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Waterfalls and Mother Nature Restored the Spirits of a Mom and Daughter

Colleen Radke shares how a difficult divorce and the trials brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic inspired her to get back to nature with her five-year-old daughter.

In her inspiring story in the February 2021 issue of Guideposts, Colleen Radke shares how a difficult divorce, the stress of caring for a person struggling with their sobriety and the trials brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic inspired her to get back to nature with her five-year-old daughter, Wynn, who suggested they set goal of visiting 67 waterfalls. Here, the mother-daughter duo share a few of their favorite sights.

Cascade Falls; Osceola, WI

1 of 16 Cascade Falls

Waterfall #3: Osceola, Wisconsin

“This was an easy short walk,” said Colleen, “with a million steps to get to the falls, which are located in the heart of downtown Osceola.”


Hidden Falls near Northfield, Minnesota

2 of 16 Hidden Falls

Waterfall #8: Nerstrand Big Wood’s State Park near Northfield, Minnesota

“This is one of Wynn’s favorite parks to visit,” said Colleen. “We go here often.”

Triple Falls; Mankato, MN

3 of 16 Triple Falls

Waterfall #11: Mankato, Minnesota

“This isn’t a well-known fall,” said Coleen, “but it’s definitely worth finding!”


Caron Falls. Northfield, MN

4 of 16 Caron Falls

Waterfall #15: Northfield, Minnesota

“This waterfall is located just a few miles from Nerstrand,” Colleen said. “If we had known about it sooner, we could have visited it on the day we were in Nerstrand.”


Devil's Punchbowl; Menomonie, WI

5 of 16 Devil's Punchbowl

Waterfall #18: Menomonie, Wisconsin

“This fall doesn’t have a hike,” said Colleen. “There is a flight of steps to the bottom.”


Boomsite Falls; Stillwater, MN

6 of 16 Boomsite Falls

Waterfall #21: Stillwater, Minnesota

“I’ve literally hiked this fall more then any other fall, as I grew up right by it,” said Colleen. “This fall has been my ‘I need Mother Nature’s healing’ place since I was Wynn’s age.”


Buttermilk Falls; Osceola, WI

7 of 16 Buttermilk Falls

Waterfall #22: Osceola, Wisconsin

“This was a super fun hike,” said Colleen, “and Wynn absolutely loved the rope for climbing from the bottom of the fall.”

Shadow Falls; St. Paul, MN

8 of 16 Shadow Falls

Waterfall #23: St. Paul, Minnesota

“This fall is in the heart of St. Paul,” said Colleen. “It was by far the slipperiest, muddiest fall we hiked.”


Big Spring Falls; Eau Claire, WI

9 of 16 Big Spring Falls

Waterfall #26: Eau Claire, WI

“This was the day my lawyer informed me that my husband has signed tbe divorce papers,” recalled Colleen, “and they were being sent to the judge for her signature.”


Gooseberry Falls; Gooseberry State Park, MN

10 of 16 Gooseberry Falls

Waterfall #26: Gooseberry State Park, Minnesota

“This is another fall both Wynn and I have seen many times,” said Colleen. “It’s the ‘Gateway to the North Shore of Lake Superior.’”


Namaste Falls; Temperance River State Park, Minnesota

11 of 16 Namaste Falls

Waterfall  #48: Temperance River State Park, Minnesota

“This is the last of six falls along the Temperance River,” Colleen said.


Lower Falls on the Brule River; Judge C.R. Magney State Park, Minnesota

12 of 16 Lower Falls on the Brule River

Waterfall #49:  Judge C.R. Magney State Park, Minnesota

“This was a brutally hot and humid day,” Colleen recalled. “Wynn and our dog, Rita, couldn’t stay out of the water.”

Caribou Falls; Little Marais, Minnesota

13 of 16 Caribou Falls

Waterfall #51: Little Marais, Minnesota

“That same hot day finds Wynn again in the water with Rita,” Colleen said. “This is another of Wynn’s favorite falls.”


High Falls; Tettegouche State Park, Minnesota

14 of 16 High Falls

Waterfall #53: Tettegouche State Park, Minnesota

“That same summery day,” recalled Colleen, “and once again Wynn and Rita had to get wet!”


Minnehaha Falls; Minneapolis, Minnesota

15 of 16 Minnehaha Falls

Waterfall #55: Minneapolis, Minnesota

“This fall is right on the border of St. Paul and Minneapolis,” Colleen said. “It is probably is the best known fall in Minnesota because of its location in the middle of the Twin Cities.”


Winniewissa Falls; Pipestone National Monument, Pipestone, MN

16 of 16 Winniewissa Falls

Waterfall #67: Pipestone National Monument, Pipestone, Minnesota

“We finally made it to the final fall of our 67-waterfall adventure!” Colleen said.

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