This park was created in 1931 on land donated by the Lindbergh family in memory of Charles A. Lindbergh, Sr., a prominent U.S. Congressman from Minnesota and father of Charles A. Lindbergh, Jr., the famous aviator, military officer, author, inventor, and activist. Charles Junior was raised here, on what was then the family farm and in Washington, DC. The land sits on the bank of the Mississippi River just downstream of Little Falls, Minnesota.
The park office and the nearby Lindbergh Museum were both closed when we visited on a weekday. So we contented ourselves with the Hiking Club route and the information signs posted along it. The day was still clear and sunny, but warming, and the bugs were starting to overachieve (again). 🙄 But we went on around the Club loop, through patches of forest, and past open prairie (restored farmland).
On the west side of the loop, we passed the site where Lindbergh landed a Curtis JN-4D Jenny in 1923. In the intervening 100 years, the trees grew back, so you have to use your imagination to see him landing it what was then a farm field.
Beyond the landing site, we circled the edge of a restored prairie bursting with flowers, then passed back into the woods, and on to the trailhead.
And so, sweaty, bitten, and smelling faintly of DEET, we reached the end of this chapter of our state park quest. Eight parks in three days may seem like we rushed, but several of these aren’t that large and the Hiking Club routes did a good job 👍 of steering us to interesting and informative areas within each park. We can’t think of a better way to supercharge our getting to know Minnesota outside the Twin Cities. But we are compiling a list of parks that we’d like to revisit at some point – either to hike different, longer trails or in the winter (provided, of course, there aren’t winterized mosquitos 🦟🥶). Meanwhile, the quest will continue! 😁
On the way home, we stopped briefly at Little Falls to see the dam and hydroelectric plant that supplies 4.5 megawatts of carbon-free power to homes in Minnesota. 💡