Superior Reminders

One of our family’s favorite Minnesota places to visit is not in a state park, but at Artist Point in Grand Marais. Over at my other blog, I just posted a list of six reminders that were given to us on our last visit.
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Gooseberry In Winter

Four years ago this week, our family drove up to the North Shore for a wedding and on the way home we stopped at Gooseberry and walked around the falls. Want to see pictures?

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Oh, and I should mention that we had a very nice breakfast at Naniboujou Lodge.

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Tettegouche State Park – Under Construction

Six weeks ago we were driving up Highway 61 along Lake Superior and saw that all of the information center / parking lot / Rest area of Tettegouche State Park (which I haven’t review yet) had been torn down, making way for a new building.

So when we were there last week, walking in between the work and the lake … I took some pictures of the construction.

The Ranger at the temporary ranger station guessed that it might be done July of 2013. I’ll be very interested to see it.

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Rice Lake State Park

Name: Rice Lake State Park

Year it became a State Park: 1963

Section of Minnesota: Central, Savannah 

Nearby Town: Owatonna

Positives: My wife liked the open woods with a high canopy overhead. There is camping close to the lake.

The Negatives: It’s quite small.

General Comments: This is another nice central Minnesota state  park where there is pleasant camping and an old woods feel.

Interesting Trivia: If you go beyond the front entrance to the North East, you’ll find the Rice Lake Church which was built in 1857.

Personal Stories: I hadn’t been aware of this State Park until early this weekend when I saw on the map that it was on our way home from our Labor Day Weekend Trip in Iowa. So we stopped by earlier today. We had a pleasant time watching the sun go down.

What My Kids Want Me To Say: They had a conversation about whether or not it had a Fangorn feel to it. The general decision was that it was much more open than that the fabled forest in Lord Of The Rings.

Jamsco Ranking: County Park Level

Final Word: We left with a general sense that it would be a good place to camp. And I’ll add that Debbie liked the yellow flowers just beyond the Information Center.

Thoughts? Comments? Have you been to Rice Lake State Park? Do you agree with my assessment?

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Tip: Viewing Split Rock Lighthouse From The Highway

Those who are familiar with the North Shore Highway may be noticing a change: Highway 61 no longer runs passed the overlook that allows stoppers-by to view the historic lighthouse.

But here is something may not be widely known: The overlook is still there, ready for you to stop by. As your heading south on the highway from the main State Park entrance, take the first left. It’s a little loop off the highway and there it is:

There are no signs to indicate that it is there. And it’s much safer and calmer than it used to be. In the two times we’ve visited we’ve seen only one other car.

Next time you’re up there, go check it out!

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Afton State Park

Name: Afton State Park

Year it became a State Park: 1969

Section of Minnesota: Twin Cities

Nearby Town: Afton

Positives: Right On The Beautiful St. Croix River

The Negatives: No Drive Up Camping

General Comments: This park has pleasant drives, scenic view, nice hikes, and it’s close to the Twin Cities.

Something Everyone Wants To See: The River

But you should also check out: The bridges crossing Trout Brook.

Nearby attraction to visit: There are several apple orchards in this area.

Interesting Trivia: This park and the area around it got its name from the Robert Burns poem “Afton Water”, about a river in Scotland.

Personal Stories: We got our 2009 Christmas picture from the picnic area in this park.

What My Kids Want Me To Say: Just north of the beach there is a ridge that you can climb up to and walk along.

Jamsco Ranking: Very Nice

Final Word: Another park that is beautiful in the fall. If you live in the Twin Cities and haven’t been there, go!

Thoughts? Comments? Have you been to Afton? Do you agree with my assessment?

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Sakatah Lake State Park

Name: Sakatah Lake State Park

Year it became a State Park: 1963

Section of Minnesota: Central, Big Woods

Nearby Town: Faribault

Positives: Has a major bike trail heading through it.

The Negatives: Has a slightly claustrophobic feel to it.

General Comments: This is a nice little park in central Minnesota where you can canoe and bike.

Something Everyone Wants To See: The Lake

Interesting Trivia: The south side of the lake (where the park is) was never logged, which was why it was seen as a good place for a state park.

Personal Stories: I visited this park with my wife’s family long before we were married.

Our family visited this park in 2006 and we walked along the lake.

I don’t personally know how to pronounce ‘Sakatah’.

What My Kids Want Me To Say: Have some fun on the big wooden steps down to the picnic area by the lake.

Jamsco Ranking: County Park Level

Final Word: You can canoe from this state park to the Mississippi river. And you can bike to Mankato. That kind of mobility makes this park a nice crossroads spot.

Thoughts? Comments? Have you been to Sakatah Lake State Park? Do you agree with my assessment?

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