These thick deposits compacted into shale (from mud) and greywacke (from sand).

Heat, pressure, and earth movements converted the deeply buried shale into slate. Underground pressure from the south caused the slate and greywacke beds to fold and fracture, giving the tilted character of these rocks seen all along the river bed upstream from Oldenburg Point. Later, about 1.1 billion years ago, molten rock was forced into fractures in the beds and when they cooled, these intrusions formed dikes which can be seen along the river bed today.

The red clay and silt that overlies the bedrock was deposited at the end of the Ice age (about 10,000 years ago) in a great, ice-dammed lake (Glacial Lake Duluth), the “ancestor” of modern Lake Superior.


The rugged land formations of Jay Cooke State Park enhance the beauty of the hardwood forests. The water-eroded gorge, steep valleys, and massive rock formations are seen throughout the park. In some seasons, the water of the St. Louis River thunders over slabs of ancient, exposed rock. At other times, it slows to a gentle trickle. Visitors enjoy the scenic splendor of Jay Cooke State Park during all seasons.

Minnesota High Summer Lodging: Where to Stay

Minnesota High Summer Lodging: Where to Stay

The mission of GreatPlacesMinnesota is to connect the many outstanding golf courses, businesses and destinations in our great state with consumers and tourists looking for a great vacation, destination or experience. We are safe, simple and secure.  Nothing to buy, just use our name when doing business with our clients!

Minnesota Lodging: Resorts Retreats Bed & Breakfast Promotions

Anderson’s Starlight Bay Resort 8th Crow Wing Lake Nevis MN

Balsam Beach Resort Lake Plantagenet Bemidji MN

Bear Paw Resort Two Inlets Lake Park Rapids MN NEW LODGE 2016

Beckers Resort and Campground Lake Winnibigoshish Bena Mn  WINTER OPENINGS

Big Bear Lodge & Cabins  Poplar Lake Grand Marais MN WINTER OPENINGS  Pet Friendly

Blueberry Hills Campground & RV Park Deer River MN

Breezy Point Resort   Pelican Lake Breezy Point MN WINTER OPENINGS

Britton’s Trout Lake Resort. Bovey MN

Cabin O’ Pines Resort Pelican Lake Orr MN 1 Winter Cabin

Cozy Bay Resort  Lake Edward Nisswa MN

Dickerson’s Lake Florida Resort  Lake Florida Spicer MN

Evergreen Bay Resort  Boot Lake  Park Rapids MN

Grand Stay At Little Crow Golf Resort Spicer MN WINTER OPENINGS

Green Heron Bed and Breakfast  Pokegama Lake Grand Rapids MN WINTER OPENINGS

Horseshoe Resort Cass Lake  Cass Lake MN

Hyde-A-Way Bay Resort  Birch Lake Hackensack, MN

Joe’s Lodge  Lake Andrusia Bemidji MN  4 Winter Cabin!

Kavanaugh’s Sylvan Lake Resort, Brainerd MN  Winter Openings

Norway Beach Resort. Cass Lake MN

Ojibway Resort on Pikes Bay  Cass Lake MN  Winter Openings!

Pikedale Lodge  Leech Lake. Longville MN  WINTER OPENINGS.

Pine Beach Resort Side Lake MN  WINTER OPENINGS

Red Rider Resort & Campground  Winter Openings

Riverside Resort Cedar Island Lake Richmond MN  2 winter cabins

Spider Shores Resort. Spider Lake. Marcell MN

Sweetwater Resort Fish Trap Lake Cushing MN WINTER OPENINGS

Thomsonite Beach Inn and Suites on Lake Superior  Grand Marais MN

TimberLane Resort Long Lake Park Rapids MN

Waldheim Resort Big Pine Lake Finylson MN  Pet Friendly

Weslake Resort  West Lost Lake. Underwood MN

Woodland Beach Resort Bay Lake Deerwood MN  WINTER OPENINGS

Tourism Partners:

Community of Minnesota Resorts.

Willmar Lakes Area Convention & Visitors Bureau Willmar MN

About Us

A few years ago we started thinking of a way to help promote Minnesota Business’s in a unique way.  In late 2014 we built a website and Facebook page called HotDealsMinnesota.com.  We asked a few small companies if we could promote something for them, but with a different approach.

In 2015 we started to focus on Golf courses and resorts around our great state.  Each year more golf courses and resorts joined our program.

2018 saw our Fan base on social media exceeded 10,000 fans and and over 400,000 impressions each month for our current line up of almost 100 clients.

So as we enter 2019, we re-brand to GreatPlacesMinnesota.com, and we are more than excited for this step!

We are thankful for the GREAT response from not only our clients, but you the consumer.

A special thanks to Nick Peters Photography and Tracey L Hays Photography from Bear Paw Resort for some great images and also your time and feedback, as well as Steve from WhiteFish Golf Club that first said ..Great Golf, Great Places…something like that!  Stay tuned as our story gets GREAT.






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