Trees reflecting in a river
Banning State Park | Sandstone, Minnesota

One of the best ways to connect with nature and learn more about Minnesota history is to hike all 66 Minnesota state parks. Well, technically, one of the state parks doesn’t have a hiking trail, but you can walk through its museum.

If you’ve read my local’s guide to all Minnesota state parks, you know that before the pandemic hit, I had only visited 6 Minnesota state parks. And I had lived here for more than 25 years. When I couldn’t travel as the world healed, I challenged myself to visit all 66 Minnesota state parks (and a few of them a couple of times) within a year.

Here’s how I did it.



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Two-a-days: how to visit all Minnesota state parks in a year

tall pine trees on the banks of a river
William O’Brien State Park | Marine on St. Croix, Minnesota

The best tip in hiking all Minnesota state parks is to plan it so you can hit up two state parks in one day – hike one state park in the morning and another nearby state park in the afternoon. Of course, this does take some planning as you need to consider the following.

Things to consider when planning to hike all Minnesota state parks.

  • Mileage between parks and mileage from your home or base camp
  • The length and difficulty of the trails (and your physical ability)
  • Time of year (the sun goes down fast in the fall and winter)
  • Weather – heat, storms, rain, snow, ice
  • Trail conditions
  • Seasonal operating hours
  • Road construction

You may need to adjust this plan to see all the state parks in one day from where you live or where you are setting up your base camp.

Set up a base camp when hiking all Minnesota state parks

I managed to explore the majority of Minnesota state parks on day trips from my home. A friend of mine also loaned me her cabin, and Caribou Highlands Lodge in Lutsen, MN hosted my husband and me during our frozen waterfall tour on the North Shore of Minnesota. Caribou Highlands Lodge is the best place to stay on the North Shore and is centrally located to all Minnesota state parks on the scenic Highway 61. See my related post: Most scenic road trip in Minnesota.

SUV camping at Minnesota state parks

And then I tried this thing called SUV camping (check out my experience) where I went on a 13-day road trip to finish hiking the remaining state parks that were more than a day trip from my front door. I didn’t camp the entire time as three Airbnbs graciously hosted me and spent a couple of nights in a hotel for some self-care (and because my husband joined me for the last few days and we couldn’t both fit in the back of the SUV).

Best Airbnbs near Minnesota state parks

Here are the best Airbnbs near Minnesota state parks that I have stayed at so far.


Are you an Airbnb host near a Minnesota state park? Contact me to collaborate!

Sample Minnesota state park road trips or day trips

To help give yourself a visual, check out the map of all state parks by location from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) website. Note that this map also includes Minnesota state recreation areas and waysides. And then you can design a Minnesota state park road trip tour that best works for you.

Here’s a list of Minnesota state parks I paired up (or wish I had) in order to hike all of them in one year. And, you’ll note that I recommend visiting some separately for various reasons.

Fort Snelling State Park and Afton State Park

Green canopy of trees
Fort Snelling State Park | St. Paul, Minnesota

Distance between Fort Snelling State Park and Afton State Park: 22 miles

Park bench view at Afton State Park best trails near Twin Cities
Afton State Park | Hastings, Minnesota

Frontenac State Park and John A. Latsch State Park

Downed tree in sunlight in forest
Frontenac State Park | Frontenac, Minnesota

Distance between Frontenac State Park and John A. Latsch State Park: 43 miles (a very scenic 43 miles)

View of Mississippi River and green foliage
John A. Latsch State Park, Minnesota City, Minnesota

Great River Bluffs State Park and Beaver Creek Valley State Park

Great River Bluffs State Park in Minnesota
Great River Bluffs State Park | Winona, Minnesota

Distance between Great River Bluffs State Park and Beaver Creek Valley State Park: 27 miles

Stunning fall foliage shot at Beaver Creek Valley State Park in Minnesota
Beaver Creek Valley State Park | Caledonia, Minnesota

Forestville / Mystery Cave State Park and Lake Louise State Park

Technically, Forestville and Mystery Cave State Park are now considered one state park. And Lake Louise State Park is a smaller park so this state park road trip is doable if you get an early start. Note that Mystery Cave State Park is seasonal (typically open early May to late October).

Overlooking a bluff of fall foliage during the golden hour sunset
Forestville / Mystery Cave State Park | Preston, Minnesota

Distance between Forestville / Mystery Cave State Park and Lake Louise State Park: 20 miles – Note that there are a few miles in between the Forestville and Mystery Cave sections.

