For quite some time, I’ve known about the walking path/ stairs to Garvin heights, but until recently, I’d never climbed the bluff that way. Some guests from out of town looking to get a little exercise and a bird’s eye view of Winona gave me a good reason to check it out. And WOW, it’s another item to add to the list of Winona’s many treasures.
The path starts just east of the road up to Garvin Heights. It’s well marked by a sign. You can park along Lake Boulevard. There’s also a nice parking area about a block away, just west of the intersection of Huff Street and Lake Boulevard. The climb starts with a short set of steps that lead to a walking path. You walk a few minutes on the path which isn’t particularly steep, then come to the stairs.
We marveled at the amount of work it must have taken to build the stairs. They are several feet wide, made of well packed dirt and gravel plus large, flat stones, framed by sturdy landscaping timbers. With each step you gain about one foot of elevation. Since the top of the bluff is several hundred feet higher than Lake Winona, there are lots of steps !
If the hike gets you huffing and puffing, there are some well placed benches along the way. Even if you don’t need a break, it’s worth stopping just to soak in the sights. Hats off to whoever had the job of getting the concrete to these areas for the slabs on which the benches sit.
Your reward at the top is a stunning view of Winona from the look out. There’s hardly anywhere as scenic as Winona when dressed in fall colors, and a great way to take it all in before the leaves are gone would be a hike up the bluff on this wonderful path.