State Parks Minneapolis MN

5 State Parks Near Minneapolis MN: Explore the Beauty of Minnesota

With 75 state parks and recreation areas throughout the state, Minnesota offers plenty of opportunities to explore its natural beauty. And for those in the Minneapolis area, there are five state parks nearby that offer a wide range of outdoor activities and breathtaking landscapes.

Minneapolis state parks are the perfect destination for residents and visitors alike. Whether you’re looking for hiking trails, camping spots, or simply a place to enjoy nature, these parks have something for everyone.

Key Takeaways:

  • Minnesota boasts 75 state parks and recreation areas, providing ample opportunities for outdoor exploration.
  • There are five state parks near Minneapolis, MN, offering a variety of outdoor activities.
  • Minneapolis state parks are ideal for hiking, camping, and immersing yourself in the natural beauty of Minnesota.
  • These parks provide stunning landscapes, wildlife viewing opportunities, and access to lakes and rivers.
  • When visiting Minneapolis, be sure to explore these state parks and make the most of your outdoor adventure.

Maplewood State Park

Located near Pelican Rapids, Maplewood State Park is a hidden gem in central Minnesota. This picturesque park offers a unique landscape where forests and prairies meet, creating a stunning backdrop for outdoor enthusiasts.

Maplewood State Park

With over 25 miles of magnificent hiking trails, Maplewood State Park is a paradise for hikers of all skill levels. From leisurely strolls to challenging treks, there are trails to suit everyone’s preferences. As you explore the park, you’ll be treated to breathtaking hilltop vistas and picturesque vistas. It’s truly a nature lover’s haven.

Wildlife and Fishing Opportunities

One of the highlights of Maplewood State Park is its abundant wildlife. Keep your eyes peeled for deer, foxes, and a variety of bird species as you explore the trails. For fishing enthusiasts, the park offers numerous lakes teeming with a variety of fish species. Cast your line and relax in the tranquility of the park while waiting for that perfect catch.

Camping at Maplewood State Park

If you’re looking to extend your stay and immerse yourself in the beauty of the park, camping is a great option. Maplewood State Park offers excellent camping facilities, with spacious campsites and modern amenities. Spend your nights under the stars, nestled in nature, and wake up to the sound of birds chirping and the gentle rustling of leaves.

Hiking Trails Difficulty Distance
Red Pine Trail Easy 2.5 miles
Bluestem Trail Moderate 4.6 miles
Sugar Maple Trail Difficult 7.2 miles

Whether you’re seeking adventure on the hiking trails, looking to fish in the park’s beautiful lakes, or simply wanting to relax in the serene camping grounds, Maplewood State Park has something for everyone. Plan your visit to this hidden oasis and embark on a memorable outdoor adventure.

Father Hennepin State Park

Situated on the southern shore of Lake Mille Lacs, Father Hennepin State Park is a gateway to Minnesota’s third-largest lake. The park offers a range of outdoor activities and opportunities to connect with nature. Whether you’re camping, fishing, or simply enjoying the scenic surroundings, Father Hennepin State Park has something for everyone.

Explore the Outdoors

With its beautiful hardwood forests and access to the water, Father Hennepin State Park is an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts. The park’s extensive trail system provides opportunities for hiking, biking, and wildlife viewing. You can choose from a variety of trails that cater to different skill levels and preferences.

One highlight of the park is the natural sand beach, perfect for swimming and sunbathing during the summer months. The crystal-clear waters of Lake Mille Lacs invite you to take a refreshing dip and make lasting memories with family and friends. Don’t forget to bring your fishing gear, as the lake is home to a variety of fish species.

Camping in the Wilderness

For those who prefer to spend more time immersed in nature, Father Hennepin State Park offers peaceful and picturesque camping areas. Whether you choose a tent site or an RV campground, you’ll find well-maintained facilities and amenities to enhance your camping experience.