Mystery Cave State Park
Forestville / Mystery Cave State Park | Preston, Minnesota

Trees reflecting in a lake at sunset
Lake Louise State Park | Le Roy, Minnesota

Whitewater State Park and Carley State Park

Bluff overlooking a valley and a forest with a blue sky
Whitewater State Park | Altura, Minnesota

Distance between Whitewater State Park and Carley State Park: 10 miles

Concrete block crossing over river with green trees and blue sky and huge white cloud
Carley State Park | Plainview, Minnesota

Myre-Big Island State Park and Rice Lake State Park

Railroad with a train trestle bridge
Myre-Big Island State Park | Albert Lea, Minnesota

Distance between Myre-Big Island State Park and Rice Lake State Park: 42 miles – Note: When I hiked all 66 Minnesota state parks, I actually hiked all day at Myre-Big Island State Park. And planned my two-a-day road trip at Rice Lake State Park and Sakatah Lake State Park.

Trail leading through lush green woods
Rice Lake State Park | Owatonna, Minnesota

Nerstrand Big Woods State Park and Sakatah Lake State Park

Hidden Falls at Nerstrand Big Woods State Park
Nerstrand Big Woods State Park | Nerstrand, Minnesota

Distance between Nerstrand Big Woods State Park and Sakatah Lake State Park: 25 miles

Fishing pier on blue lake and blue sky
Sakatah Lake State Park | Waterville, Minnesota

Minneopa State Park and Kilen Woods State Park

Minneopa Falls State Park easy waterfall hike in Mankato Minnesota
Minneopa State Park | Mankato, Minnesota

Distance between Minneopa State Park and Kilen Wood State Park: 71 miles

Alternatively, you can visit Minneopa State Park separately to explore the two-tiered waterfall and check out the bison range and do some hiking like we did. We hiked Kilen Wood State Park on a separate day. You could also catch it on your way home from Blue Mounds State Park.

Check out my full review and seasonal hours to drive through the bison range: Minneopa State Park.

Foot bridge on hiking trails
Kilen Woods State Park, Lakefield, Minnesota

Flandrau State Park and Fort Ridgely State Park

Sunset over a river with trees and fall colors on the banks
Flandrau State Park | New Ulm, Minnesota

Distance between Flandrau State Park and Fort Ridgely State Park: 19 miles

Fort Ridgely State Park Minnesota
Fort Ridgely State Park | Fairfax, Minnesota

William O’Brien State Park and Lake Maria State Park

yellow wildflowers in front of a hiking path and old train trestle
William O’Brien State Park | Marine on St. Croix, Minnesota

Distance from William O’Brien State Park and Lake Maria State Park: 73 miles (a bit of a drive, but doable)

boardwalk trail through prairie lands
Lake Maria State Park | Monticello, Minnesota

Interstate State Park (aka Taylors Falls) and Wild River State Park

steamboat on a river surrounded by trees
Interstate State Park | Taylors Falls, Minnesota

Distance between Interstate State Park and Wild River State Park: 15 miles

Secluded sandy beach on a river with trees just staring to turn fall colors
Wild River State Park | Center City, Minnesota

Mille Lacs Kathio State Park and Father Hennepin State Park

hiking trail through tall pine trees and a blue sky
Mille Lacs Kathio State Park | Onamia, Minnesota

One of the best historic state parks in Minnesota, Mille Lacs Kathio State Park offers an interpretive hiking trails. For more cardio, climb the 100-ft. fire tower and you can see Minnesota’s second largest lake in the distance. Mille Lacs Lake covers 132,500 acres. Take a dip in the gorgeous lake at Father Hennepin State Park, which is only a few minutes away. Distance between Mille Lacs Kathio State Park and Father Hennepin State Park: 15 miles

Pope's Point at Father Hennepin State Park in Minnesota on Mille Lacs Lake sunset
Father Hennepin State Park | Isle, Minnesota

Charles A. Lindbergh State Park and Crow Wing State Park

Bridge in a forest
Charles A. Lindbergh State Park | Little Falls, Minnesota

Distance between Charles A. Lindbergh State Park and Crow Wing State Park: 25 miles

Mosquito and tick alert: While I enjoyed both Charles A. Lindbergh and Crow Wing state parks, I was not a fan of the bugs. Mosquitoes devoured me at Charles A. Lindbergh State Park and I even had on bug spray. They bit me through my hiking leggings where I hadn’t sprayed! Crow Wing State Park is only one of two state parks where a tick hitchhiked a ride back with me. The other was Mille Lacs Kathio State Park.

