Address: 36750 Main Park Drive, Park Rapids, Minnesota, Official site: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/itasca/index.html. The North Shore of Lake Superior … This rushing waterfall makes Grand Portage a popular day trip when exploring the North Shore. Avoid stores this holiday season – give a Minnesota state parks gift card! 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. Biking and hiking trails wind along lakes, woods and prairies, while cart-in tents, yurts and camper cabins offer a peaceful camping experience. Nearly every direction you turn in Tettegouche State Park, you'll come across an image worthy of a postcard. Coon Rapids. Photos: Beth Mancuso, Glacial Lakes State Park. 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. 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. 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. Photo: Beth Mancuso. Lake Shetek state parks needs to be on your Minnesota Bucket List. Whitewater State Park If your idea of adventure is fishing, Whitewater is the Minnesotan destination for you. The hike to Wolf Creek Falls is my favorite; the waterfall is beautiful any time of year. 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. Blue Mounds State Park is home to one of Minnesota's largest prairie remnants. 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. Bison Drive is open to the public Thursday through Tuesday, and the gates close promptly at 3:30pm. That's because this North Shore natural space embodies everything the Superior shoreline has to offer. 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 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. Minnesota is consistently ranked as one of the best states in the country for fishing. Named after the French-Canadian fur traders that once frequented the area, Voyageurs... 2. 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. Enjoy the rich taste of pumpkin in pies, cakes, soups, cupcakes, bar cookies, cheesecakes and more. Go camping, take a nature hike, pack a picnic...your adventure awaits, so grab a map and get outside! 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. Minnesota’s first state park is 32,690 acres and sees over half a million visitors per year. Split Rock Lighthouse State Park Editor's Choice. this link is to an external site that may or may not meet accessibility guidelines. But what really sticks out are the Sioux quartzite rock outcroppings that punctuate the space. Photo: Beth Mancuso, Grand Portage State Park. Read more about Beth Mancuso on her website or follow her on Instagram @intothewild.wego. 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. The Fall Foliage At These 10 State Parks In Minnesota Is Stunningly Beautiful. 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. Jay Cooke … You could also take the trails up to Fort Snelling which is a historic site that will give you a look into military life in the 1820s. Best Camping In Minnesota State Parks in 2020. 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. Parks of the Southern region in Minnesota. 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. 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. Established in 1891, Minnesota is home to the nation's second-oldest state park system in the nation. 1. Split Rock Lighthouse State Park Editor's Choice. 1 in 2020. 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. Named after the French-Canadian fur traders that once frequented the area, Voyageurs National Park consists of rugged terrain mostly defined by water. We’ve rounded up the best parks that have some of the best campgrounds in Minnesota across the state. 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. Tettegouche State Park also has designated sections for rock climbing, a rare attraction in the Minnesota State Park system. Frozen waterfalls, snow-covered trees, and fresh trails emerge in winter. The park offers more than six miles of trails to explore, and perhaps the best views come from the King's Bluff Nature Trail. The Sioux quartzite cliff provides fun hiking and incredible views at the southwest corner of Minnesota. Camping is also popular at Whitewater State Park, with hundreds of drive-in sites and four camper cabins. 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. 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. Here are nine of my favorites. Minnesota is known as the land of 10,000 lakes, and that name is no joke – it really does contain over 10,000 lakes! 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. 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. There are 75 Minnesota state parks and recreation areas ready for you to explore. Read on to find the best camping in the great state of Minnesota! There are many factors that make Whitewater State Park one of the best state parks in Minnesota. Make sure you hike to the Upper and Middle Falls. BESTSELLER NO. Itasca State Park, home to the headwaters of the Mississippi River, was established in 1891, launching what is now the second-oldest state park system in the nation. Discover the best places to visit with our list of the top national and state parks in Minnesota. Minnesota in Pictures: 15 Beautiful Places to Photograph, 12 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Minneapolis, 12 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in St. Paul, MN, 12 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Minnesota, 9 Top-Rated Mountain Bike Trails in Minnesota, 10 Top-Rated Attractions & Things to Do in Grand Rapids, MN, 9 Top-Rated Attractions & Things to Do in Fargo, ND, 13 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Duluth, MN, Where to Stay in Minneapolis: Best Areas & Hotels, 19 Best Places to Visit in the United States, 11 Best Luxury All-Inclusive Resorts in the World, http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/split_rock_lighthouse/index.html, http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/jay_cooke/index.html, http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/whitewater/index.html, http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/great_river_bluffs/index.html, http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/tettegouche/index.html, http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/grand_portage/index.html, http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/banning/index.html, http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/itasca/index.html, http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/minneopa/index.html, http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/blue_mounds/index.html, http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/lake_vermilion_soudan/index.html. Our favorite Midwest resort destinations range from cozy lakeside lodges to indoor water park behemoths. Best Minnesota State Parks for Adventure Sports White water raft past billion-year-old rock formations, or snowmobile at high speeds across the countryside. Nestled between the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers is the state’s most popular state park. Midwest Living is part of the Meredith Home Group. The park encompasses old growth forests, ancient lakes, and some of the best campsites in Minnesota. While the state parks are great in the summer, they offer entirely different experiences in the colder months. 