Minnesota is home to thousands of beautiful outdoor recreational areas, and six national parks. Known as “The Land of 10,000 Lakes,” it’s easy to see why over 73 million people visited the state in 2017 alone!
There are plenty of reasons to visit any of the incredible national parks in Minnesota, but there are a few that stand out among the rest. Interested in some of the favorites? Check out our list for the best national parks in the state.
Grand Portage National Monument
Not only is the Grand Portage National Monument an incredibly beautiful destination, but it also has years of history. Located near the banks of Lake Superior, it lies within both the Grand Portage Indian Reservation and the unincorporated community of Grand Portage. This beautiful trail once served as a transcontinental trade route between the Ojibwe Tribe and the North West Fur Trade Company.
Today the park continues to provide incredible hiking trails and informational exhibits. It’s also the location for the yearly North West Company rendezvous and pow wow, put on in conjunction with the Ojibwe Tribe.
Voyageurs National Park
Located in northern Minnesota, the Voyageurs National Park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts from all around the world. Because the park is open 24 hours a day year-round, you can enjoy it during any season. Forty percent of the park is covered in water, so water sports are extremely popular during the summer months. Fan of snow sports? The winter months turn the park into a winter wonderland, with trails and areas designated to explore on your own.
Here’s a list of great activities to do while in the park:
- Cross country skiing
- Paddle boarding
North Country Scenic National Trail
What makes the North Country Scenic National Trail so special is that it isn’t just in Minnesota. This trail makes its way through EIGHT different states, including Vermont, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Dakota, and New York. This trail is massive, with the portion in Minnesota stretching 486 miles alone!
As you travel along the trail, be sure to pick up a trail passport to keep track of your progress and so you don’t miss anything! Most visitor centers along the way have stamps for you to use.
Pipestone National Monument
Named for the red pipestone that’s been mined at this spot by American Indians for years, the Pipestone National Monument provides some of the most beautiful spots in the entire state of Minnesota. The park has an in-depth visitor center, providing artifacts, demonstrations, and even films about the mining of pipestone at the site.
The circle trail is a paved walkway in the park, providing some of the most beautiful views the area has to offer. Since it’s under a mile long, it’s a great walk for the entire family to enjoy together.
Minnesota is one of the most beautiful states in the entire country, so it’s no wonder that it also has some of the most incredible national parks located within its borders. No matter what you decide to do while you’re here, your time won’t be wasted—you’ll enjoy all the beauty and majesty that nature has to offer.
Interested in exploring some of the national parks on wheels? Check out our blog on biking in the outdoors!