The Fight to Save our Natural Beauty

Respect of Nature

This Red Wing bend in the river is surrounded by outstanding natural beauty.  Ten thousand years ago giant retreating glaciers formed this area’s many stunning bluffs and created the river's sharpest navigable bend.  The native Dakotans called this land “Khemnichan” which stands for hills, woods and water.  Two majestic bluffs define this bend in the river. In the 1700’s French Voyageurs recognized the barn-like shape of one of our bluffs and named it “La Grange” or Barn Bluff.  Red Wing’s other and wider bluff is Sorin’s Bluff which was named in honor Rev. Matthew Sorin.

Barn Bluff offers a beautiful and challenging 1.2-mile trail for walkers, hikers and rock climbers.  Sorin’s Bluff’s spacious peak can be reached by driving a gorgeous twisting road to the top.   On top is Memorial Park with stunning overlooks, hiking and bike trails and disc golf.  The natural beauty that surrounds Red Wing has also been a source of raw materials and jobs.  Limestone quarrying and mining with large explosions on both Barn and Sorin's bluff began in the late 1800s and almost took them all away until 1908 when, “the quarrying of rock from Barn Bluff (and Sorin’s Bluff) was stopped as a result of an action of the populace.”  This video is one version of the 1908 popular uprising that saved Red Wing's Barn Bluff forever.

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