Featured Photo by Kevin Wolf

Hiking on the Great River Road

Time to take a hike? Discover new and familiar landscapes along the Great River Road!


Sugar Loaf Bluff (Winona, MN) – 1.2 miles

Hike Winona’s proud landmark! Sugar Loaf is a gradual climb and the landmark itself is almost 85 feet tall.

Soo Line Trail Southern Route (Holdingford-Duluth, MN) – 124.9 miles

Experience wildlife and small town businesses along a long distance trail. All skill levels are welcomed, as well as leashed animals. 


Sugar Creek Bluff (Ferryville, WI) – 2.2 miles

This scenic route provides an overlook of the Mississippi River and prairie flora. The hike is also great for bird enthusiasts with hawks, eagles and turkey vultures living in the region. 

Old Immigrant Trail and Bluff Trail (Bagley, WI) – 3.4 miles

The trail starts down a bluff and eventually leads to beautiful marshland. The trail is enjoyed by many hikers during the fall season when the leaves change color.


Starr’s Cave Park and Preserve (Burlington, IA) – 0.5 miles

Great River Road travelers can visit Burlington’s rock formations! The trail is a great day trip excursion for the family to experience wildlife.

Little Fox Pond Loop Trail (Wapello, IA) – 5.9 miles

This trail allows all levels of hikers to experience wildlife such as turtles, ducks, eagles, and more. During the winter months, the trail is great for snowshoeing. 


Winston Tunnel Trail (Galena, IL) – 2.3 miles

Visit the entrance of the 1888 tunnel and follow the tracks! Although the hike is a little over two miles, the steep terrain can take a few hours to walk on.

Fults Hill Prairie Nature Preserve Trail (Prairie du Rocher, IL) – 1.4 miles

This loop will give legs a workout! The beginning portion of the path is steep, but nonetheless full of beautiful wildflowers, rock formations, and scenic viewing spots.


Sodalis Paved Trail (Hannibal, MO) – 2.6 miles

Within the cave formations on the Sodalis Preserve, over 211,000 federally endangered bats hibernate! The southern hills of Hannibal offer paved and unpaved trails for all year access.

Towosahgy State Historic Site Loop (East Prairie, MO) – 0.7 miles

The trail leads to two mounds created by the early people of Mississippi between A.D. 1000 and A.D. 1400. One reviewer claims the hike is “off the beaten path”.


Columbus – Belmont State Park Trail (Columbus, KY) – 2 miles

The region is rich with history. Hikers can navigate Confederate trenches and immerse themselves in Civil War history.

Greenway Trail (Paducah, KY) – 7.6 miles

The Greenway Trail recently extended connection to Schultz Park and the Paducah Riverfront, making another perfect spot to catch the trail. Cycle rentals are available from Hooper’s Outdoor Center downtown and BikeWorld, Bikes & Fitness near Noble Park.


Fort Pillow Loop (Burlison, TN) – 8.1 miles

The trail was built by Confederate soldiers in 1861! Civil War and general history enthusiasts will enjoy a walk through history on this well-marked trail.

Pioneer Springs Trail (Millington, TN) – 4.9 miles

State and national tree champions (largest recorded living specimens of the tree variety) can be found on this trail! Wildlife isn’t modest in this region with over 200 species of bird to enjoy for viewing pleasure.


Bear Creek Lake Nature Trail (Lexa, AR) – 0.8 miles

Hikers can experience Crowley’s Ridge up close! Join the other Mississippi River State Park visitors and enjoy Bear Creek Lake’s wildlife. 

Delta Heritage Trail (Helena, AR) – 14 miles

A great location for visitors looking to hike a more remote trail! This rail to trail conversion provides scenic explorations in the delta.


Potkopinu Trail (Fayette, MS) – 6.9 miles 

In the southern portion of the National Scenic Trail, Potkopinu Trail offers the longest remaining “sunken” trace. The trail also has numerous stream crossings.

Clark Creek Primitive Trail (Woodville, MS) – 4.3 miles

This trail visits six different waterfalls at Clark Creek State Park. An important note: there is an enforced $4 parking fee.


Jean Lafitte Barataria Preserve Trails (New Orleans, LA)

The entire trail region is comprised of three different trails: Palmetto Trail, Bayou Coquille Trail, and Marsh Overlook Trail! All of them offer a unique and scenic hiking experience. 

Bonnett Carre Spillway Trail (La Place, LA) – 5.2 miles

Originally intended for biking, the spillway trail is also a great location for hikers! The area is also alleviated for river flooding.