Every year the Star Tribune puts out their yearly “Best of MN” magazine. You may recall that last year they chose a state park that I suggested was less than the best.
This year (no, they didn’t consult me) they made a better choice: Gooseberry.
Among the most beautiful parks anywhere in North America, Gooseberry Falls is perched magnificently along Minnesota’s North Shore. Featuring five waterfalls . . .
Like I’ve said, choosing a best state park would be very difficult, but at least this one would be in my top ten.
And yes, I’ll be revisiting another state park soon.
Have you heard about the new tool that allows a user to make videos from the Google Maps Street Level Photos? The results are very interesting. I made a few for Minnesota sites that work well with this medium. Take a look! (They take about a minute to load up.)
Silver Creek Tunnel North of Two Harbors
Driving into Red Wing – Barn Bluff
Sugar Loaf, Winona
Duluth Highway overlooking Lake
Coming From Canada (Highway 61)
Grand Marais Lighthouse
Entering MN from IA (Highway 35)
And here are a few more urban settings
Lowry Hill Tunnel – Minneapolis
Airplane leaving Twin Cities Airport
Heading into downtown MPLS (from 35W)
Did I miss any?
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.
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.
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?
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!