Welcome to the Frontenac State Park virtual tour! You'll see gorgeous views of Lake Pepin, on the Mississippi River, from bluff tops. Hike a trail or enjoy relaxing at a campsite with friends. We hope it prompts you to visit the park in person sometime soon.
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View of Park Office
A scenic view from a bluff top reveals a glimpse of the park office and entrance road. Visitors can stop by the office to purchase a vehicle permit, register for camping, or get more information about the area. Come wintertime, this bluff becomes a popular sledding hill.
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Picnic Area Overlook
A paved walkway offers a prominent view of Lake Pepin. Nearby plaques share information about the area’s history, and several picnic tables provide the perfect place to rest and take in the view. This is the starting point of the park’s self-guided trails and the Hiking Club Trail.
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Accessible Picnic Site
This accessible picnic site has a gorgeous view of Lake Pepin. It is conveniently located along a paved, accessible trail that runs from the campground to the picnic area parking lot.
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Bluff Side Trail
The adventurous will enjoy the Bluff Side Trail as it traverses the steep bluff with a series of wooden stairs and switchbacks. The trail starts from either the picnic area or campground, descends to near water level, and then climbs back up to the bluff top at 430 feet above Lake Pepin. This trail is most commonly done as a loop. Hikers may start in the campground, go down past In Yan Teopa, walk along the lower trail, and finally hike up to the picnic area and walk back to the campground.
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Steep limestone walls border the trail at this wooded location. From the late 1800s to the early 1900s an active limestone quarry would have been found here.
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Old Frontenac Overlook
As hikers look through the trees below, they may view the historic community of Old Frontenac. This community was a popular tourist destination in the 1880s and is still home to many today. This wooden overlook is along a self-guided trail and the Hiking Club Trail.
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Pine Loop Trail
Winding beneath towering pines, this trail is excellent for hiking or skiing. The trail loops through an old pine plantation and is a great spot to see wildlife. Can you spot the white-tailed deer in this scene?
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Hikers will enjoy beautiful prairie flowers and grasses during a short half mile loop or a longer 2.5 mile loop along this trail. This section of trail is a mowed path that passes through the prairie and under a big blue sky.
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Wildlife Observation Blind
A wildlife observation blind on the edge of the Pleasant Valley Lakelet provides a unique wildlife viewing experience. With a location near the Mississippi River, Frontenac State Park offers excellent views of migrating birds in the spring and fall. More than 260 species of birds have been recorded in the park.
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In Yan Teopa Rock
From this wooden overlook, visitors can look down upon a large rock outcropping called In Yan Teopa (the Dakota name meaning “rock with opening”). This uniquely shaped rock is a popular point of interest in the park.
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This popular non-electric site provides a glimpse of Lake Pepin through the trees. The site has a tent pad, picnic table, and a fire ring that is perfect for gathering around in the evening. Showers and flush toilets are available nearby on a seasonal basis.
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Trees provide shade over a popular electric site with a view of the Mississippi River Valley. This site has a picnic table and fire ring. Showers and flush toilets are available nearby on a seasonal basis.
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Rustic cart-in sites are approximately a quarter mile from the parking lot and provide a more private experience than the main campground. A mowed trail leads up to this site beneath the trees where a picnic table, fire ring, and food locker are ready for the next visitors. Each cart-in site has a cart available to help campers bring their gear to the site. Vault toilets can be found nearby.
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Bluff Top Prairies
This western most part of the park is undeveloped and is also the site of ongoing prairie restoration efforts. Prairie grasses and wildflowers stretch as far as the eye can see.
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This sandy point extends into Lake Pepin and grows or shrinks with fluctuating water levels. Birders will enjoy viewing migrating shorebirds here in spring and fall.
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Midway along Sand Point
Midway out to Sand Point, hikers or boaters will find a great spot to sit in the sand and spend a day along the shores of Lake Pepin.
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Wayside and Historical Marker
This wayside on Hwy 61 is the access point for the park’s Sand Point Trail. From here, a one mile hike or ski will get you out to Sand Point. Snow blankets a nearby historical marker that shares information about French trading posts on Lake Pepin.
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Picnic Shelter in Winter
An enclosed warming shelter provides the perfect place to light a fire in the wood stove and warm-up after skiing, snowshoeing, or winter hiking. Snow blankets several picnic tables and nearby Lake Pepin in this scene.