Frontenac State Park named one of 10 best hiking spots in MinnesotaIf you’re looking for a great place to hike this holiday weekend, you don’t have to look any farther than Goodhue County.
If you’re looking for a great place to hike this holiday weekend, you don’t have to look any farther than Goodhue County.
Frontenac State Park was recently named by the American Trails group as one of the 10 best state parks for hiking in Minnesota.
Other parks rounding out the list include nearby Afton, Itasca, Fort Snelling, Jay Cooke and Banning state parks.
With the long weekend, Minnesota State Parks Director Courtland Nelson is encouraging families to hit the trails.
“There are a number of benefits to hiking this Thanksgiving,” he said.
Taking a post-Thanksgiving hike is less expensive and less crowded than shopping malls, Nelson said, and allows over-eaters to walk off some of those extra calories.
“Plus, now that the leaves have fallen from the trees it’s easier to see wildlife like birds and deer,” he said.
Anyone wishing to hike over the long weekend should dress in layers in case of sudden temperature changes, wear comfortable shoes and pack a water bottle and healthy snacks.
Because of special hunts, the Department of Natural Resources is advising anyone planning to visit a state park between now and December to look online or call ahead to find out whether a hunt is planned and confirm whether the park will be open.
Visitors to parks where hunts are planned should wear blaze orange, even if they will not be hunting. Visitors should check for hunt-related information at the park office when they arrive, look carefully for hunt-related signage and follow instructions.
For a list of parks that are open, partially open or closed during the 2012 hunting season, visit mndnr.gov or call 651-296-6157 or 888-646-6367.
“There’s a Minnesota state park within 30 miles of almost everyone,” Nelson said, “so no matter where you live or celebrate Thanksgiving, the fun is always close by.”
Daily Minnesota state park permits ($5) and year-round permits ($25) are available for purchase at Minnesota state parks.
Top 10 state parks for hiking
• Afton State Park.
• Banning State Park.
• Beaver Creek Valley State Park.
• Fort Snelling State Park.
• Frontenac State Park.
• Itasca State Park.
• Jay Cooke State Park.
• Sakatah Lake State Park.
• Temperance River State Park.
• William O’Brien State Park.