My recommended DEET-free mosquito and tick repellents

These two state parks are notorious for ticks so use DEET-free picaridin: highly recommend bringing along a travel-size bottle of Ranger Ready and Aunt Fannie’s DEET-free mosquito wipes (perfect for the face, neck, and hands). If the links look broken, they’re not – and are safe to click through where I may receive a small commission. I only recommend products I use.


Bench overlooking Mississippi River at Crow Wing State Park
Crow Wing State Park | Brainerd, Minnesota

Monson Lake State Park and Sibley State Park

Monson Lake State Park view of lake
Monson Lake State Park | Sunberg, Minnesota

Distance between Monson Lake State Park and Sibley State Park: 15 miles

Sibley State Park Minnesota
Sibley State Park | New London, Minnesota

St. Croix State Park and Moose Lake State Park

Fall foliage at St. Croix State Park Hibbing Minnesota
St. Croix State Park | Hinckley, Minnesota

Distance between St. Croix State Park and Moose Lake State Park: 48 miles

Alternatively, you could change out St. Croix State Park with Banning State Park and the distance between those two Minnesota state parks is only 20 miles. However, we hiked the entire day at Banning so that’s why I suggested this two-a-day state park pairing.

Tall trees with yellow trees and leaves on the ground
Moose Lake State Park | Moose Lake, Minnesota

Banning State Park

Banning State Park in Minnesota with tree reflections in water
Banning State Park | Sandstone, Minnesota

Recommend taking a full day to explore Banning State Park. Or you could pair it up with Moose Lake State Park where the distance is only 20 miles.

Savanna Portage State Park and Jay Cooke State Park

Continental Divide Overlook at Savanna Portage State Park
Savanna Portage State Park | McGregor, Minnesota

Distance between Savanna Portage State Park and Jay Cooke State Park: 52 miles

Note: We actually hiked Jay Cooke State Park separately and I hiked Savanna Portage State Park during my two-week SUV camping road trip. However, this is a doable two-a-day state park road trip.

Best hiking trails near Duluth tree roots with woman at Jay Cooke State Park
Jay Cooke State Park | Carlton, Minnesota

Gooseberry Falls State Park and Split Rock Lighthouse State Park

Gooseberry Falls State Park best waterfalls in Minnesota
Gooseberry Falls State Park | Two Harbors, Minnesota

Distance between Gooseberry Falls State Park and Split Rock Lighthouse State Park: 4.3 miles (so close you can even hike or bike between the two)

Split Rock Lighthouse on Minnesota's North Shore
Split Rock Lighthouse State Park | Two Harbors, Minnesota

Tettegouche State Park and George Crosby Manitou State Park

Cliffs and fall foliage overlooking Lake Superior
Tettegouche State Park | Silver Bay, Minnesota

Distance between Tettegouche State Park and George Crosby Manitou State Park: 15 miles

Note: While it’s only 15 miles between these two Minnesota state parks, the distance is a little misleading – especially in the winter. George Crosby Manitou State Park looks like it’s right off Highway 61 (aka the North Shore), but it’s a little off the beaten path. It is still pretty much a remote, undeveloped wilderness state park.

And the gravel road leading to it can be a little slow going. Additionally, the winter hiking trails are not well maintained so encourage you to hike during the spring, summer, or fall. Although if you have a full day, then definitely hike George Crosby Manitou State Park in the winter – it’s magical! See my epic Minnesota frozen waterfall tour post.

George H. Crosby State Park Waterfall North Shore Minnesota
George Crosby Manitou State Park | Silver Bay, Minnesota

Temperance River State Park and Cascade River State Park

Temperance River State Park easy waterfall
Temperance River State Park | Tofte, Minnesota

Distance between Temperance River State Park and Cascade River State Park: 17 miles

Caribou Highlands Lodge in Lutsen, MN

Most centrally located resort to all North Shore state parks

Cascade River State Park waterfall cascades
Cascade River State Park | Lutsen, Minnesota

Judge C.R. Magney State Park and Grand Portage State Park

Upper Falls Judge CR Magney best waterfalls in Minnesota
Judge C.R. Magney State Park | Grand Marais, Minnesota

Distance between Judge C.R. Magney State Park and Grand Portage State Park: 26 miles

High Falls Grand Portage State Park best waterfalls in Minnesota
Grand Portage State Park | Grand Portage, Minnesota

Bear Head Lake State Park and Lake Vermillion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park

Bear Head Lake State Park
Bear Head Lake State Park | Ely, Minnesota

Distance between Bear Head Lake State Park and the Lake Vermillion / Soudan Underground Mine State Park: 14 miles

Note: Lake Vermillion and the Soudan Underground Mine are near each other, separated by a few miles.

