State Parks Brainerd MN

6 State Parks Near Brainerd MN: Explore the natural beauty of Minnesota!

Minnesota State Parks offer a vast array of breathtaking landscapes for outdoor enthusiasts to discover. With 66 state parks to choose from, camping, hiking, and wildlife watching opportunities abound. If you find yourself in the vicinity of Brainerd, MN, here are six state parks that showcase the exceptional natural beauty of Minnesota.

Key Takeaways:

  • Minnesota State Parks provide diverse outdoor experiences for nature lovers.
  • Brainerd, MN, is surrounded by beautiful state parks that offer camping, hiking, and wildlife viewing.
  • Exploring these parks allows visitors to immerse themselves in the natural splendor of Minnesota.
  • Banning State Park, Glacial Lakes State Park, Crow Wing State Park, and Tettegouche State Park are among the parks near Brainerd.
  • Visiting these parks offers opportunities for scenic views, waterfall hikes, canoeing, and historical exploration.

Banning State Park

Banning State Park is a hidden gem located 90 miles north of the Twin Cities. Nestled along the scenic Kettle River, this park offers a picturesque escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. With its diverse range of activities and stunning natural beauty, Banning State Park is a must-visit for outdoor enthusiasts.

One of the highlights of the park is its 17 miles of hiking trails that wind through the mesmerizing sandstone rock formations. As you traverse the trails, you’ll encounter breathtaking views and unique geological features that create a captivating atmosphere.

The ruins of the historic Banning Sandstone Quarry are another intriguing feature of the park. These remnants offer a captivating glimpse into the region’s industrial past and are sure to ignite your curiosity and sense of wonder.

Banning State Park

Wolf Creek Falls

No visit to Banning State Park would be complete without experiencing the beauty of Wolf Creek Falls. As you embark on the hike to the falls, you’ll be surrounded by lush greenery and the calming sounds of nature echoing through the forest. Whether you visit during the vibrant colors of autumn or the serene winter months, the breathtaking sight of the waterfall will leave you in awe.

Big Creek Falls

If you have more time to spare, be sure to venture to Big Creek Falls within the park. This hidden gem offers a more secluded and tranquil setting, allowing you to immerse yourself in the beauty of nature. Surrounded by towering trees and the soothing sounds of flowing water, Big Creek Falls provides a serene escape from the outside world.

Location Main Attraction
Banning State Park Kettle River, Wolf Creek Falls, Sandstone rock formations
Banning State Park Kettle River, Big Creek Falls, Sandstone rock formations

Glacial Lakes State Park

Situated in the west-central region of the state, Glacial Lakes State Park is a true gem of Minnesota’s natural beauty. With its rolling hills and crystal-clear, spring-fed water of Signalness Lake, this park offers a picturesque escape for outdoor enthusiasts.

Glacial Lakes State Park is a popular destination for families, providing ample opportunities for camping and swimming. The park boasts well-maintained facilities and a peaceful atmosphere, allowing visitors to unwind and connect with nature.

For those seeking adventure, the High Peak Trail offers stunning panoramic views of the park’s cone-shaped hills, known as kames. The trail is a moderate hike that leads hikers through diverse landscapes and showcases the park’s unique geological features. Along the way, you’ll encounter picturesque kettles, water-filled depressions formed by melting glaciers.

Whether you’re camping by the serene Signalness Lake, embarking on a scenic hike, or simply enjoying a picnic with loved ones, Glacial Lakes State Park promises a memorable outdoor experience.

“Glacial Lakes State Park is a hidden gem in Minnesota. From its rolling hills to the breathtaking views of Signalness Lake, this park truly showcases the natural beauty of the state.”

Glacial Lakes State Park

Features of Glacial Lakes State Park Description
Signalness Lake A beautiful, spring-fed lake perfect for swimming and recreation.
High Peak Trail A moderate hike with stunning panoramic views of the park’s cone-shaped hills.
Cone-shaped hills (Kames) Distinctive hills formed by glaciers, providing a unique landscape.
Kettles Water-filled depressions formed by melting glaciers, adding to the park’s natural charm.