Imagine waking up to the gentle sounds of birds chirping and the smell of fresh pine in the air. As you step outside your tent, you’ll be greeted by serene views of the lake and the lush greenery surrounding you. Camping at Father Hennepin State Park is an opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and reconnect with the natural world.

I have always loved camping, and Father Hennepin State Park exceeded my expectations. The tranquil atmosphere, beautiful scenery, and abundance of outdoor activities made it the perfect getaway for me and my family. We enjoyed hiking the trails, fishing in the lake, and roasting marshmallows by the campfire. I highly recommend this park to anyone looking for a peaceful and memorable camping experience.

Plan Your Visit

Whether you’re a nature lover or simply seeking a break from the city, Father Hennepin State Park is a destination worth exploring. Located just a short drive from Minneapolis, it offers a convenient escape into the great outdoors. Plan your visit today and experience the beauty and tranquility of this remarkable state park.

Crow Wing State Park

Located just south of Brainerd, Crow Wing State Park offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and historical significance. This state park, situated in the heart of Minnesota, holds great importance as it was once a bustling village for the early settlers and traders of the region. Today, visitors can immerse themselves in the preserved history and explore the recreation of the Old Crow Wing Village. Walking the historic Red River Ox Cart Trail provides a glimpse into the past and allows visitors to connect with the rich heritage of the area.

Crow Wing State Park is not only a haven for history enthusiasts but also a paradise for outdoor adventurers. The park boasts an array of activities that cater to all interests. Hikers can traverse the scenic trails that meander through lush forests and picturesque landscapes, providing breathtaking views at every turn. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just looking for a leisurely stroll, Crow Wing State Park has the perfect trail for you.

For those seeking outdoor activities in Minneapolis MN, Crow Wing State Park offers a range of options. Fishing enthusiasts can cast their lines in the pristine waters of the Crow Wing River, known for its abundant population of fish species. The park is also a popular spot for picnicking, bird-watching, and wildlife spotting. With its diverse ecosystems and serene surroundings, Crow Wing State Park provides a peaceful and scenic escape from the bustling city life.

Crow Wing State Park

Whether you’re interested in exploring the historical significance of the park or engaging in outdoor activities in Minneapolis MN, Crow Wing State Park has something for everyone. It’s a hidden gem that showcases the beauty of Minnesota’s natural landscapes and tells the story of its early settlers. So, pack your hiking boots, grab your fishing gear, and embark on an unforgettable adventure in Crow Wing State Park.

Interstate State Park

Situated on the rushing St. Croix River, Interstate State Park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts seeking adventure in Minneapolis. With its stunning natural beauty and diverse range of activities, this park offers something for everyone.

“Interstate State Park is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and thrill-seekers alike. From hiking and camping to canoeing and rock climbing, there’s no shortage of excitement here.”

One of the highlights of this park is its extensive hiking trails that cater to all skill levels. Whether you’re a beginner looking for a leisurely stroll or an experienced hiker seeking a challenge, you’ll find a trail that suits your preferences. Along the way, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the river and surrounding landscapes.

Camping is another popular activity at Interstate State Park. The park offers well-maintained campsites with amenities to ensure a comfortable stay for visitors. Fall asleep under the stars and wake up to the soothing sounds of nature.

For those who crave a bit more adrenaline, Interstate State Park is a rock climber’s paradise. The park is renowned for its towering cliffs and unique rock formations, providing an exhilarating experience for climbers of all levels. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, the park offers routes that cater to different abilities.

While exploring the park, be sure to visit the glacial potholes. These fascinating geological formations are a testament to the wonders of nature and provide a unique opportunity for visitors to learn about the park’s history.

Interstate State Park

With its scenic cliffs and picturesque setting, Interstate State Park is the perfect destination for outdoor adventures and exploration in Minneapolis.

Lake Maria State Park

Nestled near Monticello, Lake Maria State Park is a hidden gem that offers a tranquil escape from the bustling city life. This state park is renowned for its “Big Woods,” a dense forest dominated by beautiful maple, oak, and basswood trees, providing a picturesque backdrop for outdoor enthusiasts.

