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Fall Day Trip around Northfield Minnesota

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One of the most picturesque fall day trips you can take in Minnesota is to Northfield.  Most people head Up North or along the river to enjoy fall colors but Northfield and surrounding areas (Faribault, Waseca, Dundas) are beautiful small towns that make for a truly perfect day trip! Furthermore, it’s only about an hour south of the Twin Cities so is fairly easy to get to.  Check out the itinerary below for a fun adventure.

Table of Contents


Start your day at Brick Oven Coffee for delicious coffee, tea and pastries. The full breakfast menu looks delicious as well. Since we wanted to have a picnic, we grabbed a coffee, chai tea latte and pastries before swinging by Tandem Bagels off the main street to pick up toasted bagels to round out our (heavily carb-loaded) picnic supplies.

Before the next stop, take some time to stroll the main street in Northfield and walk along the river. It’s a really beautiful town especially with fall colors.

Drive ~20 minutes to Nerstrand State Park and use one of the park picnic tables to set up a picturesque picnic. The day pass entrance is $7 or you can buy an annual state parks pass for $35 (well worth it if you visit state parks more than 5 times in a year).

After your meal, hike around the park. The highlight is seeing Hidden Falls which is an easy ~30 minute roundtrip hike. There are more paths to explore in the park but we just visited the falls for this day trip.


Drive to Faribault to bike the Sakatah Singing Hills Trail. A great starting point is the parking lot at White Sands Park. The path goes all the way to Mankato but we just biked ~15 miles before turning around again. The views along the water are beautiful and the trail is relatively quiet compared to others in the cities. It is alongside a road so expect to hear traffic.

After your ride, drive to Pleasant Grove Pizza Farm for a fun pizza picnic experience! After ordering your pizza(s) and drinks at the barn, set up your picnic blanket and/or chairs and enjoy the farm setting! While waiting for your food, there are yard games you can play and farm animals to see. It’s very easy to social distance here!

To round out your day, drive to Keepsake Cidery to enjoy local ciders made with local fruit. The ciders range from dry to medium and we had a sampler to try a few. They also have snacks and toasted sandwiches made with local ingredients. Check their local events calendar too for upcoming cook out nights and live music.

Cheers to a great day trip!

For more Minnesota day, weekend and week-long trips, check out my Minnesota guides here

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  2. […] Northfield is a quaint smaller town set alongside a river. While the town itself may only take an hour to see, there is a lot to do in the surrounding area including a beautiful state park with a waterfall, pizza farm, biking trail and cider farm! Read more here. […]

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