Hike the Pike Island Loop
There are many beautiful places to hike in Minnesota, but the Pike Island trail is a bit of a hidden gem I only recently discovered.
With fall colors hitting their peak in the coming weeks, I highly recommend a walk around Pike Island. Popular with hikers, runners and families, Pike Island will only get more beautiful as the colors continue to change this fall season. In my photos you can see just a hint of orange leaves poking through, so I can’t imagine how beautiful it will be as the colors hit their peak.
There are Several Parking and Trail Options
Pike Island is part of Fort Snelling State Park. You can either drive into the state park, where you will need to pay a fee, or you can park at Historic Fort Snelling, which is free. From there you can walk to Pike Island.
The trails are poorly marked and at times we were uncertain which way to go. We did find a few trail maps scattered around the island, but they weren’t super clear. We took the longer trail, which circles the entire island. There are a few options to cut across the island for shorter loops. Depending on where you begin and which path you take, your hike could be anywhere from one mile to four miles in length.
The Mississippi River side of the island has a sandy beach and families were swimming and boating. You can also see Crosby Farm Regional Park across the the river. And the Minnesota River side of the island has wild flowers and is dense with trees. It’s a beautiful spot and definitely a hidden gem. It’s an easy way to see the stunning fall colors without leaving the Twin Cities.