State Parks near Minneapolis, MN | Outdoorsy

State Parks near Minneapolis, MN

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State Parks


Afton State Park, MN

464 RV rentals

The Great Lakes Region of the Upper Midwest is known for its rolling farmlands and spatterings of major cities. But just outside of Minneapolis, Minnesota, between Duluth and Rochester, is the small town of Washington, MN. Located on the border of Minnesota and Wisconsin on the St. Croix River is Afton State Park. Only about 1,600 acres, this park is on the smaller side, but if quaint is what you’re looking for, then this is your place.

In 1969, the state of Minnesota selected the area that would soon be known as Afton State Park to be conserved and maintained by the state. The park is made up of a combination of large ravines, oak woodlands, and open …

Banning State Park, MN

358 RV rentals

Just a few miles north of Sandstone, surrounding the banks of Kettle River in Minnesota, is Banning State Park. The park protects over 6,000 acres of Mille Lacs Uplands, an area that still bears the scars of the forest fires and growing industry of the 19th century. Even though the land is still recovering, the birch and aspen forests, along with the sounds of songbirds and running water, transformed this place into a true garden of tranquility.

With Kettle River and its rapids as the park’s focal point, some of the favorite activities include kayaking and fishing. Banning State Park campgrounds are lovely and decently equipped, so RV campers often book them in advance, as there's only a limited …

Beaver Creek Valley State Park, MN

78 RV rentals

In the southeastern corner of Minnesota, sits Beaver Creek Valley State Park, an underrated, often-overlooked gem. Fed by the “Big Spring” found upstream, the water is exceptionally clear and cold. The banks are lined by moss-clad stones and gnarled old oak, basswood, and walnut trees.

Once inhabited by Native American tribes that roamed this part of the state, the first European settlers arrived in the area in the mid-1850s. Though they had intended to take advantage of the rich soil by creating farms, they found that the terrain was too steep and rocky, and thus Beaver Creek was preserved. Beaver Creek Valley State Park was officially established in 1937.

Surrounded by industrious farmlands growing a variety of crops ranging from …

Brunet Island State Park, WI

137 RV rentals

Situated at the confluence of Route 64 and Route 27, Brunet Island State Park is easily accessible from Eau Claire and the surrounding towns of central Wisconsin. Just over a two-hour drive from Minneapolis, MN, consider Brunet Island State Park camping to escape the stresses of big city life.

The park is named after Jean Brunet, a French immigrant who once lived here and played an integral role in the development of the Chippewa River. His contributions included the construction of the first dam and sawmills in the area, remnants of which can be seen today. Opened as a state park in 1940, you can enjoy its diverse landscapes and unique flora and fauna.

Formed by the joining of …

Carley State Park, MN

325 RV rentals

In the southeast corner of Minnesota, near the border that it shares with Wisconsin and Iowa, is Carley State Park. This state park is a wonderful place to visit when you book an RV in Wabasha County, as it provides an easy way to camp with an RV in the area. Carley State Park can trace its natural history to over 450 million years ago, back to when a shallow sea covered large sections of North America.

Carley State Park in modern-day covers over 200 acres and was founded in 1949. The recent human history includes that of the Dakota Native Americans, who once hunted, farmed, and sustained themselves on wild food found throughout the Whitewater River Valley. In …

Crow Wing State Park, MN

262 RV rentals

Crow Wing State Park is a rustic, 3,000-acre recreation area ideal for RV camping, fishing, hiking, or simply relaxing over a friendly picnic. With a diverse landscape and wildlife, there's no shortage of fun activities here. The valleys of the park are characterized by conifer bogs and wet prairies. The forests are brimming with pine and hardwood trees, and eagles and hawks can be seen soaring across the blue skies.

Crow Wing River, one of the park’s main attractions, was most likely named after the shape of the island, which resembles a crow's wing. However, there are also claims that it was incorrectly translated from the Ojibwe word for raven or possibly raven feather. You can find out more details …

Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area, MN

235 RV rentals

Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area lies in central Minnesota, close to the towns and cities of Ironton, Aitkin, and Brainerd. The area was once one of the most prolific mining areas in all of Minnesota, and as a result, the land is peppered with pits and waste rock. These pits have slowly filled with water over the past decades and created a picturesque landscape of lakes and mine ponds. This unique landscape makes Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area an ideal place for lake fishing, nature watching, and hiking through some of Minnesota’s best countryside.

