Vadnais-Snail Lakes Regional Park Is Underrated for Leaf Peeping

An explosion of color, sans the foot traffic

After yesterday’s flurry of ❄️, we’re feeling fortunate to have caught what may be the last of the fall 🍁 colors. This photo above was snapped on a short hike through Vadnais-Snail Lakes Regional Park in Vadnais Heights, about 15 minutes north of the Twin Cities.

Wide, undulating Nordic ski trails lope around Snail Lake, Sucker Lake, Grass Lake, and East and West Vadnais Lakes. On a beautiful Saturday afternoon, we encountered almost no foot traffic along the partially paved Sucker Lake Loop, a gentle 2.6-mile trek that gains just 76 feet in elevation. We’re not cross-country skiers by any stretch, but we can imagine how scenic this trail would look blanketed in snow. It’s good for birdwatching too: herons, sandhill cranes, goldfinches, etc.

Other notable park amenities include a swimming beach and shoreline fishing, large playground, sand volleyball court, and a cluster of curiously Brutalist picnic tables. There’s even a pig-roasting area near the rental pavilion (bookable for a fee), if that’s your thing. 🐷

Vadnais-Snail Lakes Regional Park
4191 Snail Lake Blvd., Shoreview, MN; 651-748-2500.