Crow Wing State Park

Crow Wing State Park, located near present-day Brainerd, is a hidden gem for outdoor enthusiasts. With its spacious and private campsites, it’s the perfect destination for a camping getaway.

One of the main attractions of Crow Wing State Park is its proximity to the Mississippi River. Canoeing enthusiasts can embark on a memorable adventure, exploring the calm waters of the river and immersing themselves in the serene beauty of nature.

But Crow Wing State Park offers more than just camping and canoeing. Visitors can also delve into the rich history of the area by exploring the Old Crow Wing Town Site. This 19th-century frontier town provides a fascinating glimpse into the past, with its preserved buildings and informative exhibits.

Crow Wing State Park

Whether you’re seeking tranquility in nature, a thrilling canoeing experience, or a journey through history, Crow Wing State Park has something for everyone. It’s a must-visit destination for outdoor enthusiasts and history buffs alike.

Tettegouche State Park

Tettegouche State Park, located on the shores of Lake Superior, is a natural gem that showcases the beauty of Minnesota’s North Shore. This picturesque park offers visitors breathtaking views of the majestic Lake Superior and its rugged cliffs, making it a perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.

One of the highlights of Tettegouche State Park is Palisade Head, a towering 300-foot lava flow that offers panoramic vistas of Lake Superior. Hiking to the top of Palisade Head is a must-do activity for those seeking awe-inspiring views and a sense of adventure.

The park is also home to the Baptism River, which features a stunning 60-foot waterfall. Hikers can explore the trails that meander along the river, immersing themselves in the tranquility of nature and experiencing the awe-inspiring beauty of the cascading water.

For even more natural wonders, the park offers the opportunity to hike to Two Step Falls and High Falls. These waterfalls, nestled amidst the lush foliage and pristine wilderness, provide a serene and picturesque setting that will leave visitors in awe of Mother Nature’s creations.

Whether you prefer hiking, scenic drives, or simply immersing yourself in the beauty of Lake Superior, Tettegouche State Park is a destination that should not be missed. With its stunning views, breathtaking waterfalls, and rugged landscapes, this park offers a truly unforgettable experience for nature enthusiasts and adventurers alike.


Are there any state parks near Brainerd, MN?

Yes, there are several state parks near Brainerd, MN where you can explore the natural beauty of Minnesota.

How many state parks are there in Minnesota?

Minnesota has a total of 66 state parks for outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy.

What activities can I do at state parks near Brainerd, MN?

You can engage in a variety of outdoor activities at the state parks near Brainerd, MN, including camping, hiking, and wildlife watching.

Which state park near Brainerd, MN features hiking trails and sandstone rock formations?

Banning State Park, located 90 miles north of the Twin Cities, offers 17 miles of hiking trails along the scenic Kettle River. The trails wind through sandstone rock formations.

Are there any waterfalls to see at Banning State Park?

Yes, Banning State Park is home to Wolf Creek Falls, a beautiful waterfall that can be enjoyed year-round. Additionally, you can venture to Big Creek Falls, which is also part of the park.

What can I expect to see at Glacial Lakes State Park?

Glacial Lakes State Park, situated in the west-central region of Minnesota, offers rolling hills and the crystal-clear, spring-fed waters of Signalness Lake. The park is known for its cone-shaped hills, called kames, and water-filled depressions, known as kettles. The High Peak Trail provides stunning views.

Are there any historical sites to visit at Crow Wing State Park?

Yes, Crow Wing State Park, located near Brainerd, offers spacious and private campsites and is popular for canoeing. Visitors can also explore the Old Crow Wing Town Site, which provides insight into the history of the 19th-century frontier town.

Which state park near Brainerd, MN offers breathtaking views of Lake Superior?

Tettegouche State Park, located on the shores of Lake Superior, offers stunning views of the lake and rugged cliffs. Hikers can enjoy trails that lead to features such as Palisade Head, a 300-foot lava flow, and the Baptism River, which features a 60-foot waterfall. The park also offers scenic drives.

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