National Parks in Minnesota

History Fangirl is turning seven years old in 2022! To make sure all travel guides are up to date, some posts are getting overhauled, which means you may come across posts that are under construction. Note: This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure page for more details.

Grand Portage National Monument

In 1951, the Grand Portage National Monument was declared a historical site. It is located in Northeastern Minnesota, North Shore of Lake Superior. It holds the cultural stories of the American-Indians Ojibwe. In Ojibwa, the location is called Kitchi Onigaming, which translates to Great Carrying Place. Also, as one of the four major fur-trading centers of the British Empire, it carries history on its shoulders. It was in 1778 the British North West Company sited their fur trading post here. However, in 1803, they moved away, and the portage disintegrated. There are park staff and volunteers available to take visitors around the vicinity – the Kitchen, the Great Hall, the Canoe Warehouse, the Ojibwe Village, etc. Educating them about the history of the heritage center and the life at the post during the fur-trading days. 

Mississippi River and Recreation Area

The Mississippi River, which is 2,350 miles in length, is the fourth longest river in the world. Before the dawn of the “New World”, Native Americans used the river’s shores for trade. The long shores of this river holds many monumental sites, one of which is now the Mississippi River and Recreation Area. It was established by Congress in 1988. The recreational area is only 72 miles long, and it packs a lot of activities for visitors. Within the recreation area, you will find a scatter of smaller parks, waterfalls, bridges, and dams. At the Mississippi Visitor Center, visitors can learn about the history of the Mississippi River and the people who inhabited the terrain. Boating activities, fishing, and water sports are pleasures to enjoy here.

North Country National Scenic Trail

North Country National Scenic Trail stretches across eight states, from North Dakota to Vermont. The trail is 4700 miles long – the longest hiking and backpacking trail in America. This long-distance hiking trail is diverse with urban paths, wild lanes, remote paths, thick forests, and open skies. It is open to everyone and offers a wild, unique hiking and backpacking experience. The hiking path crosses Hoffman Notch Wilderness, Siamese Ponds Wilderness, Vanderwhacker Wild Forest, Hammond Pond Wild Forest, among other stretches of land. Also, along the trail, hikers can see Copper Falls State Park, Saxon Harbor, Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway, and Macquarie Wetlands. 

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Pipestone National Monument

The Pipestone National Monument is located in Southwestern Minnesota, near South Dakota. It is a sacred site for many American-Indians who have been quarrying the pipestone since the 17th century. Out of the pipestones, they carve sacred pipes used for prayer rites. According to their belief, the smoke from the pipe ferries their prayers to the Great Spirit. To date, the pipe-making tradition is still practiced. From May through October, a live pipestone carving demonstration is held by the American-Indians native to the place. The demonstration is open for all to watch.

The Monument houses a museum orientation film, a visitor center, and a gift shop. For enlightenment, a 22-minute film is exhibited, showing the visitors the cultural values and history of Pipestone. There are sheltered picnic tables and a lodge for relaxation.

Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway

Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway, located in Eastern Minnesota, is the largest Riverway east of the Mississippi River. It was established in 1968 under the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. It is one of the eight rivers protected under the 1968 Act aimed to preserve the values and aesthetic beauties of these natural habitats. The Riverway is home to many aquatic lives. It runs for about 255 miles, and it is flanked by lush green lands that add surround sounds of birdsongs, rustling leaves, and the chatter of wildlife. The Riverway’s pristine water is suitable for leisure fishing and kayak rides. Along its coast, there are fine grounds for camping, where visitors can lose themselves in the scenic beauty of the natural landscape.

Voyageurs National Park

Voyageurs National Park, about 218,000 acres of land and water, houses over 270 sites within its enclave. The Voyageurs National Park was established in 1971 and charges no fee for entrance. It is located at the far Northern end of Minnesota, a perfect spot from which to watch the magical northern lights. The national park is often called a wonderland, a beautiful collage of flora and fauna. Here, you’ll find wetlands, cliffs, rock ridges, lakes, and forests. The Park is only accessible by boat, but during winter, a snowmobile would suffice. Other sights one should see are the Ellsworth Rock Garden, Gold Portage, Kettle Falls, sunset at Kabetogama Lake, and Grassy Bay Cliff.

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