Minnesota Land of 10,000 Lakes and Over 60 State Parks

We’re lucky to live in such an awesome state that has so many lakes and State Parks.  Fifteen of the State Parks are in the Arrowhead Region and practically in our backyard. With waterfalls running this time of the year is especially a wonderful time to visit one of our State Parks.  When you plan your trip up to Voyageur this summer be sure to plan a little extra time to visit one of the State Parks on your way.

From the DNR- Minnesota state park facts and figures:
One-day vehicle permit sales, year to date (through April 30, 2014):

2014: 12,057
2013: 11,045
Year-round vehicle permit sales, year to date (through April 30, 2014):

2014:  17,417
2013:  17,184
Number of parks and recreation areas:  76

Oldest: Itasca State Park (established in 1891)
Newest: La Salle Lake State Recreation Area (acquired Fall 2011)
Largest: St. Croix State Park (31,775 acres)
Smallest: Franz Jevne State Park (118 acres)
Top three state parks for overnight visits in 2013:

1. Itasca State Park
2. Whitewater State Park
3. St. Croix State Park

Top three state parks for estimated overall visits in 2013:

1. Fort Snelling State Park
2. Gooseberry Falls State Park
3. Itasca State Park

Overnight accommodations at state parks and recreation areas:

Reservable camping and lodging units: 3,477
Unreservable (first-come, first-served) sites: 1,353
Camper cabins: 83
Percentage of the reservable sites that were reserved as of May 19: 90 percent
Return to the economy:

Day visitors: $26.23/person/day
Overnight visitors: $23.16/person/day

State Parks Year Established
Itasca 1891
Interstate 1895
Minneopa 1905
Fort Ridgely 1911
Jay Cooke 1915
Sibley 1919
Whitewater 1919
Scenic 1921
Lake Bemidji 1923
John Latsch 1925
(First established as Scenic Highway State Park, it was officially designated as a State Park in 1997.)
Charles Lindbergh 1931
Camden 1935
Beaver Creek Valley 1937
Blue Mounds 1937
Buffalo River 1937
Flandrau 1937
Gooseberry Falls 1937
Lake Bronson 1937
Lake Shetek 1937
Lake Carlos 1937
Monson Lake 1937
Split Rock Creek 1937
Father Hennepin 1941
St. Croix 1943
Kilen Woods 1945
McCarthy Beach 1945
Nerstrand Big Woods 1945
Split Rock Lighthouse 1945
Myre-Big Island 1947
William O’Brien 1947
Carley 1949
Old Mill 1951
George Crosby Manitou 1955
Cascade River 1957
Frontenac 1957
Judge Magney 1957
Mille Lacs Kathio 1957
Temperance River 1957
Crow Wing 1959
Lac qui Parle 1959
Schoolcraft 1959
Zippel Bay 1959
Bear Head Lake 1961
Big Stone Lake 1961
Fort Snelling 1961
Savanna Portage 1961
Banning 1963
Forestville/Mystery Cave 1963
Glacial Lakes 1963
Great River Bluffs (formerly O.L. Kipp) 1963
Lake Louise 1963
Lake Maria 1963
Maplewood 1963
Rice Lake 1963
Sakatah Lake 1963
Soudan Underground Mine 1963
Upper Sioux Agency 1963
Franz Jevne 1967
(Official designation was as a State Wayside Park.. Legislation in 1969 officially changed the name to Franz Jevne State Park.
Hayes Lake 1967
Afton 1969
MN Valley State Recreation Area 1969
Moose Lake 1971
Wild River 1973
Tettegouche 1979
Hill Annex Mine 1988
Grand Portage 1989
Glendalough 1991
Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area 1993
Garden Island State Recreation Area 1998
Big Bog State Recreation Area 2000
Red River Valley State Recreation Area 2000
Lake Vermillion 2010
LaSalle Lake State Recreation Area 2011
Waysides Year Established
Sam Brown Monument 1929
Inspiration Peak 1931
Joseph R. Brown 1937
St. Croix Islands 1943
(Exchange discussion underway with National Park Service ’05)
Caribou Falls 1947
Kodonce River 1947
Ray Berglund 1951
Cross River 1961
(Became a part of Temperance River State Park in 1998. No longer a wayside.)
Devils Track Falls 1961
Flood Bay 1963

(Updated April 2014)

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