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“Towering Fun”
Review of Barn Bluff

Barn Bluff
Ranked #1 of 21 things to do in Red Wing
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: A 350-foot cliff that was so named because of its resemblance to a barn.
Reviewed 28 May 2018

Can't miss this free hike. Stairs and trails to access the summit are noted in difficulty. Advise bug spray for the early morning bugs. Fantastic vista. You can easily ascend and get back down in about an hour.

Afraid of heights, this is a hard pass, though. FYI.

Date of experience: May 2018
1  Thank Neal L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"south trail"
in 23 reviews
"great hike"
in 15 reviews
"mississippi river"
in 18 reviews
"great view"
in 13 reviews
"easy hike"
in 6 reviews
"lime kiln"
in 4 reviews
"american flag"
in 4 reviews
"bug spray"
in 4 reviews
"west side"
in 3 reviews
"dead end"
in 3 reviews
"flights of stairs"
in 3 reviews
"worth the effort"
in 4 reviews
"parking spot"
in 2 reviews
"eagles soaring"
in 2 reviews
"trail map"
in 2 reviews
"dirt road"
in 2 reviews
"great family"
in 2 reviews

19 - 23 of 168 reviews

Reviewed 10 March 2018

We very much enjoy good art. I would have never thought about this place glad we visited. Saw quality art. You just seem to wander around the place, Some of the studios would have been nice to visit

Date of experience: March 2018
1  Thank Keith B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 January 2018 via mobile

This is a great hike in the area. Mixed terrain gives you level grade and a good up hill climb. It culminates in an awesome view of Red Wing and the Mississippi River eagles soaring, river boats churning past. I've met every age group while hiking this bluff.

Date of experience: September 2017
1  Thank cashwy29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 December 2017

According to local Dakota legend, hundreds of years ago, back in the days of floppy disks, Clearly Canadian, and when Bob Barker hosted "The Price is Right", a large mountain stood in the place of Barn Bluff. After arguments ensued over who owned this prime spot for watching over enemies, contestants from two Dakota rival villages participated in challenges for immunity and to win sole possession.

Tie votes proved problematic, so the Great Spirit and Jeff Probst instead divided the mountain into two parts. One part stayed in Red Wing and was named Barn Bluff, while the other part moved down the Mississippi River to Winona, where it was named Sugarloaf.

We'll save the sugar for later.

Barn Bluff has several scenic trails that are perfect for quick, yet fairly steep hikes (expect to spend maybe 30 minutes to an hour to cover the roundtrip hike plus exploring/taking photos at the summit), with the reward being stunning views of Red Wing, Wisconsin, and the Mississippi River at the top. Prehistoric people used to build burial mounds on top of the bluff, so take a moment to think back about all the footsteps that came before yours when you get there.

Kids and dogs will enjoy the hike, but be always be careful of loose rocks and drop-offs along the trails. Find a bathroom before you go--there are none at the bluff.

Now the tricky part...to find the trailhead (GPS will not always bring you to right spot).
A. Drive into town.
B. Look up at bluff
C. Admire or scoff at of the area dedicated to graffiti on the West side of the bluff. There are layers upon layers of paint featuring graduation years, love declarations, and even tributes to Prince! While not technically legal to deface the bluff, the graffiti has been a tradition for over 50 years--the city doesn't usually paint over it unless there are complaints.
D. Ask a local for directions. They're usually tame as long as you don't make any sudden movements.

*Trail lengths*
--South Trail--
To Lime Quarry .32 miles
To East Scenic Overlook .83 miles
Roundtrip from Main Park Access to West Scenic Overlook 2.27 miles
--Prairie Trail--
From West Scenic Overlook to East Scenic Overlook .55 miles
--Carlson Lime Kiln Trail--
.3 miles RT (dead end)

*The North trail is closed, but the connection path that leads there also goes to the midland trail and quarry trail, both of which are open. The North trail, being the most difficult and dangerous trail was temporarily closed for modifications (there have been 3 fatalities on that trail since 2011). It should be opening back up again this fall.

"Barn Bluff"
(Parody of "Love Shack" ~B-52's)

If you see a little sign at the side of East Fifth that says
Drive straight down to the Barn Bluff
Barn Bluff yeah
I'm driving down over to Barn Bluff's lot
Looking for a gooood parking spot
Looking for a gooo--oood parking spot
I found me a slot underneath a shade tree
Don't need money 'cause the parking is free
Three-hundred, forty feet, to the best city view
So strap on that Fitbit and let it acrue
The Barn Bluff is a pretty, old hill where
We can hike together
Barn Bluff Baby!

At Barn Buff, Baby
Barn Bluff, hiking, Barn Bluff
Barn Bluff, hiking, barn Bluff
Barn Bluff, hiking, barn bluff
Barn Bluff, hiking barn bluff

Sign Says, "Closed", for the north trail
"Cause we care, 'bout your hiking fails"
Cause that trail goes back to a narrow, slippery path
With a bunch of loose rocks and steep vertical drops

Hiking up the South Trail
Hiking up the Midland....
Hiking to the lime kiln
Hiking through the Prairie....

The Love Shack is a pretty, old hill where
We can hike together

Barn Bluff, baby
Barn Bluff, baby
Barn Bluff, that's where we hike
Barn Bluff, that's where we hike

Huffin' and a-puffin', workin' off your muffin
Hiking to the summit, keep on path and don't plummet!
The big hill's rockin'
Yeah the big hill's rockin'
The big hill's rockin', when everyone's a wanderin' on up,
And on up, and on up, and back down!
Everybody's traipsin', everybody's trampin' around
Crowds trekkin' up the trail just to trek down
Everybody's traipsin', everybody's trampin' around
Rockin' that bluff
Rockin' out that bluff!
Climb to the summit, it's an amazing view
Where your crew can rendevoooous,
Wear your hiking shoes, make sure that they're grippy, put em' on
'Cause loose rocks can get slippery!
The Barn Bluff is a little old hill where
We can hike together
Barn Bluff, baby

Your what?
Barn Door's
Barn Bluff, baby Barn Bluff!
Barn Bluff, baby Barn Bluff!

After docking the bluff one "Uffda" for the sometimes ill-maintained paths and signage, I would give this beautiful and historic bluff four hearty (and possibly out of breath) "Uffdas".

Date of experience: November 2017
11  Thank buttereyes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 19 December 2017

Great family friendly hike, views spectacular and price was right as it was free. Pet friendly too, will do it again in the spring.

Date of experience: October 2017
Thank Noreen O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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