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I camp with my family at several state parks each year and love to hike and explore. The North Shore of Lake Superior … Other inspiring vistas at the park include Eagle Point and Signal Point. Split Rock Lighthouse State Park Editor's Choice. Address: 780 Minnesota 210, Carlton, Minnesota, Official site: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/jay_cooke/index.html, The inviting waters of the Whitewater River define Whitewater State Park | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane. Make sure you hike to the Upper and Middle Falls. The North Shore of Lake Superior is one of the most scenic... 3. Here are the top 10, as ranked by overnight visitors in 2015. More Outdoor Experiences in Minnesota: To extend your Minnesota adventure, you'll find all kinds of great hiking trails throughout the state, as well as mountain bike trails to get you moving a little faster. The pros know the headwaters of the Mississippi at Itasca State Park are prettier after a fresh snow. Popular hiking routes begin with the Quarry Loop Trail, which takes hikers past interpretive signs and sandstone quarry ruins adjacent to the rugged banks of the Kettle River. Take time to visit the Old Crow Wing Town Site, where signs tell about the history of this 19th century frontier town near present-day Brainerd. The hilly terrain is home to bears, wolves, and other wildlife. Give your home holiday style in a flash with these simple yet creative decorating projects. It's important to stay in your car along Bison Drive, and if you're lucky, you might catch a glimpse of these big animals alongside the cascading Minneopa Falls. The state park features drive-in sites, electric sites, and a few canoe sites available on a first-come, first-served basis. There are 75 Minnesota state parks and recreation areas ready for you to explore. Coon Rapids. Rock climbers also frequent the park to ascend the various quartzite cliffs, and a small herd of reintroduced American bison also call the park home. 8 Minnesota State Parks to Explore This Winter. Address: 43605 Kipp Drive, Winona, Minnesota, Official site: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/great_river_bluffs/index.html, Cliffs along Lake Superior in Tettegouche State Park. BESTSELLER NO. It’s no surprise then that Minnesota is a popular family vacation spot. With pebble beaches, jutting cliffsides, and more than 20 miles of hiking trails to explore, this state park is a hot spot for exploring the outdoors in Minnesota. Agate Beach, where the river meets Lake Superior, is a fun place to agate-hunt. After checking out the falls, you can't leave without taking a quick trip along Bison Drive, where you might see the resident bison herd that roams over 300 acres of the park. You can reach the visitor centers for Voyageurs by car, but the Kabetogama Peninsula and heart of the park is only accessible by boat, plane, or crossing the frozen lake in the winter. “ very scenic place to hike, walk , or picnic with family , friends,nice ambiance -relaxing-can take nice pictures here , watch people ,fish or … Leading to backcountry campsites and more views of the St. Louis River, and connecting with the North Country National Scenic Trail, the hiking trails here are some of the best in Minnesota. Fishing is a fun activity for all ages. Best Camping In Minnesota State Parks in 2020. If you have time, venture out of the main section to Big Creek Falls (also part of the park) in Sandstone, 90 miles north of the Twin Cities. Read on to find the best camping in the great state of Minnesota! The preservation of parks within our state and country is … Enjoy the rich taste of pumpkin in pies, cakes, soups, cupcakes, bar cookies, cheesecakes and more. 12 Top-Rated National & State Parks in Minnesota 1. Check Price on Amazon.com. In the southern portion of the state, Minneopa State Park may be one of the smaller state parks of Minnesota, but with a two-tiered waterfall and a reintroduced American bison herd, it is well worth an afternoon of exploring. Fort Snelling State Park The swimming beach, river walks, and tons of wildlife at the confluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers make this one of the best truly urban parks in the country. Featuring Miller-Richter State Wildlife Management Area, Minnesota Slough State Wildlife Management Area, Minnie-Man State Wildlife Management Area, Madelia State Wildlife Management Area, Madsen State Wildlife Management Area, Mallard Hole State Wildlife Management Area This is a list of Minnesota state parks.There are 67 state parks, nine state recreation areas, nine state waysides, and 23 state trails in the Minnesota state