Best Summer Backpacking Trips Near Minnesota

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A backpacking expedition is a favorite way to enjoy summer. Minnesota has many regional state parks, national forests, lakes and wildlife sanctuaries. You can motor along through the wilderness. You can bike along highways and designated trails. How about canoeing and portaging your way miles into the wild?

Afton State Park

6959 Peller Ave. S.
Hastings, MN 55033
(651) 436-5391
www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/afton

Full of trees and trails, Afton State Park has places to swim, fish, picnic, camp, hike and cross country ski. Backpackers love climbing the bluffs and ridges that overlook the St. Croix River. The park has backpack campsites, recreational facilities and a visitor center. The park provides frequent updates on trail and weather conditions. Beginning in May, visitors can reserve campsites and picnic grounds. They can also reserve free GPS units for use during their visit. To get to the park, the best starting point is St. Paul. Getting there by bike during the summer is the most scenic way to go. Grocery stores and dining are within 10 miles of the town of Afton. The park has a small gift shop where you can buy souvenirs, caps, sweatshirts and tee shirts. The outdoor activities and events are year-round attractions.

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