Summer is in full swing in Minnesota and people are flocking to the outdoors, especially as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. Gathering outdoors with family and friends is a great way to reconnect while enjoying the weather. Cannon Falls is home to plenty of parks, trails and waterways that can be visited for free and provide a variety of entertainment options.
Riverside Park is found off Highway 20 coming into Cannon Falls right after the bridge and is at the confluence of the Cannon and Little Cannon rivers. It’s a great place to relax with plenty of trees and shade with a playground for children and a pavilion for parties. The Cannon Falls Trail connects it with Hannah’s Bend Park, Two Rivers Park, the Cannon Falls Veterans Memorial and Minnieska Park.
Two Rivers Park and the Veterans Memorial are on the other side of Highway 20 and the bridge from Riverside Park. Two Rivers has a modest amount of green space that complements the Veterans Memorial, which honors Cannon Falls military members who have fallen while serving their country. For those leery of cross the highway, the Cannon Falls Trail cuts underneath the bridge along the river from Riverside Park to Two Rivers and the Veterans Memorial.
Northeast from Riverside Park and Two Rivers Park/Cannon Falls Veterans Memorial is Hannah’s Bend Park, which lies alongside the Cannon River and Cannon Valley Fairgrounds. Connected to Riverside Park via a short walk/bike ride along the Cannon Falls Trail, Hannah’s Bend is the largest of the aforementioned parks. It features a large expanse of green space that holds a modest playground, pavilion, picnic areas and a disc golf course. There are plenty of spots to fish the Cannon River on the shores of the park and the Mill Towns State Trail starts at the park and cuts through the fairgrounds following the course of the river.
Minnieska Park is further into town below the falls of the Little Cannon River and connects to the other parks via the Cannon Falls Trail. Minnieska Park has a beautiful view of some small falls with John Burch Park in the background and features places to sit, eat and relax. It also has a small pond.
John Burch Park is a beautiful baseball field with the Little Cannon River running alongside the outfield fence and rock seating set into the hill on the first base side. One of the most unique ballparks in the area, John Burch Park offers an exquisite view and great games as home to the Cannon Falls Bombers high school baseball team and the Cannon Falls Bears, the amateur townball team who play in the Classic Cannon Valley League. It is located on Highway 19/Main St. W. and 7th St. N. in downtown Cannon Falls.
Last, but certainly not least, is Lake Byllesby Regional Park. Located between Cannon Falls and Randolph along the Lake Byllesby Reservoir, the regional park is a premier destination in the area. It features a public beach, picnic areas, a hiking trail, motorized and non-motorized boat launches and a campground for campers with amenities (not free, reservations required).
All of the above are just some of the great options for summer fun in the Cannon Falls area. For more information, go to Cannon Falls’ profile on Explore Minnesota for more information at https://www.exploreminnesota.com.