With a whopping 67 state parks in the beautiful state of Minnesota, what better way to spend a day, a weekend or even a week in the great outdoors visiting the state parks.
No matter where you are in Minnesota, there are some awesome parks near you full of cool wildlife, waterfalls, hiking and walking trails, campgrounds and amazing scenery. Pack up your car with your family and get ready to dive into the top parks that you need to visit this summer!
Whitewater State Park, Altura
Just 25 miles east of Rochester along Whitewater River is a 27,000-acre park with opportunities to fish, swim and explore limestone bluff hiking trails. The scenery is beautiful and the views from Chimney Rock hikes provide a great birds eye view of the landscape.
Directions: 19041 MN-74, Altura, Minnesota
Grand Portage State Park, Grand Portage
This State Park is located on the US/Canadian Border and the highest waterfall in Minnesota is located here. With 120-Foot High Falls created by Pigeon River, this place is sure to excite the whole family. This park is a day use only park meaning there are no visitors allowed on the premises at night. Further the experience by checking out Middle Falls which is a five-mile round trip with gorgeous waterfall views and a look at the waters near Lake Superior.
Directions: 9393 MN-61, Grand Portage, Minnesota
Jay Cooke State Park, Carlton
With more than 50 hiking trails in this park and the St. Louis River running wild, you’ll find this to be a great stop for some cool views and family fun. These hiking trails are some of the best in Minnesota and don’t worry, there are campsites and more views of the St. Louis River connecting to the North Country National Scenic Trail for days of endless adventure.
Directions: 780 Minnesota 210, Carlton, Minnesota
Split Rock Lighthouse State Park, Two Harbors
Located on the North Shore of Lake Superior, this state park is known for its breathtaking scenery of the open water and an awesome lighthouse view. Talk about a great family photo opportunity! Enjoy the historic lighthouse from the shoreline or the history center where you can explore inside the lighthouse. There are opportunities to hike on the Superior Hiking Trail and if you are feeling even more adventurous, you can backpack along the entire North Shore on foot.
Directions: 3755 Split Rock Lighthouse Road, Two Harbors, Minnesota
Tettegouche State Park, Silver Bay
This picture worthy state park has over 20 miles of trails, pebble beaches, picturesque cliffsides, and 60-foot High Falls. For the thrill seekers, there are also designated areas for rock climbing. Spend a few fun and relaxing days here with multiple places to pitch your own tent or park your camper along with Tettegouche Camp Cabins. Be on the lookout for some of the cool birds that call this place home such as the Peregrine Falcons.
Directions: 5702 MN-61, Silver Bay, Minnesota
Mineopa State Park, Mankato
Have you ever seen a herd of Bison and a double waterfall all in one day? Well at Mineopa State Park you can! An American Bison herd call land on this state park home and by taking a cruise along Bison Drive you might see one or even more. Although Mineopa is a smaller state park, their waterfalls do not disappoint. An easily accessible half-mile trail leads up to the Falls for everyone to enjoy.
Directions: 54497 Gadwall Rd, Mankato, Minnesota
Great River Bluffs State Park, Winona
With six miles of trails to explore and overlook the stunning views of the Mississippi River, Great River Bluffs State Park is the perfect place to explore. Check out King’s Bluff Nature Trail for some cool landscape views and maybe even catch a glimpse of one of the 100 species of birds that fly around the bluffs. This area is also beautiful in the autumn season as the leaves start to change and colors are breathtaking.
Directions: 43605 Kipp Dr, Winona, Minnesota
Fort Snelling State Park, St. Paul
This state park as everything from fishing to hiking, biking and walking trails. There is a park office where fishing poles, GPS units and bird kits can be rented for use. There is so many sights to see and things to do at Fort Snelling State Park this summer. Check out historic Fort Snelling to learn more about the importance of the state park.
Directions: 101 Snelling Lake Road St. Paul, MN 55111
Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park, Preston
With dozens of guided tours such as geology tours, cave tours, photography tours and more, this state park is a thrilling experience for all ages. This state park has beautiful scenery and great trails that can be explored by horseback. Take a gander to the Trout Stream where you can fish or relax by the water. Camping is also available here at the state park.
Directions: 21071 County 118 Preston, MN 55965
With so many breathtaking parks to visit this summer, the most important thing is just choosing one and creating your adventure. Enjoy your time with your kids, the time goes quickly.
Check out some great adventure books from the Lucky Luke Hunting Adventure series to bring along on your adventures. Click here to see the books
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