As one of the best day trip destinations from the Twin Cities, an hour and a half drive will get you miles of trail to explore and a free zoo! Oxbow Park is truly a gem and you'll enjoy the pristine prairie and shady forest on the banks of the South Branch Middle Fork Zumbro River. The free Zollman Zoo focuses on Minnesota native animals with over 30 different species on display, including bison, elk, eagles, and lynx. One campground is available for overnight stays.
The trails here connect to form loops of all lengths, so you can easily design a hike to suit your needs. The trails on the opposite side of the river from the parking area all involve uphill, so stick to the trails on the same side of the river for flat, easy hikes such as the Audubon Trail. The North Meadow Trail circles a hilltop prairie after some mild uphill climbing. Combine all of the trails into one big loop for an all day affair!