UNDATED - Minnesota is blessed to have one of the best State Park systems in the country.  With over 66 parks and recreation areas to camp, swim, and play we truly are lucky that those natural resources have been preserved.

Unfortunately, I like a lot of other people, probably started to take our parks for granted, just assuming they'd always be there for us.  For me those thoughts changed last summer during the state government shutdown.  All of a sudden the gates to our state parks were locked and we were kept out.

Recently I had the opportunity to visit Lake Carlos State Park north of Alexandria.  It was my first visit to that particular park, and I fell in love with it instantly.  We took our bikes and rode through the campgrounds, walked on over four miles of hiking trails, tried geocaching, and so much more.  Thanks to the Land and Legacy Amendment, most state parks also offer informational classes.  The weekend we were there it was on taking better nature photos.  I had every intention of going, but it was a beautiful day and decided my time would be better spent at the lake.  But, it's nice to know that if the weather is not cooperating, there are other options available.

So, if you haven't been to on of our state parks in a while (or never), I encourage you to make time to check one out.  And, if you're a regular park goer, the next time you're there take the time to look around and take it all in and remember how lucky we are here in Minnesota.

Make a reservation now at a State Park.