Visitors to Lake Maria State Park can immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the area while enjoying a variety of recreational activities. The park boasts an extensive network of hiking trails, allowing hikers of all skill levels to explore the rolling hills and discover breathtaking vistas along the way. Whether you prefer a leisurely stroll or an adventurous hike, the trails at Lake Maria State Park offer a unique experience through the heart of Minnesota’s landscape.

For those seeking a camping adventure, Lake Maria State Park provides a serene and idyllic setting. The campground offers both drive-in and walk-in campsites, ensuring a peaceful night’s sleep under the stars. Spend a night surrounded by nature and wake up to a chorus of birdsong in the morning.

During the winter months, Lake Maria State Park transforms into a winter wonderland, offering opportunities for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Glide through the snowy trails and admire the frost-covered branches, or strap on a pair of snowshoes and explore the park’s winter landscapes at your own pace.

Wildlife Observation Area

One of the highlights of Lake Maria State Park is the wildlife observation area. Here, visitors can observe native wildlife in their natural habitat, from elusive deer to vibrant bird species. Take a moment to appreciate the biodiversity of the park and marvel at the wonders of the animal kingdom.

Activities Facilities
  • Hiking
  • Camping
  • Horseback Riding
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Wildlife Observation
  • Campground
  • Picnic Areas
  • Picnic Shelters
  • Restrooms
  • Visitor Center

Plan your visit to Lake Maria State Park and experience the pristine beauty of Minnesota’s wilderness. Whether you’re a nature lover, an avid hiker, or a camping enthusiast, this park will captivate your senses and leave you with unforgettable memories.

Minneopa State Park

Just a short drive west of Mankato, Minneopa State Park offers a breathtaking natural experience. One of the highlight features of this park is its stunning waterfall, which happens to be the largest in southern Minnesota. Hiking enthusiasts can embark on an exhilarating journey to the falls, immersing themselves in the beauty of nature along well-maintained trails.

Those seeking outdoor adventures in Minneapolis, MN, will find plenty to enjoy at Minneopa State Park. With a diverse range of hiking trails, visitors can explore the park’s scenic landscapes, including vibrant prairies and dense woodlands. Whether you are an avid hiker or prefer a leisurely stroll, there are trails suitable for all skill levels, offering a perfect opportunity to connect with nature.

Minneopa State Park is also known for its bison herd, making it a unique wildlife destination. As you explore the park, keep an eye out for these magnificent creatures grazing in their natural habitat. Additionally, the park provides picturesque viewpoints where you can take in the beauty of your surroundings. Bring a picnic and enjoy a peaceful meal surrounded by nature’s serenity.

Whether you’re a nature lover, an outdoor enthusiast, or simply seeking a tranquil getaway, Minneopa State Park is the perfect destination. Immerse yourself in the natural beauty, discover the diverse hiking trails, marvel at the largest waterfall in southern Minnesota, and witness the majestic bison in their element. Minneopa State Park offers an unforgettable experience for all who visit.


Are there any state parks near Minneapolis, MN?

Yes, there are several state parks near Minneapolis, MN that offer a variety of outdoor activities and beautiful natural landscapes.

What are some popular outdoor activities in Minneapolis, MN?

Minneapolis, MN offers a range of outdoor activities including hiking, camping, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, rock climbing, and wildlife viewing.

Where can I find the best hiking trails in Minneapolis?

Some of the best hiking trails in Minneapolis can be found in state parks such as Maplewood State Park, Crow Wing State Park, Interstate State Park, Lake Maria State Park, and Minneopa State Park.

Can I go camping in Minneapolis state parks?

Yes, camping is available in many of the state parks near Minneapolis, MN. Father Hennepin State Park, Crow Wing State Park, Interstate State Park, and Lake Maria State Park are just a few examples of parks that offer camping facilities.

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