This long list of recreational opportunities makes Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area the ideal place to take an RV rental. Making your way …

Father Hennepin State Park, MN

419 RV rentals

Located on the shore of Mille Lacs Lake in the heart of Minnesota, Father Hennepin State Park is perfectly placed for exploring the beautiful rugged northern part of the state. Less than a two-hour drive east in your rental RV is the city of Duluth, on the edge of Lake Superior and to the north is a maze of lakes and forests waiting to be discovered by on your outdoor adventure.

The park, named after a French Franciscan priest, Louis Hennepin, visited the area in 1680. He was captured by Dakota Native Americans, but released after eight months. During this time, he wrote many journals about the area.

Although the park only covers around 320-acres, it gives easy access …

Flandrau State Park, MN

414 RV rentals

Flandrau State Park is located right across from the city of New Ulm, Minnesota. The gently flowing Cottonwood River flows through the park, and it was after this river that the park was first named when it came into being. From wooded river bottoms to oak-shaded bluffs to oxbow marshes and open grasslands, the park has a very diverse terrain that attracts campers from far and wide. For this very reason, book an RV in Brown County to explore the area and its offerings. You could also check out the nearby cities of Mankato and Saint Peter in your rental RV, as they are not far off.

Flandrau was first used as the site for a Works Project Administration camp …

Fort Ridgely State Park, MN

402 RV rentals

Motorhome camping while exploring Minnesota is a wonderful way to see the Land of 10,000 lakes, and when you book an RV in Nicollet County, you’ll be centrally located to explore southern Minnesota with ease. In Nicollet County is Fort Ridgely State Park, which has a rich history both in human and natural events. The park’s natural history can be traced to over 12,000 years ago when the last glaciers covering this section of Minnesota retreated, leaving behind sand, gravel, and rocks known as glacial till.

RV camping at Fort Ridgely State Park will allow you to explore this unique landscape, which sits atop two distinct layers of the aforementioned glacial till. In more recent times, the area the …

Fort Snelling State Park, MN

458 RV rentals

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.

Frontenac State Park, MN

420 RV rentals

Learn about Hopewellian culture and history, explore hardwood forests and prairies, or just spend time fishing for catfish, crappie, and bluegill. This is just the tip of the iceberg of what awaits those who go RV camping at Frontenac State Park. The park is located on the Mississippi River, some seven miles away from Lake City, 11 miles away from Red Wing, and 24 miles away from the town of Wabasha. The park's proximity to an array of attractions and amenities only makes it more alluring for outdoor enthusiasts on a motorhome camping vacation. Don't have your own RV? No problem — you'll find a wide selection of affordable RV rentals near Frontenac State Park.

The park …

Glacial Lakes State Park, MN

186 RV rentals

Tucked away in the lesser-visited Leaf Hills area of western Minnesota is Glacial Lakes State Park. Its location just off Highway 29 provides easy access to the closest big towns of Starbuck and Benson, while I-94 provides great access to Minneapolis and Fargo, ND, respectfully two hours to each.

Glacial Lakes State Park was originally established in 1963 in a bid to preserve some of the last remaining prairie habitats in Minneapolis. Glaciers that receded thousands of years ago carved these diverse landscapes, and, as a result, the state park has become a site of historical and geological significance.

With the park encompassing nearly 2,500 acres of land, there are plenty of rolling hills, lakes and marshes to …

Governor Knowles State Forest, WI

441 RV rentals

Sprawling over 19,343 acres, Governor Knowles State Forest is located in Northwest Polk and Southwest Burnett Counties in Northwestern Wisconsin. The state forest sits close to Wisconsin and Minnesota border making it a popular outdoor destination with locals from both states. The forest is located about 20 miles away from the town of Siren, WI, approximately 13 miles from Pine City. The beautiful St. Croix River flows along the edge of the forest.

