With camping, sightseeing from fire towers, fishing and caving, there are a range of adventures to excite any Minnesota State Park tourist. When you know what these state parks offer, you'll know why more than eight million people visited them in 2008.
Minnesota has 72 state parks and recreation areas. Together they span nearly 270,000 acres of trails, campgrounds, rivers, caves and more.
You can purchase a daily permit or an annual pass at any state park, three REI store locations or the DNR License Center in St. Paul. As of fall 2009, the yearly vehicle pass was $25, and the fee was cheaper for motorcycles and vehicles with handicapped stickers or day passes.
Per capita, the Land of 10,000 Lakes sells more fishing licenses than any other state for its nearly four million acres of fishing waters. Whether you want to hike to a river or throw your line from a boat, you can catch more than 100 different species of fish in Minnesota's state parks.
Minnesota boasts 10 state parks with picture-worthy waterfalls, four state parks for underwater exploration with scuba diving, four with spots for rock climbing and another four with rivers for all levels of kayaking.
Five state parks offer unique caving adventures. Not for the claustrophobic, there is the longest cave in Minnesota, a cave with the lowest elevation in the state and another that recedes a half-mile underground.