What to do in Banning State Park

Treat yourself to a visit to Banning State Park, just minutes off I-35 near Sandstone. In the spring, watch daring canoeists and kayakers shoot the turbulent rapids at Blueberry Slide, Mother's Delight, Dragon's Tooth and Hell's Gate. In the summer, hike along the Kettle River amid dramatic sandstone rock formations with lush lichens, liverworts and mosses. Visit Wolf Creek Falls, the Log Creek Arches and Robinson's Ice Cave. Stay at the new camper cabin (sleeps five people), which includes bunk beds, a table and benches. Take in the historic ruins of Banning Sandstone Quarry. The park is known for camping, picnicking, cross-country skiing, beautiful trails for hiking and the study of natural history.

Banning State Park contains 6,201 acres of land, and recieves around 74,500 visitors annually.

The best way to learn more about Banning State Park is to stop at the park contact station for a map and information about the park. Although the park does not have a naturalist on staff, activities are offered occasionally.

Banning State Park attracts birdwatchers who have sited 184 species of birds. In addition, 17 species of reptiles and amphibians, and 34 species of mammals live in the park. Common species include white-tailed deer, black bear, coyote, fox, raccoon, beaver, red and gray squirrels, snowshoe hare, and ruffed grouse.

Banning State Park is located within the Mille Lacs Uplands subsection and includes aspen-birch, mixed hardwoods, pines, conifers, tamaracks, and wetland vegetation types. Today, the area includes hardwoods, wetlands, conifers, tamarack wetlands and aspen-birch forests, which reflect the original vegetation types.

Recreation
In the spring, watch daring canoeists and kayakers shoot the turbulent rapids at Blueberry Slide, Mother's Delight, Dragon's Tooth and Hell's Gate. In the summer, hike along the Kettle River amid dramatic sandstone rock formations with lush lichens, liverworts and mosses. Visit Wolf Creek Falls, the Log Creek Arches and Robinson's Ice Cave. Stay at the new camper cabin (sleeps five people), which includes bunk beds, a table and benches. Take in the historic ruins of Banning Sandstone Quarry. The park is known for camping, picnicking, cross-country skiing, beautiful trails for hiking and the study of natural history.

Location
Banning State Park is located just minutes off I-35 near Sandstone.From I-35, take exit #195. Follow signs to the park.

Climate
Minnesota lies so far north that winter is the longest season of the year. There are many recreation pursuits to enjoy during this season, but be sure to dress appropriately so that you can enjoy them. Temperatures often dip below freezing during winter and the state receives an average of 50 to 60 inches of snow. Spring, summer and fall can be very wet and rain gear will be necessary for travel during these seasons. Spring and fall tend to be shortened with variable weather, due to long winters, but offer less crowded trails and campgrounds. Summer temperatures average between 70 and 85 degrees F. Night time temperatures dip near 55 and a light jacket is recommended. July and August are the height of the tourist season.

Address
P.O. Box 643
Sandstone, MN 55072

Phone: 320-245-2178

Email: (320) 245-2668
  • Banning State Park Travel Q&A

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