Lake Vermillion State Park Minnesota in winter
Lake Vermillion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park | Soudan, Minnesota

Soudan Underground Mine at Lake Vermillion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park
Lake Vermillion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park | Soudan, Minnesota

McCarthy Beach State Park and Scenic State Park

Side Lake at McCarthy Beach State Park in Minnesota
McCarthy Beach State Park | Side Lake, Minnesota

Distance between McCarthy Beach State Park and Scenic State Park: 54 miles

Family kayaking and paddle boarding at Scenic State Park
Scenic State Park | Bigfork, Minnesota

Hill Annex Mine State Park and Schoolcraft State Park

Hill Annex Mine Open Mine Pit at State Park in Minnesota
Hill Annex Mine State Park | Calumet, Minnesota

Distance between Hill Annex Mine State Park and Schoolcraft State Park: 32 miles

Note that Hill Annex Mine State Park is open limited hours (so plan accordingly). I had to circle back when I arrived on a Thursday and they weren’t open until Friday. And while you won’t find any hiking trails here, you can check out the former open mine pit and a really cool museum.

View of lake at Schoolcraft State Park
Schoolcraft State Park | Deer River, Minnesota

Itasca State Park and Lake Bemidji State Park

Itasca State Park Minnesota
Itasca State Park | Park Rapids, Minnesota

Distance between Itasca State Park and Lake Bemidji State Park: 38 miles

Check out my guide on things to do and see at Itasca State Park – headwaters of the Mississippi River.

Windsurfer on lake beach
Lake Bemidji State Park | Bemidji, Minnesota

Franz Jevne State Park and Zippel Bay State Park

View of Rainy River and Ontario at Franz Jevne State Park in Minnesota
Franz Jevne State Park | Baudette, Minnesota

Distance between Franz Jevne State Park and Zippel Bay State Park: 48 miles

Lake of the Woods shoreline and beach at Zippel Bay State Park in Minnesota
Zippel Bay State Park | Williams, Minnesota

Hayes Lake State Park, Lake Bronson State Park, and Old Mill State Park (three-a-day)

Scenic pine forests next to Hayes Lake State Park in Minnesota
Hayes Lake State Park | Roseau, Minnesota

Distance between Hayes Lake State Park and Lake Bronson State Park: 55 miles

Distance between Lake Bronson State Park and and Old Mill State Park: 31 miles

The state parks in the northwest corner of Minnesota are spread out, so this will be a day of road tripping, but is doable. Tip: Stay near Hayes Lake State Park the night before so you can get an early start on hiking.

Lake Bronson State Park in Minnesota Woman Kayaking
Lake Bronson State Park | Lake Bronson, Minnesota
Settler's house at Old Mill State Park in Minnesota
Old Mill State Park | Argyle, Minnesota

Buffalo River State Park and Maplewood State Park

Deer at Buffalo River State Park in Minnesota
Buffalo River State Park | Glyndon, Minnesota

Distance between Buffalo River State Park and Maplewood State Park: 46 miles

Lake view on Hallaway Hill Trail at Maplewood State Park in Minnesota
Maplewood State Park | Pelican Rapids, Minnesota

Glendalough State Park and Lake Carlos State Park

Glendalough State Park Battle Lake in Minnesota
Glendalough State Park | Battle Lake, Minnesota

Distance between Glendalough State Park and Lake Carlos State Park: 41 miles

Bicycles at Lake Carlos State Park in Minnesota
Lake Carlos State Park | Alexandria, Minnesota

Glacial Lakes State Park and Big Stone Lake State Park

Park bench view of Signalness (Mountain) Lake at Glacial Lakes State Park
Glacial Lakes State Park | Starbuck, Minnesota

Distance between Glacial Lakes State Park and Big Stone Lake State Park: 63 miles

Big Stone Lake State Park in Minnesota
Big Stone Lake State Park | Ortonville, Minnesota

