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Perfect Day Trip to Taylors Falls Minnesota

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The most iconic Minnesota Fall day trip has to be Taylors Falls.  It’s an easy 1 hour drive from the Twin Cities and the area has a lot to offer! Check out my recommended day trip itinerary below.

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Start your day with breakfast at The Watershed Café on the Wisconsin side of the St. Croix River in Osceola. The food is made from scratch with local ingredients and is delicious. Try to snag an outdoor table where you can listen to the river. After you’re done eating, walk down by the water to see a little waterfall!

Drive back to the Minnesota side with your destination being the Canoe and Kayak area of Interstate Park.  You’ll need either a day pass for $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). 

You can hike from North along the Minnesota side of Interstate Park and ultimately over the bridge to the Wisconsin side. Along the way, enjoy views of the river (you may even spot the Taylors Falls Queen or Princess paddleboats!), the glacial potholes and the beautiful fall colors. The Wisconsin side has expansive hiking opportunities. My favorite paths include the Pothole Trail, the Summit Rock Trail so you can see Old Man of the Dalles and the path along Lake ‘O the Dalles.


After hiking back to the Canoe and Kayak area, grab a snack to replenish your energy before heading out on the water! You can rent canoes or kayaks from Taylors Falls Canoe and Kayak Rental. They offer an option to canoe/paddle downstream with a shuttle pickup at Osceola or William ‘O Brian State Park. However, both of those options would require you to begin earlier in the day since they take 3-5 hours so you’d likely need to cut way back on the time spent hiking. Alternatively, you can paddle around this area which is what we did. We brought our paddleboards and paddled upstream about a mile before turning around and floating back to the launch. The scenery was stunning from the water!

If you’d rather not paddle, you can also take a Taylors Falls Scenic Boat Tour. Check their website for departure times and to purchase tickets! We saw the boats while we were paddleboarding and they would be a great alternative to seeing the views from the water! If you choose this option, I’d suggest parking at the Visitor Center which is about 0.6 miles north of the Canoe and Kayak parking area.

It’s now time to eat and Taylors Falls has the perfect option – The Drive In! It’s a classic American food stop with burgers, fries, shakes and famous root beer floats. The best way to replenish all the calories you burned today!

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

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