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John Latsch State Park, Winona

4.0
John A. Latsch State Park is a 1654acre state park of Minnesota, USA, on the Mississippi River, 12mi northwest of Winona. The park contains three steep bluffs rising 500ft above the river which are named Mount Faith, Mount Hope, and Mount Charity. The park is nearly undeveloped, with a small walk-in campground (closed to use currently) and only one trail. It functions primarily as a wayside on U.S. Route 61, which runs between the river and the base of the bluffs. Lock and Dam No. 5 is adjacent to the park.
The park sits on limestone laid down on the floor of a shallow sea 500 million years ago. Torrents of runoff at the end of the Wisconsin glaciation 10,000 years ago carved the bed of the Mississippi River down into this limestone, leaving high bluffs along its banks. The park is situated in the Driftless Area, an atypically rugged region of the Upper Midwest because it was never glaciated and covered with a layer of glacial till, or drift.
The steepness of the three bluffs deterred logging, and the forest cover today is a high quality mix of many different species. These include several kinds of oak, maple, elm, cedar, and ash, as well as black walnut, hickory, basswood, ironwood, birch, and poplar. A great variety of birds migrate past the park along the Mississippi Flyway. Terrestrial species include white-tailed deer, coyotes, foxes, opossums, and timber rattlesnakes.
Use our Winona travel planner to visit John Latsch State Park on your trip to Winona, and learn what else travelers and our writers recommend seeing nearby.
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John Latsch State Park Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
25 reviews
Google
4.2
TripAdvisor
  • The view from J. Latsch State Park is wonderful--close-by downriver you see the lock and dam, upriver you have a wide vista of the river and the Wisconsin bluffs on the far side (hard to imagine ALL o...  more »
  • Wow. The view is so worth it. When we got to the trailhead, we were a bit curious about whether the trail (steps) would take us as long as the sign suggests. We're in our mid-30's and just getting bac...  more »
Google
  • Love it! The stairs are awesome to climb and easy for my girls and I to get outside and the view of the river is gorgeous!
  • A quickish hike up some 400 stairs to get a great overlook of the river and surrounding areas. It's easy to access right off of the highway. Do not expect amenities found in other state parks. There's a port-a-potty, a picnic table, and not much else. We found some semi-official trails at the top of the bluff that were fun to hike through, but they sort of disappeared after walking for 15 minutes or so.

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