Inspiration Peak Offers Breathtaking Views of Central Minnesota’s Leaf Hills

One of the only downsides to living in Central Minnesota is the fact that it is relatively flat. But if that’s the biggest problem, we have it pretty good.

The silver lining just so happens to be the Leaf Hills in North Central Minnesota. They’re no mountains, but they are the closest thing we have, and they do offer some breathtaking views!

Summer is coming to a close and I had one thing left to check off my must-do list. I wanted to see the top of Inspiration Peak near the small town of Urbank.

As mentioned before, I’ve spent many weekends of my life in the Otter Tail County area, and there were always suggestions of visiting Inspiration Peak, but no one every actually made the move. I wasn’t going to let another summer slip by without seeing it.

My parents, two dogs, and myself loaded into the car and set out on the short drive from the cabin to the trail head at Inspiration Peak.

The peak itself rises 1,750 feet, about 400 feet above the surrounding country side. The area surrounding it is called the Leaf Hills, and it was created by glaciers 11,000 years ago. Those retreating ice walls left behind the highest points in the state of Minnesota.

The walk up is relatively short and easy, with a paved path and hand rails on the particularly steep sections. Once at the summit you can see for miles in three directions. Farm lands, native prairies, lakes, and hard wood forests all make up the gorgeous scenery of rural Central Minnesota.

The famous novelist Sinclair Lewis even once wrote about Inspiration Peak praising “the enchanting peace and seclusion of this place for contemplation”.

There was a church group at the top when I was there, so seclusion and contemplation wasn’t on the menu for my parents and I. But we did have a great time taking pictures and soaking in the view.

If you are looking for a morning or afternoon trip (or make a whole day of it and head towards Battle Lake) I can’t recommend this enough. I can’t wait to see it when the fall colors come in!


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