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. Take the High Peak Trail for views of the park's cone-shaped hills, called kames, and the water-filled depressions, called kettles. Here are the top 10, as ranked by overnight visitors in 2015. Photo: Beth Mancuso, Tettegouche State Park. 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. Agate Beach, where the river meets Lake Superior, is a fun place to agate-hunt. Much of the park is created by the confluence of four major lakes on the Canadian/US border. 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. 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. 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. 12 Top-Rated National & State Parks in Minnesota 1. 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. The harbor village of Grand Marais, 40 miles south on the shoreline, is a popular jumping-off spot to visit Grand Portage State Park. Top Mankato State Parks: See reviews and photos of state parks in Mankato, Minnesota on Tripadvisor. 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. This is one of the best state parks in Minnesota but it can lose its serenity during the peak summer months. 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. 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. The state park features drive-in sites, electric sites, and a few canoe sites available on a first-come, first-served basis. See our best campgrounds in Minnesota article for details. Discover destinations, find outdoor adventures, follow the journeys of our travel writers around the world, and be inspired. Photo: Beth Mancuso, Crow Wing State Park. 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. Far and away, the largest and best-known area for camping in Minnesota is the BWCA, located in the Arrowhead region of the state. Best Tent Camping: Minnesota: Your Car-Camping Guide to Scenic Beauty, the Sounds of Nature, and an Escape from Civilization. The trees cut down here would … 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! 2 Blue Mounds State Park In summer, the prairie comes alive at Blue Mounds with prickly pear cactus, wildflowers, birds, bison and fireflies. Minnesota's state parks have hundreds of trails for hikers, ranging from brief nature walks on well-maintained paths to adventurous multi-day backpacking treks in rugged terrain. The King's Bluff Nature Trail also includes a self-guided tour that sheds some insight on the surrounding prairie and woodland landscapes. 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. Check out our top pick. The pros know the headwaters of the Mississippi at Itasca State Park are prettier after a fresh snow. Voyageurs National Park. All Rights Reserved. Best state parks (65) #1 - Gooseberry Falls State Park View the falls from three different platforms. 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. Address: 54497 Gadwall Rd, Mankato, Minnesota, Official site: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/minneopa/index.html. The North Shore of Lake Superior is one of the most scenic... 3. Minneopa State Park has some of the most unique natural sights to see in all of Minnesota. 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. Boundary Waters Canoe Area, Superior National Forest. Named after the French-Canadian fur traders that once frequented the area, Voyageurs... 2. Roaming America: Exploring All the National Parks. Give your home holiday style in a flash with these simple yet creative decorating projects. Fort Snelling State Park offers extensive trails that are great for biking or hiking. 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. 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. © Copyright 2020 PlanetWare Inc. All rights reserved. It’s no surprise then that Minnesota is a popular family vacation spot. This story is part of our “ See America, One State Park at a Time ” series. 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. 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. 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. Address: 1302 McKinley Park Road, Soudan, Minnesota, Official site: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/lake_vermilion_soudan/index.html. 10. 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. 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). What’s more, this time of year also presents a number of fresh and interesting ways to explore the parks. 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. More scenic viewpoints are scattered across other half-dome bluffs and sheer rock cliffs that define the park. 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. A popular excursion at Tettegouche involves hiking up to where the Baptism River falls into Lake Superior, creating the impressive 60-foot High Falls. 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. 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 Minnesota-based photographer shares some of her go-to spots for hiking, camping, fishing and canoeing in a state with a wealth of parkland. 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. 12 Top-Rated National & State Parks in Minnesota 1. Camping at Soudan Underground Mine State Park consists of 33 electric sites at the Vermilion Ridge Campground. 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. We researched and found the easiest for beginners. 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. Photo: Beth Mancuso, Glendalough 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. 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. For the best views in the park, however, the Carlton Trail offers steep terrain and a high vantage point. 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. 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. Adventure sport fans will find plenty of fun in these Minnesota State Parks: 1. For a little more luxury, the Tettegouche Camp Cabins provide rustic accommodation that will satisfy all the campers in your party. 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. Available as well as to hike to the Upper and Middle Falls,. Or hiking check out our top picks for a little help from Mother Nature electric sites, electric at. Hills, called kettles dessert recipes to offer lakes on the surrounding prairie and woodland.! 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