September 21, 2009

Banning State Park in Minnesota

kettle river, banning state park, minnesotaThe boys joined Doug and me on a hike at Banning State Park last weekend. We had a great time exploring the shoreline of the Kettle River, climbing all over the rocks and watching the water rush by over different rapids.

kettle river, banning state park, minnesota
minnesota woods, quarry loop, banning state parkWe also hiked the short self guided Quarry Loop Trail through the woods, past ruins from the old sandstone quarry that operated during the 19th century. There are many other trails in the park, including Wolf Creek Trail that leads you to Wolf Creek Falls.

The park is also popular for canoeing and kayaking. The Banning Rapids, including Blueberry Slide, Mother's Delight, Dragon's Tooth, Little Banning, and Hell's Gate, are some of the most challenging rapids in the state.

Just 1 1/2 hours from the Twin Cities, Banning State Park is a great day trip or weekend destination. Pack a picnic and enjoy the day, or reserve a campsite for a longer visit, you'll be glad you did.