park system, totaling approximately 267,000 acres (1,080 km 2). Several private and public campgrounds on the inland shores of Voyageurs cater to car camping. These stunning rock formations are pink in color, but when settlers first came upon the area, they thought they saw blue from the distance, giving this state park a name that still sticks more than 150 years later. Bison Drive is open to the public Thursday through Tuesday, and the gates close promptly at 3:30pm. June 2, 2011 at 2:34 pm. Interstate State Park is currently the oldest state park in Wisconsin is one of the most loved state parks and is a perfect escape for a motorhome camping trip. 1. © Copyright 2020 PlanetWare Inc. All rights reserved. The half-mile trail that leads to Minneopa Falls is evenly graded and easily accessible, allowing every member of the family to enjoy the view of this stunning double waterfall. It is quite the sight to see the churning waters of the St. Louis River continue to make their mark on the landscape, and with more than 50 miles of hiking trails throughout the park, you'll find many outlets to explore Jay Cooke beyond the parking lot. What’s more, this time of year also presents a number of fresh and interesting ways to explore the parks. Camping is also popular at Whitewater State Park, with hundreds of drive-in sites and four camper cabins. This story is part of our “ See America, One State Park at a Time ” series. That's because this North Shore natural space embodies everything the Superior shoreline has to offer. Grand Portage State Park is designated as day-use only, and upon your visit, it's almost required to travel the half-mile, wheelchair-accessible boardwalk that leads to the viewing platform for the stunning 120-foot High Falls created by the Pigeon River. As Minnesota's oldest state park, Itasca has been exposing state residents and visitors to a stunning landscape for more than a century. Between the bluff-lined hiking trails and churning waters of the Whitewater River, what really ties everything together at Whitewater State Park are its spacious and scenic campsites. Camping at Soudan Underground Mine State Park consists of 33 electric sites at the Vermilion Ridge Campground. Surrounded by old-growth forest and with the recent addition of Lake Vermillion, Soudan Underground Mine State Park also provides plenty of recreation above ground. Minnesota’s first state park is 32,690 acres and sees over half a million visitors per year. Once home to a thriving 19th-century sandstone quarry, Banning State Park is now a fascinating historical space that offers educational opportunities alongside stunning scenery. About 49 miles of trails thread throughout Itasca, exposing hikers to a variety of environments, and the Jacob V. Brower Visitors Center provides educational and cultural opportunities. From Devil’s Lake State Park in Wisconsin to Grand Portage State Park in Minnesota, hikers, campers, and outdoor adventurers will want to add these 12 best state parks in the Midwest to their list. 8 Glendalough State Park  Once a private retreat that hosted guests including former presidents, the park in west-central Minnesota centers around Annie Battle Lake, where no motors or electronics disturb fishing, kayaking, canoeing and swimming. For a luxurious getaway in the state, our guide to the top resorts in Minnesota details the top places to stay for a memorable weekend visit. Set against the backdrop of a southern boreal forest, popular activities at Voyageurs include canoeing and fishing the many waterways, visiting historic sites like the Ellsworth Rock Gardens, and exploring the many trails and ecosystems found throughout the park. Address: 1302 McKinley Park Road, Soudan, Minnesota, Official site: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/lake_vermilion_soudan/index.html. Address: 61101 Banning Park Road, Sandstone, Minnesota, Official site: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/banning/index.html, A boat dock basking in dusk at Itasca State Park | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane. Best state parks (65) #1 - Gooseberry Falls State Park Encompassing features like lakes and tallgrass prairies, the 67 state parks and one national park in Minnesota reflect the wide range of landscapes found throughout the state. The hike to Wolf Creek Falls is my favorite; the waterfall is beautiful any time of year. But what really sticks out are the Sioux quartzite rock outcroppings that punctuate the space. While the state parks are great in the summer, they offer entirely different experiences in the colder months. Named after the French-Canadian fur traders that once frequented the area, Voyageurs... 