Traveler - Summer Splash

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Minnesota State Parks and Trails

June 2017


woman on kayak


Wild River State Park

Located along 18 miles of the beautiful St. Croix River, Wild River State Park attracts people who enjoy camping, hiking, horseback riding, canoeing, interpretive programs, self-guided trails, and cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.  Day visitors can enjoy a leisurely paddle down the St. Croix River from the Sunrise river access to the southern park river access.  A year-round naturalist is on staff to offer a variety of programs, hikes and activities.


The List - Parks with Stand-up Paddleboards father and daughter paddleboarding

There is nothing like exploring Minnesota's 10,000 lakes with a paddle in your hand. And there are plenty of low-cost ways to get out on the water and see the beauty of Minnesota state parks from beyond the shoreline! Have you tried stand-up paddleboarding? A cross between surfing and canoeing, stand-up paddleboarding is the fastest growing paddlesport in the nation! 

The best place to try paddleboarding is on a smaller lake or on the quiet bay of a larger lake. Several state parks rent paddleboards, as well as canoes and kayaks.

For more information, go to rent paddling equipment.  



Learn more about stand-up paddleboarding.


Discover - I Can Paddle!

Get your family out on the water this summer! Learn paddling skills from experienced guides while exploring some of Minnesota's most stunning lakes and rivers. I Can Paddle! programs are designed especially for first-time paddlers; no experience is necessary. Afterwards, you and your family will be ready to launch your own paddling adventure.

  I Can Paddle! logo

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Get the details on the I Can Paddle! program.

Game Time - MinnAqua Activitiesgirl fishing

Have you heard of the MinnAqua program?  This amazing program, overseen by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Division, introduces children to fishing and water education through hands-on games, activities and fishing opportunities.  The MinnAqua program has been recognized as an outstanding leader in environmental education in Minnesota.

This summer, MinnAqua interns will lead fishing and aquatic education programs at several Minnesota state parks.  But you don't have to attend a program to enjoy learning about our fish and water resources. You can download the MinnAqua Get in the Habitat! leader’s guide for activities and ideas to introduce kids to fishing.  Each activity is designed to address Minnesota academic standards and engage kids with learning that is relevant, interdisciplinary and fun!  




Explore fishing and water-focused games and activities through MinnAqua.

Traveler Tip - Recommended Paddling Tripspaddle in water

There are 35 Minnesota state water trails, including the north shore of Lake Superior, and most Minnesotans live within an hour of a state water trail. Are you ready to start paddling? Here are a couple of suggested trips for you to start with.

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Learn about other recommended paddling trips on Minnesota state trails.


June Events - Summer Splash Programsgirl

To encourage all Minnesotans to take a role in protecting our state’s most precious resource for future generations, Governor Mark Dayton declared 2017 the "Year of Water Action in Minnesota".  In honor of this declaration, Minnesota State Parks and Trails will be hosting a series of Summer Splash events at locations across the state.

Summer Splash events are designed to introduce families to water-based recreation and water conservation topics.  Check out some of the following events: 


“We have a shared responsibility to protect Minnesota’s precious lakes, rivers, and streams for future generations. That starts with fostering an ethic of water conservation in our communities.  Throughout the next year, we must raise awareness of the challenges facing Minnesota’s waters and highlight ways that Minnesotans can take action.”  -Governor Mark Dayton


Find more naturalist programs.

Keep reading! For past issues of the Traveler, click here.