Lac qui Parle State Park and Upper Sioux Agency State Park

Minnesota's record-breaking tallest cottonwood tree at Lac qui Parle State Park
Lac qui Parle State Park | Watson, Minnesota

Distance between Lac qui Parle State Park and Upper Sioux Agency State Park: 33 miles

Hiking trail at Upper Sioux Agency State Park in Granite Falls,Minn.
Upper Sioux Agency State Park | Granite Falls, Minnesota

Camden State Park and Lake Shetek State Park

Camden State Park hiking trail through the woods in Minnesota
Camden State Park | Lynd, Minnesota

Distance between Camden State Park and Lake Shetek State Park: 36 miles

Causeway leading to Loon Island at Lake Shetek State Park in Minnesota
Lake Shetek State Park | Currie, Minnesota

Split Rock Creek State Park and Blue Mounds State Park

Split Rock Creek State Park Beach in Jasper, Minnesota
Split Rock Creek State Park | Jasper, Minnesota

Distance between Split Rock Creek State Park and Blue Mounds State Park: 20 miles

Tipi campsite at Blue Mounds State Park in Minnesota
Blue Mounds State Park | Luverne, Minnesota

List of all Minnesota state parks and distance from the Twin Cities

Here is a list of all the best Minnesota state parks. Each one includes the location and the distance from the Twin Cities (Minneapolis, St. Paul).

  • Afton State Park | Hastings, MN (26 miles)
  • Banning State Park | Sandstone, MN (97 miles)
  • Bear Head Lake State Park | Ely, MN (240 miles)
  • Beaver Creek Valley State Park | Caledonia, MN (148 miles)
  • Big Stone Lake State Park | Ortonville, MN (186 miles)
  • Blue Mounds State Park | Luverne, MN (208 miles)
  • Buffalo River State Park | Glyndon, MN (240 miles)
  • Camden State Park | Lynd, MN (161 miles)
  • Carley State Park | Plainview, MN (88 miles)
  • Cascade River State Park | Lutsen, MN (257 miles)
  • Charles A. Lindbergh State Park | Little Falls, MN (112 miles)
  • Crow Wing State Park | Brainerd, MN (134 miles)
  • Father Hennepin State Park | Isle, MN (113 miles)
  • Flandrau State Park | New Ulm, MN (93 miles)
  • Forestville / Mystery Cave State Park | Preston, MN (115 miles)
  • Fort Ridgely State Park | Fairfax, MN (99 miles)
  • Fort Snelling State Park | Bloomington / St. Paul, MN (2 miles)
  • Franz Jevne State Park | Birchdale, MN (336 miles)
  • Frontenac State Park | Frontenac, MN (62 miles)
  • George H. Crosby Manitou State Park | Finland, MN (231 miles)
  • Glacial Lakes State Park | Starbuck, MN (156 miles)
  • Glendalough State Park | Battle Lake, MN (194 miles)
  • Gooseberry Falls | Two Harbors, MN (197 miles)
  • Grand Portage State Park | Grand Portage, MN (308 miles)
  • Great River Bluffs State Park | Winona, MN (136 miles)
  • Hayes Lake State Park | Roseau, MN (343 miles)
  • Hill Annex Mine State Park | Calumet, MN (197 miles)
  • Interstate State Park / Taylors Falls State Park | Taylors Falls, MN (56 miles)
  • Itasca State Park | Park Rapids, MN (219 miles)
  • Jay Cooke State Park | Thomson, MN (146 miles)
  • John A. Latsch State Park | Winona, MN (99 miles)
  • Judge C.R. Magney State Park | Grand Marais, MN (282 miles)
  • Kilen Woods State Park | Lakefield, MN (153 miles)
  • Lac qui Parle State Park | Watson, MN (141 miles)
  • Lake Bemidji State Park | Bemidji, MN (230 miles)
  • Lake Bronson State Park | Karlstad, MN (409 miles)
  • Lake Carlos State Park | Alexandria, MN (152 miles)
  • Lake Louise State Park | Le Roy, MN (113 miles)
  • Lake Maria State Park | Monticello, MN (60 miles)
  • Lake Shetek State Park | Currie, MN (168 miles)
  • Lake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park | Soudan, MN (229 miles)
  • McCarthy Beach State Park | Side Lake, MN (227 miles)
  • Maplewood State Park | Pelican Rapids, MN (217 miles)
  • Mille Lacs Kathio State Park | Onamia, MN (108 miles)
  • Minneopa State Park | Mankato, MN (82 miles)
  • Monson Lake State Park | Sunburg, MN (141 miles)
  • Moose Lake State Park | Moose Lake, MN (116 miles)
  • Myre-Big Island State Park | Albert Lea, MN (93 miles)
  • Nerstrand Big Woods State Park | Nerstrand, MN (52 miles)
  • Old Mill State Park | Argyle, MN (350 miles)
  • Rice Lake State Park | Owatonna, MN (70 miles)
  • St. Croix State Park | Hinckley, MN (105 miles)
  • Sakatah Lake State Park | Waterville, MN (60 miles)
  • Savanna Portage State Park | Northeast Aitkin, MN (149 miles)
  • Scenic State Park | Bigfork, MN (232 miles)
  • Schoolcraft State Park | Deer River, MN (198 miles)
  • Sibley State Park | New London, MN (128 miles)
  • Split Rock Creek State Park | Jasper, MN (202 miles)
  • Split Rock Lighthouse State Park | Two Harbors, MN (204 miles)
  • Temperance River State Park | Schroeder, MN (239 miles)
  • Tettegouche State Park | Silver Bay, MN (217 miles)
  • Upper Sioux Agency State Park | Granite Falls, MN (122 miles)
  • Whitewater State Park | Altura, MN (99 miles)
  • Wild River State Park | Center City, MN (58 miles)
  • William O’Brien State Park | Scandia / Marine on the St. Croix, MN (43 miles)
  • Zippel Bay State Park | Williams, MN (345 miles)

