Thursday, July 10, 2014

Barn Bluff in Red Wing, Minnesota

historic sign
Today, I was given permission to go on a solo adventure, my first in quite some time. I decided to head up to the Red Wing, Minnesota area to get a few Hiking Club miles and to check out the well known Barn Bluff. First, however, I had to find out how to get to Barn Bluff. While it's obvious where the bluff is from just about anywhere in the city, the access to it is not so obvious. I stopped in at the town's visitor center and got directions to the trailhead and then made my way there.

The hike started with a little side trip to a lime kiln used to create the lime used in cement and plaster.
Then I retraced my steps to the trailhead for an ascent up some stairs and a trip through the woods on the South Trail.
The trail led to yet another set of stairs dubbed the Kiwanis New Stairway.
Kiwanis Stairway
After a climb up the stairs I was up in the prairie on top of the bluff.
trail and city
I first made my way past a huge flagpole
Big flag
and up to the West Overlook with its interesting views of the Mississippi River and the city of Red Wing.
Red Wing and river
I then followed an unmarked trail to an old flag pedestal
old flag pedestal
and the benchmark for the bluff.

From this area I made my way along the Prairie Trail through some beautiful scenery
trail on bluff
and wildflowers
yellow flower
purple flowers
over to the East Lookout. I admired the view from the lookout and then retraced my steps to the stairs. At the bottom of the stairs I followed the South Trail for a short distance , but then for some variety followed the Midland Trail back to the trailhead. I was quite impressed by the scenery on this hike and would certainly return to hike on the bluff again. Perhaps next time the North Trail will be open. It was closed during my visit, but is reputed to be the most difficult route on the bluff.                 

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