2. As well as admiring the lighthouse, visitors can also enjoy hiking on the Superior Hiking Trail, which provides backpackers and hikers the ability to experience the entire North Shore by foot. The King's Bluff Nature Trail also includes a self-guided tour that sheds some insight on the surrounding prairie and woodland landscapes. Agate Beach, where the river meets Lake Superior, is a fun place to agate-hunt. Another reason is the stunning scenery, including the prominent Chimney Rock that avid hikers can scale for a bird's-eye view of the bountiful landscape. Voyageurs National Park. Starved Rock State Park in Illinois is one of the top parks in the Midwest. 10. Overlooking the wide banks of the Mississippi River, Great River Bluffs State Park is scenic at almost any time of the year. These days, Blue Mounds State Park is popular with hikers exploring the 15 miles of trails. Named after the French-Canadian fur traders that once frequented the area, Voyageurs... 2. The harbor village of Grand Marais, 40 miles south on the shoreline, is a popular jumping-off spot to visit Grand Portage State Park. Hikers who bring their binoculars have the best chance to glimpse the active avian wildlife that shares the area, including red-tailed hawks and 100 other species of birds. Cascade River State Park is a scenic Minnesota park that has a series of waterfalls, Lake Superior shoreline, picnic sites, and trails for hiking and cross-country skiing. This is one of the best state parks in Minnesota but it can lose its serenity during the peak summer months. The Sioux quartzite cliff provides fun hiking and incredible views at the southwest corner of Minnesota. Top off your Thanksgiving feast with our recipes for pumpkin pie, apple crisp, pecan bar cookies, praline layer cake and other holiday favorites. 6 Gooseberry Falls State Park The North Shore's most popular park (and one of the most-visited parks in Minnesota) has 20 miles of hiking trails along the Gooseberry River and through the surrounding forest. Take the High Peak Trail for views of the park's cone-shaped hills, called kames, and the water-filled depressions, called kettles. We’ve rounded up the best parks that have some of the best campgrounds in Minnesota across the state. Explore the most popular state parks in Minnesota with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you. 51 reviews. These big views and access to the rest of the North Shore make Split Rock Lighthouse State Park one of the best campgrounds in Minnesota. Create bountiful outdoor winter arrangements with a little help from Mother Nature. Lake Shetek state parks needs to be on your Minnesota Bucket List. The North Shore of Lake Superior is one of the most scenic destinations in Minnesota, and the open water beauty of this environment is only enhanced when visiting Split Rock Lighthouse State Park. Address: 5702 MN-61, Silver Bay, Minnesota, Official site: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/tettegouche/index.html. 1 Banning State Park Seventeen miles of hiking trails wind along the Kettle River, by sandstone rock formations and to the ruins of Banning Sandstone Quarry. A popular excursion at Tettegouche involves hiking up to where the Baptism River falls into Lake Superior, creating the impressive 60-foot High Falls. Address: 9393 MN-61, Grand Portage, Minnesota, Official site: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/grand_portage/index.html, The Kettle River makes its way through Banning State Park | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane. Photo: Beth Mancuso, Crow Wing State Park. Come autumn, however, the many blending colors of fall paint a stunning picture throughout the river valley. Located at what was once Minnesota's first iron mine, Soudan Underground Mine State Park goes deep into northern Minnesota history, giving visitors a look into a world located a half-mile beneath their feet. Check out our top pick. Best State Parks in Minnesota: Mille Lacs Kathio State Park © johnsroad7/stock.adobe.com Kathio Site, also known as Mille Lacs Kathio State Park, is an amazing outdoor space that is recognized as a U.S. National Historic Landmark District and is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. Whether you want to catch a record-breaking walleye or are simply in need of a relaxing day on the pier, Minnesota state parks has the perfect fishing spot for you. Go camping, take a nature hike, pack a picnic...your adventure awaits, so grab a map and get outside! With plenty of designated spaces to pitch a tent at Tettegouche, you can take as many days as you like exploring all there is to see. Established in 1891, Minnesota is home to the nation's second-oldest state park system in the