10 Oct Fall Hiking at Hallaway Hill
Reds, yellows and oranges peek out around every turn—fall in Minnesota consists of splashes of color that create a beautiful leaf peeping scene. One of our favorite spots to see the fall colors is at Maplewood State Park near our hometown of Pelican Rapids.
Maplewood State Park is one of the largest parks in Minnesota and offers plenty of adventures to keep you busy, in both the summer and winter. Some of our favorite experiences include hiking, camping in cabins or tents, swimming, snowshoeing, cross country skiing and even horseback riding trails, but the list doesn’t stop there! The park really does offer something for pretty much everyone looking to get a dose of nature.
One of the most popular hikes in the park is the Hallaway Hill trail. Hiking Hallaway Hill in the fall was a yearly tradition for our family when I was growing up. We would drive the short distance out to the park and hike the trail to oogle at the pretty leaves surrounding us.
Also up on the itinerary? A photo session of us kids sitting on a log. Yes, that is right–we were children of the 80’s and 90’s, and it wasn’t pretty. Have you seen the TV show, The Goldbergs? Well, that was us, and there’s an entire pile of photos to prove it…but I’m keeping those under lock and key!
As traumatizing as those photos were, I was excited to take a trip down memory lane again this year. The fall leaves weren’t in their absolute prime, but they were definitely getting close. We were able to see plenty of red, yellow and orange dotted throughout the sprawling green landscape!
The trail is fairly short, clocking in at just under a mile roundtrip (0.4 miles each way). It is a very moderate hike and I would classify it as easy, but it does get a bit steep and slippery near the top. Along the trail you will pass through fields and woods, and you will be rewarded with lake views, rolling hills and plenty of wildflowers.
Once you make it to the top of the hill, you will find Hallaway Hill Overlook. The views are spectacular and overlook several lakes and rolling hills in every direction. On this most recent hike, I also learned that there used to be a ski hill on Hallway Hill!
Maplewood State Park was established in 1963, but the landscape was formed long before—the hills that make up the area were created during the last ice age by sediment from the Alexandria Glacial Moraine. There are eight lakes accessible from the park and plenty of smaller ponds, as well.
While it is often a place that slips my mind, Maplewood State Park is definitely worth exploring. It is such a shame that we tend to forget about the fantastic adventures in our own backyard. This was my first visit back to the park since I was in high school, but I know one thing is for sure, it won’t be the last. Stay tuned this winter for some exciting winter exploration in the tiny corner of the globe that we call home!
Where is your favorite spot to view autumn’s changing leaves?