Of course, you can certainly take it more slowly and do one-a-days where you hike only one Minnesota state park a day. I did on several visits. And I plan to return to many of these Minnesota state parks and spend more time hiking different trails, SUV camping, and/or kayaking.

Hiking all 66 Minnesota state parks is a great way to explore the Land of 10,000 lakes (we actually have 11,842 lakes). Enjoy the diverse beauty and history of Minnesota!


Pin it for later: Tour all Minnesota state parks in a year

how to hike all 66 Minnesota state parks in a year

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Author

Twin Cities-based blogger sharing memorable emptynester, solo, family and girlfriend-getaway adventures, as well as my day hiking adventures (including all 66 Minnesota state parks), latest book reviews, and updates on my quest for the best adult mac and cheese. Also two WIPs: historical fiction and psychological thriller

56 comments

  1. It’s a bit of a challenge to strategically get all state parks in a year. We love our Indiana state parks, but on date trips, we rarely get more than one in. This helps a lot for Minnesota parks!

  2. Hiking all 66 State Parks in Minnesota in 1 year would definitely be a goal! This resource is wonderful for anyone looking to accomplish it.

    1. Thank you! I’m hoping this guide on how to plan and hike all 66 Minnesota state parks in a year is a helpful resource.

  3. Wow it’s so impressive you did this all within a year! I love those tips, we are aiming to see all of the national parks on the contiguous US this year and we are almost there! It helps to live in a van. I would love to visit some of these spectacular parks.

    1. Thank you! Loved my challenge of hiking all 66 Minnesota state parks in a year. And that is fo awesome you’re visiting all the national parks!

  4. First of all the pictures are amazing 🙂 I really love how you challenge yourself to finish all 66 state parks in a year and you did it!! The distance between each parks are very helpful for trip planning! Would love to check out some of those hikes and waterfalls’

  5. I love state parks and admittedly have not visited nearly enough in my home state! This post was truly an inspiration to start on my own list and get started on some hikes this summer. I love that you included all of the Minnesota parks and some airbnb ideas here to making it easy for travelers to make just one visit or many!

    1. Thank you! And awesome that you’re inspired to visit and hike your own state parks. Like you, I had only hiked a handful before I started my challenge of exploring all 66 Minnesota state parks. So happy I did.

  6. Those are some beautiful looking State Parks in Minnesota. I haven’t been to any of them but would definitely love to check them out one day. Love being in nature.

    1. Nature is so good for the soul! I hope you get the opportunity to visit and hike some of Minnesota’s most beautiful state parks.

  7. Congrats on meeting your challenge of visiting all the state parks in Minnesota! Your pictures always make me want to return to your beautiful state. I especially love your pictures with water. So pretty!

  8. Wow! That is an ambitious goal! And you did it! That’s amazing and inspiring. Each of these hikes look fantastic. I love the details you provided making it easy for someone to follow in your footsteps and do the same!

