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Fort Snelling State Park is situated in the southeast portion of Minnesota near the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers. The park is best known for containing Fort Snelling, which was used by the U.S. Army during the 1800s to manage the local fur trade. Besides its historic structures, this state park also features stunning landscapes that range from forests to meadows.
This area of Minnesota is somewhat warm during the summer, although winters can be brutally cold. Fort Snelling State Park is located near cities such as Minneapolis and Burnsville.
Visitors to Fort Snelling State Park will find plenty of things to do while here, and one activity is fishing. Thanks to the park’s location near two major rivers, fishers will find many prime fishing spots scattered around. Some species found in the local waterways include bass, catfish, crappie, and bluegill. In addition to this, Fort Snelling State Park contains Snelling Lake, which spans over 101 acres and contains species such as bullhead, sunfish, pike, and bass. The lake also has a fishing pier.
Hikers will discover an impressive amount of trails around the park, many of which will take you to historic structures and across breathtaking landscapes filled with wildflowers, willow trees, and nettle. During the winter, a few of these pathways are converted into skiing trails and can be explored with skis or with the help of snowshoes.
Another way to enjoy the great outdoors at the park is to go birdwatching. Fort Snelling State Park is filled with trees and bodies of water, making it a favorite nesting and hunting spot for a variety of different species. A few birdwatchers might be able to see while here include flycatchers, warblers, grackles, cowbirds, catbirds, and egrets. The state park does provide a helpful guide on the birds that visit it and tell of the best seasons to see certain species.
Those that book an RV in Ramsey County can stay at numerous motorhome campgrounds located near Fort Snelling State Park. One option is Dakotah Meadows RV Park, with 122 RV sites that come with electric, sewer hookups, and water. There are also showers, a laundry room, playground, store, fuel station, and RV wash center. This campground provides a shuttle service to two local casinos and a fitness center.
There’s also Town & Country RV Park and Campground. This travel trailer campground offers 80 sites that come with amenities such as electric, WiFi, restrooms, and showers. The campground is pet-friendly and has a pool. There are also a handful of hiking trails winding around the grounds.
Should you’d like to explore the area with your camper, you’ll discover a handful of attractions to stop by at. In Minneapolis, there’s the Mill City Museum. First opened in 2003, this museum rests inside a 1800s flour mill. Museum-goers will be able to learn more about the area’s history with the help of many interactive exhibits. Guided tours are available and feature different themes. When you’re done exploring its interior, visitors can take a ride up to its rooftop observation deck that provides views of the nearby river. Throughout the year, the grounds also host a farmers market that sells a variety of local goods, such as honey, flowers, and bread.
While in Minneapolis, stop by the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. This 11-acre garden is home to over 60 unique sculptures, such as Spoonbridge and Cherry and Empire. The garden provides a garden tour guide visitors can use to help escort them around the grounds while also learning more about the sculptures and the artists who created them. This garden also features numerous native plants and is connected to the Walker Art Center.
About half-an-hour away in Maple Grove is Central Park of Maple Grove. This urban park features plenty of attractions that people of all ages will enjoy, such as playgrounds, ice rinks, walking trails, and a labyrinth. There is also an interactive fountain that features jet sprays and LED lights. This fountain runs throughout the day, but it is at its most striking during the night.
Take a drive over to Rochester to check out the Quarry Hill Nature Center. This nature center features many interesting attractions, including a nature exhibit filled with animals, birds, bees, and fossils. The center is also surrounded by a massive park that is perfect for hiking, canoeing, and skiing. In addition to this, the park is home to a limestone quarry and numerous sandstone caves that are packed with fossils.