Governor Knowles State Forest has previously been known as St. Croix River State Forest. It was renamed Governor Knowles State Forest in 1981 after Warren P. Knowles, a famous conservationist and a prominent former governor in this state.

Governor Knowles State Forest is a paradise …

Great River Bluffs State Park, MN

99 RV rentals

The Great River Bluffs State Park lies along the border of Wisconsin and Minneapolis, on the banks of the Mississippi River that marks a natural boundary between the states. Although somewhat off the beaten path, the park is easily accessed via Highway 61 or Interstate Route 90, with approaches from Rochester and Minneapolis.

Recognized as a state park in 1976, the area was originally known as O.L Kipp State Park, a nod to a man who was integral in building the Minnesota highway system. In the late ‘90s, the park was renamed after the prominent geological formations found there; its steep buffs rise 500 feet above the river, creating narrow valleys and unique ecosystems.

It is conveniently located between …

Interstate State Park, MN

449 RV rentals

The aptly named Interstate State Park straddles the Wisconsin-Minnesota state line, encompassing more than 1,600 acres on either side of the St. Croix River. Considering the park's diverse landscape and wildlife, it’s no wonder that campers from Saint Croix Falls, Taylors Falls, and beyond all frequent the park. Whether you want to climb the cliffs, hike across glacial potholes and old lava flows, conquer the rushing rapids, or simply explore the woods and thickets brimming with oak, maple, and pine, the park has you covered.

This is the first interstate park in America. In the mid-19th century, as the mining industry encroached on the area, government officials in both states worked to protect the land. Thanks to these efforts, …

Interstate State Park, WI

449 RV rentals

Interstate State Park is currently the oldest state park in Wisconsin is one of the most loved state parks and is a perfect escape for a motorhome camping trip. Covering 1330-acres of forested land, the state park lies within the Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway and the Ice Age National Scientific Reserve in the city of Saint Croix Falls, WI, and includes the scenic Dalles of St. Croix River. Surrounded by basalt cliffs, cavernous depressions, stunning rock formations, and miles of trails, its no surprise why Interstate State Park is considered one of the best state parks in the area where you can go camping with an RV.  Wisconsin's state park is adjacent and alongside Interstate State Park in …

Jay Cooke State Park, MN

59 RV rentals

Jay Cooke State Park combines the natural beauty of the Midwest with the rich history and cultural heritage of the North Star State. It straddles the St. Louis River and is a paradise for outdoor adventurers. Spend your days hiking in the rocky gorge, birdwatching in the boreal forest and picnicking by the river. As a bonus, the park offers year-round appeal. Summers are beautiful, though you can also admire wildflowers in the spring, leaf peep in the fall and cross-country ski in the winter.

There's also plenty of history to soak up in the 8000-acre park, whether you're strolling around the pioneer cemetery, peering over the rails of the Swinging Bridge or exploring stone ruins from the Civilian Conservation …

Kilen Woods State Park, MN

68 RV rentals

Kilen Woods State Park is located near Lakefield, MN, and an hour and a half away from Mankato, MN. The Des Moines Lobe, a thick layer of glacial ice, used to cover this area of Minnesota. The ice melted several thousands of years ago, leaving behind rolling hills, lakes, and wide prairies. The magnificent nature of Kilen Woods State Park draws in visitors from all sides of the United States regardless of the season.

Opportunities for outdoor activities at Kilen Woods State Park are endless. Hikers may enjoy the trails by Des Moines River, while anglers could stay on the banks, and fish from the river. Dense oak forests are inhabited by hundreds of different bird species, and …

Lake Carlos State Park, MN

205 RV rentals

Located within 10 miles of Alexandria and slightly over 15 minutes from Parkers Prairie, lies the expansive Lake Carlos State Park. The park is right on the shores of the famous lake that gives it a name, and a few miles from Lake Ida and Lake Miltona. Its captivating natural beauty, a wide variety of recreational offerings and RV camping opportunities make it a favorite destination for Douglas County, MN campers.

Straddling over 1230 acres of Minnesota’s prairie landscape, it stretches out in a transition zone into tall coniferous forests. If what you are looking for is a break from a busy urban life, you can get away to Lake Carlos State Park for breathtaking natural scenery with marshes, …