Located in the center of the twin cities in Minnesota, lies a 3700 acre park that is home to various types of wildlife, budding plant life, and a multitude of recreational activities to peak anyone’s interest. Fort Snelling State Park in St. Paul, Minnesota is the perfect destination for a weekend getaway without having to travel far to “get-away”.
Fort Snelling State Park was established as a state park in 1961. It was named for the historic Fort Snelling that was built in the 1820’s on the ridge above the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers to control exploration, trade and settlement in the river valley. In 1862 it offered protection and an upper hand during the US-Dakota war. Today, visitors can hike up to the bluff and visit the fort to experience a little piece of military history from the 20’s.
Another popular destination within Fort Snelling is Pike Island. It is the conversion point where the Mississippi and MinnesotaRivers merge. It offers great fishing opportunities and a great place to picnic.
Although there is no camping available within the park there are plenty of other activities for visitors to partake in. Fishing, canoeing and kayaking on the rivers and lakes are popular during the summer months. You can also go hiking and biking on the many trails that lead throughout the park. These trails also connect to Minnehaha Park and the Minnesota Valley National Refuge, so you can take advantage of 2 parks in one trip.
Ski trails are set up during the winter months for those who like to cross country ski. There are picnic sites set up throughout the park, perfect for a day trip, to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors.
Along your hike you’ll encounter an abundance of different wildlife. Fort Snelling State Park is home to a number of white-tailed deer, fox, woodchucks, turkeys, and coyote. Chances are you’ll find turtles sunning themselves near the river’s edge and you may even encounter a fox snake, which looks similar to a rattlesnake, but without the venom (thank heavens, eek!)
So, if you are looking for a quiet place to get away that’s close to home, visit Fort Snelling State Park, the perfect day-trip getaway!
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This article was originally posted here.