60+ degree weather in February is such a tease. Will it still be that warm when ACTUAL Spring hits on March 20th? Will it be warmer? Will we get hit with a series of fashionably late blizzards? Let's stay positive.

Plan ahead to visit State Parks in Minnesota this year. Which is your favorite? It was March's first Question of the Century.

#1: Gooseberry Falls State Park

Image by Choad
Gooseberry Falls State Park (Image by Choad)
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I can personally vouch for this one, and it's #1 for a reason: waterfalls beautiful enough to make boomers into Instagram Influencer-wannabes, easy hiking (a BIG plus for Mr Arthritic Knee here), and a great gift shop.


#2 Itasca State Park

Itasca State Park via dnr.state.mn.us
Itasca State Park via dnr.state.mn.us
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The birthplace of the mighty Mississippi River also has a plethora of hiking trails and historical points of interest that just might require a couple days to fully explore.


#3 McCarthy Beach State Park

McCarthy Beach State Park via dnr.state.mn.us
McCarthy Beach State Park via dnr.state.mn.us
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Confession time: I'd never heard of McCarthy Beach State Park until it was mentioned this morning. It's on the Sturgeon Lake chain near Hibbing, so you know it'll be beautiful. And perhaps a little less crowded than the more famous Gooseberry and Itasca State Parks.


#4: Split Rock Lighthouse State Park

Split Rock Lighthouse
Split Rock Lighthouse State Park (Image by Choad)
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NOTE: The lighthouse itself is NOT managed by the state park, but by the Minnesota Historical Society.

Mountain biking, hiking Day Hill, cart-in and backpack campsites...lots to do that don't even involve the lighthouse. Of course, you'll want to see it if you haven't already.


#5 Cascade River State Park

Cascade River State Park via dnr.state.mn.us
Cascade River State Park via dnr.state.mn.us
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Another fabulous park nestled along Lake Superior, closer to the northeast tip of Minnesota, Cascade River State Park has waterfalls, fishing, and the requisite camping & hiking.


#6 Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area

Cuyuna SRA via dnr.state.mn.us
Cuyuna SRA via dnr.state.mn.us
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"...but it's a State Recreation Area, not a State Park"

Breaking the rules of my own article? You betcha! My hometown of Crosby is now the home to over 50 miles world-class mountain biking trails as well as scuba diving, canoeing, and trout fishing.


#7 Grand Portage State Park

Grand Portage State Park via dnr.state.mn.us
Grand Portage State Park via dnr.state.mn.us
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Home to Minnesota's tallest waterfall, Grand Portage State Park is between Grand Marias and Thunder Bay. Hiking trails for all levels, and interpretive displays where you can learn about the Grand Portage Ojibwe people.

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Photos of Gooseberry Falls on Minnesota's Great North Shore!

Went on a weekend trip to Minnesota's North Shore!

Gallery Credit: Images by Choad

Photos From Split Rock Lighthouse on MN's Beautiful North Shore!

The most-photographed lighthouse in the world: Split Rock Lighthouse!

Gallery Credit: Images by Choad