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Fort Snelling State Park, Saint Paul

4.4
#2 of 12 in Parks in Saint Paul
State Park · Hidden Gem · Historic Site
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Fort Snelling State Park is a state park of Minnesota, USA, at the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers. Its most notable feature is the historic Fort Snelling, which dates from 1820. The fort itself is operated by the Minnesota Historical Society and requires a separate entrance fee. The bulk of the state park preserves the bottomland forest, rivers, and backwater lakes below the river bluffs. The park was opened in 1962. Both the State Park and Historic Fort are part of the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, a National Park Service site.
As of 2005, the park hosts 400,000 visitors annually and contains the restored fort, a visitor center, 18mi of cross-country skiing trails, 18mi of hiking trails, and 5mi of biking trails. These trails connect the park to the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Minnehaha Park, and regional trail systems like the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway and the Big Rivers Regional Trail. Minnesota State Highway 55 crosses over the park on the Mendota Bridge, and many jets taking off and landing at the Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport fly directly over the park.
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Fort Snelling State Park reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
131 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • This was our first visit and we enjoyed seeing the displays. The children and all of us enjoyed the interpreters. I appreciated that there was a Native interpreter in one of the buildings to... 
    This was our first visit and we enjoyed seeing the displays. The children and all of us enjoyed the interpreters. I appreciated that there was a Native interpreter in one of the buildings to...  more »
  • This is a beautiful park with numerous trails. The confluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers is located here, and forms a wonderful backdrop to many activities year round. I recently hiked....  more
    This is a beautiful park with numerous trails. The confluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers is located here, and forms a wonderful backdrop to many activities year round. I recently hiked....  more »
Google
  • We cannot change our future without first examining our past. I visited here many years ago and found the experience interesting. Now returning many years later as an adult I've found they have put in more work to keep the fort intact and made a wonderful welcome center. There is so much to learn. Plan for at least 1.5-2 hours if you want to briskly walk through. However, to deeply immerse yourself and experience all the presentations they offer plan for at least 3. There is no food offered here so pack a lunch if needed. Also make sure to check the weather as most of it is outside.
  • Nicely renovated Old fort that has a lot of history. It's a must stop for history buffs of any kind. The surrounding area is beautiful and has many hiking trails. Inside the fort they have different reenactments from different time periods. When I was there they had a World war I theme happening, a grenade throwing demonstration and a rifle demonstration. Very informative and educational. Start out with the 15 minute movie that has information about the fort, the area and so forth. There's a lot of walking and some uneven surfaces so be prepared for that. It is handicapped accessible also except for areas where stairs are used. They also had cooking, blacksmith, and other demonstrations throughout the fort going on which was very interesting and educational. The Fort itself was built in the early 1800s, and was in service through World war II pretty much with a short break right before the civil war. Many World war II soldiers came here first before being sent off to different parts of the country for training.

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