nation. Home to the highest waterfall in the state of Minnesota, Grand Portage State Park sits on the US/Canadian border and is the only Minnesota state park not owned by the state itself. Mille Lacs Kathio State Park is a historic Minnesota park situated near the heart of the state and is best known for containing many ancient Native American sites. The trees cut down here would … Minnesota is consistently ranked as one of the best states in the country for fishing. You won't find as many mosquitos at Whitewater as some of the more northern state parks, and this is one of the reasons it's a popular place to visit. Official site: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/whitewater/index.html, View of the Mississippi River from the Great River Bluffs State Park. Visiting Minnesota: For more fun things to do in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, our write-up on the top attractions in Minnesota will point you in the right direction. Photos: Beth Mancuso, Glacial Lakes State Park. Best Minnesota State Parks for Adventure Sports White water raft past billion-year-old rock formations, or snowmobile at high speeds across the countryside. At 1 million acres in size and over twenty percent … From here, a recommended attraction is Wolf Creek Falls, which provides the perfect spot for lunch or a photo, if not simply just a place to enjoy the natural beauty of a moving landscape. Home to the headwaters of the Mississippi River, Itasca State Park provides many outlets for adventure and a worthwhile glimpse of why Minnesota is known as the land of 10,000 lakes. A few of the popular activities to do outside the mine include hiking to the unique banded iron formation, completing a challenging multi-stage geocache, and enjoying the water and shoreline of Lake Vermillion. 2 Blue Mounds State Park In summer, the prairie comes alive at Blue Mounds with prickly pear cactus, wildflowers, birds, bison and fireflies. If you have a little extra time on your hands, the more remote Middle Falls is a five-mile round trip and provides more stunning waterfalls to view, plus a glimpse at the shimmering waters of nearby Lake Superior. These trails link to both Minnehaha Park and Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge. Named after the French-Canadian fur traders that once frequented the area, Voyageurs National Park consists of rugged terrain mostly defined by water. Instead, use of this natural space is through cooperative efforts and a lease agreement between the Grand Portage Band of Chippewa Indians and the Department of Natural Resources. Avoid stores this holiday season – give a Minnesota state parks gift card! View the falls from three different platforms. © Copyright 2020 Meredith Corporation. Photo: Beth Mancuso, Interstate State Park, view from Wisconsin. The pebble beach shoreline is a great place to admire the lighthouse, and thanks to the adjacent History Center, you can even explore the historic structure from within. We’ve talked about some amazing drives, and while there’s foliage to be found all across Minnesota, these 10 photos of state parks in the fall will definitely get you ready for the season! Biking and hiking trails wind along lakes, woods and prairies, while cart-in tents, yurts and camper cabins offer a peaceful camping experience. this link is to an external site that may or may not meet accessibility guidelines. Photo: Beth Mancuso, Grand Portage State Park. Far and away, the largest and best-known area for camping in Minnesota is the BWCA, located in the Arrowhead region of the state. Glendalough Lodge, built in 1905, contains exhibits on the park's history. The biggest draw of the Soudan Underground Mine is the mine tours, which are offered daily from Memorial Day to September and include guided exploration of the deepest area of the mine that was created in 1962. Adventure sport fans will find plenty of fun in these Minnesota State Parks: 1. 3 Glacial Lakes State Park The rolling hills and crystal-clear, spring-fed water of Signalless Lake in the west-central region of the state make this one of my favorite spots for family camping and swimming. Make sure you hike to the Upper and Middle Falls. For those a little uncomfortable with tight spaces, self-guided surface audio tours are available as well. With so many stories to explore and natural attractions to admire at Minnesota's national and state parks, it's a good idea to pitch a tent and stay a while. 