Name: Whitewater State Park
Section of Minnesota: South East (Prairie Farmland)
Nearby Town: Elba
Positives: Generally not crowded, spectacular views, relaxing place to camp.
The Negatives: This place is known for its rattlesnake sightings. Some might consider that to be a negative. I liked what the official map had to say: “If you are one of the lucky few that sees one while hiking, leave it alone, take a picture from a safe distance and promptly report your sighting at the visitor center.”
Make Sure You See: The views from the scenic overlooks
Nearby attraction to visit: Elba Fire tower
Interesting Trivia: There was flooding in this park in August of 2007, after 11 inches of rain fell in less than a day. There is information about this in the visitor’s center
Personal Stories: When I was in scouts, our troupe biked from the twin cities to this state park. It was a challenging ride, but this was a nice relaxing place to rest after the hard work of traveling there.
And I’ll relate a story from this trip: One my scouting friends found a snake skin on a hike. Another scout was not pleased to later find this snake skin in his sleeping bag.
What My Kids Want Me To Say: Unfortunately, they were too young the last time we visited this park to remember it now, but they liked the hike up the stairs to Coyote Park. And on the hike down they didn’t slip and fall, like some of the adults in the group.
Jamsco Ranking: Very Nice
Final Word: A quiet place to get away from modern life.