One of my goals this summer was to drag my husband and son to a couple Minnesota State Parks. I have a seasonal park pass which was only like 25 bucks, so this makes for a pretty inexpensive day trip.
And to my delight we made time to stop by a State Park which I hold very near and dear to my heart; Father Hennipen State Park.
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I can’t tell you how many summer days I have spent laying on the beach, exploring trails, biking and rollerblading around this park. Since it is in my hometown it was such a great place to hang out!
This also makes it an easy place to stop by when we are up visiting my family, which is exactly what we did a couple of weekends ago.
5 fun things to do…
I suppose I could pick out my top five favorite activities to do at this park but there is so much more.
1. Walking trails: Father Hennipen has plenty of trails some are paved and some are just foot trails through the woods. The paved trails loop around a campground and down by Mille Lacs and lead down to the swimming beach and are perfect for people with strollers or rollerblades. The foot trails go into the woods and web off in different directions making for an easy hike or trail run…or a good place to throw on the front carrier and bring baby on a shaded hike.
2. White Deer: like I said earlier I grew up near Father Hennipen and have been there countless times but this list item never gets less awesome. Seeing Deer around where I grew up…they are a dime a dozen but seeing white deer is a different story. If you hang around the park long enough you will probably spot some of these beautiful creatures!
3. The Beach: people talk about flying out for spring break to go find white sandy beaches but let me tell you right now…if you live in Minnesota, you can find white sandy beaches right here. This is by far one of my favorite places in the world to beach bum. There is plenty of room for families to play and people to just relax in the sun.
4. The Lakeview: if you explore the trails long enough you will find plenty of great places along the shores of Mille Lacs to stop and have a picnic or relax. And you cannot beat the lake view. I’ve never been to the ocean but who needs it when you have Lake Mille Lacs 😉
5. Geocaching: this is a new one for me and I thank my friend Hilary for introducing me to this but there seems to be plenty of geocaches to be found around this park which makes for a fun adventure while you get out and enjoy this State Park. We brought along my little one and he enjoyed the fresh air while we enjoyed the exercise and the hunt for a little treasure!

A Short But Sweet Visit
So a couple of weekends ago when we had the chance to stop and visit as a family I had fun showing the beach off to my husband.

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We warmed our feet in the sand and waded in the lake. And Brice did one of his favorite things and skipped a couple of rocks (he is like freakishly good at skipping rocks..)
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It was a very quick visit to my favorite State Park but it stirred up some interest in visiting more parks this summer, in fact we plan to visit Duluth in a couple of days!
So tell me….
Do you ever visit State Parks in your own area? What are some of your favorite things to do there?