A Little Time and a Keyboard: Hiking to a Delicate Cascade at Shadow Falls Park in Saint Paul, Minnesota

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Hiking to a Delicate Cascade at Shadow Falls Park in Saint Paul, Minnesota

 Hiking to a Delicate Cascade at Shadow Falls Park in St. Paul, Minnesota

Shadow Falls Park Provides a Minnesota Hike Complete with Stunning Ravine, a Gentle Waterfall and Mississippi River Views

Shadow Falls Park effortlessly captivates wanderers with magical tree-covered ravines and a waterfall that delicately unfurls amidst soft, olive moss and verdant forest greens over nature sculpted rock. Whiled wrapped in the natural treasures of the preserve, we easily forgot that we were hiking in the Twin Cities. 

Spectacular view of the Mississippi from atop the bluffs near Shadow Falls.
Spectacular view of the Mississippi from atop the bluffs near Shadow Falls.

Fantastic Mississippi River Views from Shadow Falls Park

Before reaching the head of the trail, we savored a view from an overlook perched above the Mississippi River. The view was incredibly beautiful on a bright and sunny day! Near this point, wanderers also discover an impressive WWI memorial. Quite a few adventurers were admiring the memorial during our visit.

Forest bathing in the ravines of Shadow Falls Park in Saint Paul, Minnesota
Forest bathing in the ravines of Shadow Falls Park.

As we entered the trail, we immediately felt the hug of the forest as trees wrapped around us. We descended into the ravine and traversing a bubbling brook. Tranquility found!

The rainbow colors of fall leaves floated in the gently flowing  brook at Shadow Falls Par
The rainbow colors of fall leaves floated in the gently flowing brook.

How can you not feel the whimsy of crossing brooks in such a spectacular setting? To add to the magic, the forest floor and brooks displayed a sprinkling of the very beginnings of fall colors! I always find it a treat to spot gently flowing water with the brilliant hues of fall leaves afloat.

Peeking at a Shimmering Waterfall through the Forest

Shadow Falls delicately falls within a quilt of leafy green and grey-brown rocks.
Shadow Falls delicately falls within a quilt of leafy green and grey-brown rocks.

Eventually, we began to climb slightly up onto the canyon edge. Soon, we spotted the waterfall through the trees. Pure delight!


A trail does lead down to the canyon floor where you can get closer to the waterfall. With particularly slippery terrain during our visit, we opted not to hike all the way down to the canyon floor. Rather, we embarked to the other side of the canyon rim. Don't miss the opportunity to view the falls from the other side. We enjoyed the light, silver dangles dripping through the green rainbow over the canyon side.

You  can see the gentle trickle of Shadow Falls just over my shoulder.
You  can see the gentle trickle of Shadow Falls just over my shoulder.

Incredibly, this idyllic spot has been a city park since 1902. We are so fortunate that residents had the foresight to preserve this nature haven. I so delighted in the gentle trickle of this waterfall. The silver strands offer such a unique experience in comparison to larger waterfalls. I love this sweet hum of nature in this spot. Shadow Falls Park provides a fantastic nature oasis for anyone visiting the Twin Cities.


Shadow Falls Park Provides a Minnesota Hike Complete with Stunning Ravine, a Gentle Waterfall and Mississippi River Views



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