My favorite Minnesota parks

By: McKenna Nutter

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Now that spring will be here soon, more people are looking to spend time outdoors, especially after being trapped at home with nowhere to go all year, and it was especially hard in the winter. Luckily, Minnesota has some very nice parks and outdoor areas to go and hangout, take a walk, or if you’re looking for some place to go camping.

One of my favorite, very local places to go, are the Mississippi Falls, also known as Hidden Falls. It’s a great place to go for a short hike with my family, and a place I have been going for longer than I can remember. It’s near Highland Park High School, just across the Mississippi River, through Highland Village.

Another wonderful place to go is Crosby Regional Park. These outdoor trails are located along Shepherd Rd and Kellogg Blvd. It’s a set of trails that runs partially along the river and circles a small lake. I have been here with a friend before, and we had loads of fun, I only wish I had brought more water! 

If you’re looking for a great place to go hiking and kayak, Lebanon Hills Regional Park is a great choice. Last summer, my family and I took kayaks to Lebanon, and the small lakes connected together made for easy movement between each body of water. Not long before our kayak outing, we had taken a long walk through Lebanon’s beautiful hiking trails, and we were even lucky enough to see a group of horse riders, on their own, separate path. It was a large park and the scenery was beautiful. And though I’ve never been personally, I’ve heard they have year-round campsites open. I find Lebanon Hills to be my favorite nearby park, with all of its options for outdoor activities. 

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If you’re looking to go camping for a few days, especially to get far out of the city, Whitewater State Park, located not too far from Rochester, in Winona County, was a wonderful place I went to on a group camping trip. The trails were beautiful and hiking through the rocky bluffs was more fun than I had expected. Whitewater State Park is located just a few miles from the Trout Run Creek, a popular place to go fishing. 

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