Mid-October is not always the best time to go looking for waterfalls. The snow has melted long ago, there isn’t a whole lot of precipitation, and the summer months have caused much of the water to evaporate. For some of the larger falls in any area, you may still see a waterfall, but in other cases, not much will be there.
Minnemishinona Falls (say that one time fast) had almost completely disappeared by mid-October 2011. Only a few trickles of water remained, making it rather difficult to even capture the falls. In earlier seasons, the falls might actually be impressive, but I can’t really say that from my experience.
This particular falls is also difficult to capture because of the viewpoint. You’re standing on a bridge with metal bars, and you’ve got to maneuver your camera at the right angle to get a shot. The falls are relatively easy to visit, though, as they are very close to Minneopa State Park (with Minneopa Falls inside). From the parking area, it is also only a short walk to the bridge. (Google Maps also shows another waterfall, Minnewankon Falls, not far from Minnemishinona Falls. It also seems to be surrounding by houses, so I would hazard to guess it’s on private property…)
- From Mankato, head west on US-14.
- Turn left onto Nicollet County Road 41, which might also be signed as Rockford Road.
- Rockford Road then turns into Judson Bottom Road.
- Just after turning into Judson Bottom Road, you may notice a bridge off to your left going over a river. The falls are in front of that bridge. Continue just a short distance to a dirt parking area on your left. It may seem a little misleading because of the maintenance shed, but park here.
- Head back to the bridge to view the falls.
Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Length of Hike: roadside
Where in the World is Minnemishinona Falls?