John A. Lastch State Park is located along Highway 61 between Wabasha and Winona, about 100 miles or 2 hours southeast of the Twin Cities. The park has three buffs: Mount Faith, Mount Hope, and Mount Charity. The hike up Riverview Trail leads to Mount Charity, but a trail at the top suggests the other bluffs may also be accessible.
Riverview Trail was created by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1933 and currently has 568 steps leading to the top. Though not leisurely, if I can make it with my camera gear, I’d suggest anyone wishing for a view from the top also make the effort as the views and solitude make it all worth while. With very few visitors, a rest along the way is unlikely to inconvenience anyone.
Only another 400 steps to go.
Riverview Trail Steps:
Looking north from the second lookout.
View From the Edge:
Atop Mount Charity:
Tripod on the Ledge:
Looking south from a ledge below Mount Charity, Highway 61 and Lock and Dam No. 5 are below.
Highway 61 from the Bluff:
Buffalo City, Wisconsin is off in the distance.
Mount Charity Twilight:
I witnessed a Mayfly hatch, got swarmed by mosquitoes and I stayed till nearly all light was gone, then walked down quickly in the dark with a flashlight hoping not to meet a black bear also using the steps.