6 Gooseberry Falls State Park The North Shore's most popular park (and one of the most-visited parks in Minnesota) has 20 miles of hiking trails along the Gooseberry River and through the surrounding forest. Minnesota’s most popular state parks have a lot to offer in terms of accessibility, facilities and scenic beauty. To get the most out of the park's hard to reach location, it's recommended to spend a few nights at one of the 270 campsites available, which are only available with boat travel. Address: 3755 Split Rock Lighthouse Road, Two Harbors, Minnesota, Official site: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/split_rock_lighthouse/index.html, The St. Louis River at Jay Cooke State Park | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane. The Fall Foliage At These 10 State Parks In Minnesota Is Stunningly Beautiful. 1 in 2020. 7 Grand Portage State Park An easy one-mile round-trip trail leads to Minnesota's highest waterfall, the 120-foot-tall High Falls of the Pigeon River on the U.S.-Canada border. Roaming America: Exploring All the National Parks. Top Mankato State Parks: See reviews and photos of state parks in Mankato, Minnesota on Tripadvisor. With all the outdoor activities available, you might want to find a place to pitch a tent. For the best views in the park, however, the Carlton Trail offers steep terrain and a high vantage point. All Rights Reserved. Address: 54497 Gadwall Rd, Mankato, Minnesota, Official site: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/minneopa/index.html. Split Rock Lighthouse State Park Editor's Choice. Throughout the year and with every season, the designated natural spaces of Minnesota offer unique opportunities to explore, as well as different perspectives of the people that came before us. During the mid-1800s, the state park was a sought-after logging spot. See our best campgrounds in Minnesota article for details. My favorite hike is the one to Two Step Falls and High Falls, while the drive up to Palisade Head offers one of the best views of Lake Superior. If you get the chance, reserve one of the park's tipi sites. 9 Interstate State Park The park along both the Minnesota and Wisconsin sides of the St. Croix River, about 50 miles northeast of the Twin Cities, boasts dramatic views of the river gorge as well as hundreds of glacial potholes, formed when whirlpools of sand and water from melting glaciers carved deep holes in the rock about 10,000 years ago. Our favorite Midwest resort destinations range from cozy lakeside lodges to indoor water park behemoths. Discover destinations, find outdoor adventures, follow the journeys of our travel writers around the world, and be inspired. Photo: Beth Mancuso. 4 Crow Wing State Park I like Crow Wing's roomy and private campsites; it's also a great place to canoe, with a choice of getting out on the Crow Wing or Mississippi rivers. Address: 36750 Main Park Drive, Park Rapids, Minnesota, Official site: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/itasca/index.html. The park encompasses old growth forests, ancient lakes, and some of the best campsites in Minnesota. On the banks of the Whitewater River in southern Minnesota, the 27,000-acre Whitewater State Park provides many outdoor adventure opportunities just 25 miles east of Rochester. 5 Tettegouche State Park Lava flows, like Palisade Head, rise 300 feet above Lake Superior, and a 60-foot waterfall rewards hikers along the Baptism River. Popular things to do here include casting a line in Trout Run Creek, swimming from the sandy beaches of the Whitewater River, or exploring the many limestone bluff hiking trails found sprawling throughout the park. Voyageurs National Park. The great heritage of Minnesota’s state park system begins at the source of America’s greatest river. Crosby Farm Park Just across the river in St. Paul, this park has some of the prettiest walking trails in town, which lead right up to the river. Address: 1410 161st Street, Luverne, Minnesota, Official site: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/blue_mounds/index.html, Soudan Underground Mine State Park | Roy Luck / photo modified. Whitewater State Park If your idea of adventure is fishing, Whitewater is the Minnesotan destination for you. Fort Snelling State Park offers extensive trails that are great for biking or hiking. Whether you are coming from Rochester, the Twin Cities, or up near Duluth and the North Shore, you can enjoy experiences like climbing a fire tower, hiking to a waterfall, or coming across a herd of buffalo. So many parks (66), so many choices: Minnesota's state park system includes sites on the prairie, among rolling hills and on the cliffs of Lake Superior. Much of the park is created by the confluence of four major lakes on the Canadian/US border. Discover the best places to visit with our list of the top national and state parks in Minnesota. Covering 1330-acres of forested land, the state park lies within the Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway and the Ice Age National Scientific Reserve in the city of Saint Croix Falls, WI , and includes the scenic Dalles of St. Croix River. A Minnesota-based photographer shares some of her go-to spots for hiking, camping, fishing and canoeing in a state with a wealth of parkland. Best 10 Campsites In Mn State Parks tested by reviewers. Blue Mounds State Park is home to one of Minnesota's largest prairie remnants. Serving as a tributary for Lake Superior, which lies only 20 miles to the north, the St. Louis River exposes the bedrock and defines much of the rugged environment found within the state park. Minnesota is known as the land of 10,000 lakes, and that name is no joke – it really does contain over 10,000 lakes! Many visitors opt for the city of International Falls to be their launching point, and once they've hitched a ride into the depths of this unique national park, the adventure continues day and night. Minneopa State Park has some of the most unique natural sights to see in all of Minnesota. Named after its key feature, Split Rock proudly displays its historic lighthouse atop a rocky bluff for all visitors to enjoy. Nestled between the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers is the state’s most popular state park. Creamy cheesecakes, decadent pies, moist cakes and mouthwatering cookies are among our best holiday dessert recipes. Nearly every direction you turn in Tettegouche State Park, you'll come across an image worthy of a postcard. The park offers more than six miles of trails to explore, and perhaps the best views come from the King's Bluff Nature Trail. More scenic viewpoints are scattered across other half-dome bluffs and sheer rock cliffs that define the park. Read more about Beth Mancuso on her website or follow her on Instagram @intothewild.wego. Tettegouche State Park also has designated sections for rock climbing, a rare attraction in the Minnesota State Park system. Located roughly an hour south of Duluth, along the state-designated Wild and Scenic Kettle River, Banning State Park allows visitors to paddle in the rapids, rock climb the sandstone cliffs, and hike the sprawling trails all in a day's visit. A Minnesota state park is an area of land in the U.S. state of Minnesota preserved by the state for its natural, historic, or other resources. Parks of the Southern region in Minnesota. Best Minnesota State Parks For Camping. A wide array of camping is available at Blue Mounds State Park, including walk-in sites for tent camping and drive-in sites able to accommodate RVs up to 50 feet in length. Covering more than 200,000 acres spanning every corner of the state, state parks welcome visitors to explore the full diversity of Minnesota's natural environment in a majestic and historic setting. The 3.5-mile looped Silver Creek Trail is a standard when visiting, and the trail crosses the Swinging Bridge at the parking lot to further expose big views of the St. Louis River and Silver Creek. Photo: Beth Mancuso, Glendalough State Park. The state of Minnesota is home to 67 state parks, in addition to six parks, monuments, and recreation areas that are part of the National Parks Service. Midwest Living November/December 2020 Recipes, 50 Quick and Easy Holiday Decorating Ideas. For a little more luxury, the Tettegouche Camp Cabins provide rustic accommodation that will satisfy all the campers in your party. Right from the parking lot, visitors to Jay Cooke State Park are treated to great views of one of the park's most dramatic features, the St. Louis River. So many outdoor adventure things to do at this State Park in southern Minnesota- from hiking and camping and enjoying historical sites to water sports- there is something to explore for the kids and adults in your family. Photo: Beth Mancuso, Tettegouche State Park. List Of Minnesota State Parks.There are 68 state parks, seven state recreation areas, eight state waysides, and 22 state trails in the Minnesota state park system, totaling approximately 267,000 acres (1,080 km2).A Minnesota state park is an area of land in the U.S. state of Minnesota preserved by the state for its natural, historic, or other resources. 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S most popular State Park system in the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers is the State, moist cakes mouthwatering! Story is part of the Mississippi River from the great River Bluffs State Park decorating. Lodges to indoor water Park behemoths trails connect to the public Thursday through Tuesday, and be.... Sights offer excellent views of the year for biking or hiking parks gift card more than century...

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