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Minneopa State Park, Mankato

4.7
#1 of 17 in Things to do in Mankato
State Park · Nature / Park
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Minneopa State Park is a state park in the U.S. state of Minnesota. It was established in 1905 to preserve Minneopa Falls, a large waterfall for southern Minnesota, and was expanded in the 1960s to include the lower reaches of Minneopa Creek and a large tract of prairie. Minneopa is Minnesota's third oldest state park, after Itasca and Interstate. Two park resources are listed on the National Register of Historic Places: the 1862 Seppman Mill and a district of seven Rustic Style structures built by the Works Progress Administration in the late 1930s. The park is located almost entirely on the south side of the Minnesota River, 3 miles (4.8 km) west of Mankato. In 2015 the state reintroduced American bison to the park in a 330-acre (130 ha) fenced enclosure, through which visitors can drive in their vehicles.
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Minneopa State Park reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
286 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • Very well kept up park. We used the drive thru to take pictures of the Bison. Went across highway to see the falls. Good place to let pets out if you are travelling with them. 
    Very well kept up park. We used the drive thru to take pictures of the Bison. Went across highway to see the falls. Good place to let pets out if you are travelling with them.  more »
  • This is a wonderful state park with something for everyone. From the waterfalls to the bison herds, everything was beautiful and interesting. We have two teens and a 7 year old, and they forgot... 
    This is a wonderful state park with something for everyone. From the waterfalls to the bison herds, everything was beautiful and interesting. We have two teens and a 7 year old, and they forgot...  more »
Google
  • This was a great park even if only for a day! Sadly we haven't stayed here yet for camping, but we did go to the falls and took a hike. All and all we spent roughly, 5 hours here along with a 3hr (round trip) drive from the Minneapolis. They don't have a ton of trails as it's a smaller state park in comparison, but we did ~7 miles of hiking while we're were there, so depending on your perspective, this could be a little or a lot. We walked 5 miles around the Buffalo enclosure which was a pretty flat east walk with lots of places to rest. The kiddos enjoyed the hike and while we had lots of water it was warmer (87°F), so they were a little warm by the end. My kids are 6-8 and we go on longer walks frequently so this maybe some context to consider with your own. They have a Buffalo drive through and while the kids were really excited about that, it was what we spent the least time while we're were there on. We spent about 10 minutes and once we saw the Buffalo for a while they were less interested. We did however spend a good amount of time near the waterfalls and along the river playing in the water. As a parent fyi, lots of good picture opportunities with the kids here and they really wanted to camp here sometime. There were also a couple other places near by in St Peter to go hiking as well including 7mile park. All and all, I have a solid recommendation for Minneopa as a day trip place for kids and hikers alike. I'll add more when we camp.
  • We enjoyed our stop at Minneopa! We took the bison loop and saw at least 20 bison. If you keep driving and stay to your left you'll come upon an old historic mill. Super cool and interesting- and the waterfalls are a short 5 minute drive from the bison loop. A great little spot to walk and picnic.

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