I spent many days at Minneopa State Park in Mankato throughout my college career. Nevertheless, I am still mesmerized by its beauty every time I visit.

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As Minnesota's third oldest state park, Minneopa is home to a re-established American Bison Herd and Southern Minnesota's largest waterfall.

The park is split into two sections. The first section consists of the campground and the bison range off State Highway 68. 

The Bison Drive is open Thursday through Tuesday. The range, however, is closed on Wednesday for maintenance. Drive hours vary, so check the park's website for current hours before visiting.

Weston Mackinnon, Unsplash

At the end of the Bison Drive, there is a historic grist mill (Seppmann Mill) and incredible scenic overlooks of the Minnesota River Valley.

Shel B, Townsquare Media

Near the campground, you can explore multiple trails: including a part of the Minnesota River State Water Trail.

The other side of the State Park is home to the double waterfalls. This side of the park houses the contact station and is located off County Highway 69, specifically at 54497 Gadwall Road.

(Fun fact: The Dakota word "Minneopa" means "water falling twice.' Very fitting for this park, if I say so myself.)

Weston Mackinnon, Unsplash

After gazing at both waterfalls, you can venture into the gorge. You can expect to see beautiful wildflowers and steep sandstone cliffs.

The park has plenty of tables for those who'd like to picnic and enjoy the sounds of the babbling creek.

You simply won't regret the trip! Plus it's only 45 miles away, so truly, what's your excuse?

Most Visited State Parks In Minnesota: Is Your Favorite in the List?

Minnesota has 66 beautiful state parks. The parks have an average of 9,700,000 visitors each year. Interestingly enough, nearly 19% of park visitors come from other states and countries, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Now, my favorite State Park is Jay Cooke in Carlton, MN, but it did not break into the top 5.

Most Visited State Parks In Minnesota: Is Your Favorite in the List?

Minnesota has 66 beautiful state parks. The parks have an average of 9,700,000 visitors each year. Interestingly enough, nearly 19% of park visitors come from other states and countries, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Now, my favorite State Park is Jay Cooke in Carlton, MN, but it did not break into the top 5.