Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
40.00 ft (12.19 m)
Trail type
2.50 mi (4.02 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The Hiking Club Trail (see the end of this article for information about the Hiking Club) at Buffalo River State Park is a 2.5-mile loop. This trail follows the wooded Buffalo River valley and takes the hiker to a prairie habitat of gently rolling hills. This trail is s suitable for most abilities. There is a fee to enter the park; a day use or annual permit can be purchased at the Park Office. Dogs are allowed on this trail when on a leash. Parking for this hike is can be found by the picnic and swimming pond area.

To start this hike head to the west of the swimming pond toward the footbridge over the Buffalo River. Once you are by the river follow the River View Trail to the east for less than a mile. There are many opportunities on this wooded section of the hike to view the Buffalo River. At the intersection marked as ‘D’ head north; this short trail takes you to the Wide Sky Trail. At intersection ‘G’ head west of the Wide Sky Trail which is takes the hiker through a northern tallgrass prairie. After about a half mile the Wide Sky Trail ends (at intersection ’H’), the Old Grade Trail begins. The Old Grade Trail continues through the prairie for about a third of a mile.

After the trail crosses a road, follow the mowed trail past the campground dump station to the Muskoda Trail which has interpretive signs. The Muskoda Trail is just under a half mile in length and ends at the campground. Hike of the north portion of the campground road loop and look for the trail that takes you back to the swimming pond to complete the hike.

The Minnesota State Park’s Hiking Club program encourages hikers to hike a designated Hiking Club Trail at most state parks. A Hiking Club password is found on all of these hikes. You can earn patches, free camping, and even a plaque (if you hike all of the Hiking Club trails) for participating in the club. A Hiking Club kit can be purchased at most state parks for $14.95 (as of 2021). More information about the program can be found here.

A map of this hike can be found here.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

State Park Fee

Open Year-round



Nice hike by a river and through a prairie.


Part of the trail is a walk through the campground.

Trailhead Elevation

983.00 ft (299.62 m)

Highest point

1,023.00 ft (311.81 m)


Near lake or river
Family friendly
Flushing toilets
Potable water

Typically multi-day


Permit required



Nearby Adventures


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