    1. Thank you so much! Love sharing how I planned my challenge to hike all 66 Minnesota state parks. It was a great experience!

    1. Thank you! That’s a great question. I know that the Minnesota DNR has a hiking club where you can get stamps in a passport of sorts. I may do this and hike all 66 Minnesota state parks again as I didn’t always hike the Hiking Club trails.

  9. What a great guide for visiting all of the state parks in Minnesota! It’s a beautiful state. I’ve mostly been in the Duluth area.

    1. Thank you! Minnesota offers so many beautiful and diverse hiking trails at all 66 state parks. I’m a huge fan of Duluth!

  10. This is so fun! Hiking all 66 of Minnesota’s state parks looks great. We had hoped to do something like this in another state, however, Lisa had a knee replacement and her walking abilities went way down. This post has us rekindling that hiking thought here in California. Thank you for sharing.

    1. You’re welcome and my pleasure. It’s tough when the body doesn’t want to cooperate. I hope you will be able to hike state parks in the near future.

  11. I lived in MN all through college and I am so bummed I didn’t get to do more Minnesota State Parks! I will have to make a point to check way more off when I go home to visit. This is a great inspiration on how to make the most of a few days!

    1. I hope you get the opportunity to hike some of the 66 Minnesota state parks. I lived here nearly 30 years before I hiked all of them.

  12. Wow! What a milestone to complete this in a year! This is such a well thought out and informative guide!

  13. Wow wow wow – 66 state parks in a year, that’s an absolute challenge but fantastic work. It’s such a pity that I haven’t really heard too much about Minnesota and your parks but I think I’m definitely missing out. Looks like an amazing state to explore especially for hiking. Doubt I’ll manage all 66 state parks but at least I can save this for later and visit more than one park if I ever get the chance to visit! 🙂

  14. What great information and what a treat to see all of these beautiful Minnesota state parks in one year. Your photos are simply gorgeous!

    1. Thank you so much! Greatly appreciate your kind words. Love sharing how I planned and hike all 66 Minnesota state parks in a year.

    1. Thank you so kindly! Loved planning and hiking all 66 Minnesota state parks. And they are especially beautiful in the fall.

  15. What a great collection of State Parks in Minnesota. What a great challenge to visit all 66 parks. Great that some are good day trips but others have great spots to stay close to them. What a lovely collection of outdoor scenes. Some great reasons to visit Minnesota.

  16. This is surely an ambitious yet desirable goal for all hiking enthusiasts. Thanks to your post I’ve realized how beautiful Minnesota is in all seasons!

  17. I’m still in awe that you hiked all 66 Minnesota State Parks in one year! I have loved following this journey, thanks so much for sharing it!

    1. Thank you so much for all your support. Love sharing the beauty of Minnesota and how I planned and hiked all 66 state parks.

  18. I couldn’t imagine there were so many parks in Minnesota! Judging by the picture my fav is Tettegouche State Park and George Crosby Manitou State Park! I can’t wait to take an adventure like that!

    1. We do have quite a few Minnesota state parks – and all special in their unique way. Tettegouche State Park and George Crosby Manitou State Park in Minnesota are both beautiful – and relatively close to each other..

  19. I love your photos! This would be great to do if living there. I saved couple names couple my favorites from this post for my next trip!

  20. Wow, hiking all 66 Minnesota State Parks in one year sounds like a feat. However, these parks are all so lovely. I’m sure that would make for an incredible year! Thanks for sharing this helpful guide.

  21. These are great tips for making the best of your time. You inspired me to look up all the state parks in North Carolina after reading this. Maybe one day I’ll see them all! How long in total did it take you to do all this?

    1. Awesome! Hiking all the state parks in North Carolina sounds like a great challenge. It took me a year to hike all 66 Minnesota state parks – mid-June 2020 through July 3, 2021.

    1. Thank you! I definitely had to embrace winter on this challenge of hiking all 66 Minnesota state parks. I was surprised I enjoyed the cold-weather hikes as much as I did.

    1. Thank you so much! Love sharing what I learned as I planned and hiked all 66 Minnesota state parks! Happy to hear it’s a great resource!

  22. The way you did the hike within a year made me think of the Greek epic tales and Minnesota was the vast sea. Seems like the gods bestowed you such wonderful sceneries and sunsets on your hikes 😉

    1. I love that! Yes, I definitely was blessed with some fabulous hiking and scenic views on my epic Minnesota state park adventure.

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