[Featured Image: Photo by Rick Pepper – The swinging bridge offers a lot of character for photo ops.]

Wildwood Park is one of rural Mankato’s best kept secrets.

I’ve enjoyed the 140-foot long swinging bridge that traverses the meandering Le Sueur river since the early 80’s. This remote yet close-to-home destination will entertain your family for hours with fishing, the swinging bridge, and a 120-foot trail bridge leading to paths through grass and river-bottom woodlands that intersect the lazy Le Sueur numerous times.

It’s also a great grad photo-op location.

Located just north of St. Clair on county road 28 at the intersection of County Roads 28 and 23, it’s just a scenic 15-minute drive from Mankato. The park isn’t open during the winter, but wears fall colors like a homecoming queen!

Photo by Rick Pepper - Kids play on the banks during lower water, typically in the fall.
Photo by Rick Pepper – Kids play on the banks during lower water, typically in the fall.
Photo by Rick Pepper - At high water, the bridge almost looks like something out of an Indiana Jones movie.
Photo by Rick Pepper – At high water, the bridge almost looks like something out of an Indiana Jones movie.
Photo by Rick Pepper - With the water low you can get a view of and appreciate the 150-foot span of the swinging bridge.
Photo by Rick Pepper – With the water low you can get a view of and appreciate the 150-foot span of the swinging bridge.
Photo by Rick Pepper - My kids play in the river bottom when the water is low.
Photo by Rick Pepper – My kids play in the river bottom when the water is low.
Photo by Rick Pepper - Lazy water makes for quiet fishing experiences.
Photo by Rick Pepper – Lazy water makes for quiet fishing experiences.
Photo by Rick Pepper - The Le Sueur River changes shape with every flash flood and fallen tree. It is especially attractive when the water is lower.
Photo by Rick Pepper – The Le Sueur River changes shape with every flash flood and fallen tree. It is especially attractive when the water is lower.

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Rick Pepper
A life-long Mankato native Rick's current distraction of choice is photography. He especially enjoys event photography - capturing life's moments - and gets plenty of practice at his children's sporting events. He enjoys other media including live sound production and recording. He serves as a sound tech at his church.