National Parks Around Minneapolis

Grand Portage

National Monument

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Travel into the past to discover the present. Explore the partnership of the Grand Portage Ojibwe and the North West Company during the North American fur trade and the NPS today. Follow pathways into a distant time. Experience the sights and smells of a bustling depot reconstructed in its exact location. Hear the beat of the drum echo over Gichigami - Lake Superior.

Stockade fence and log building overlooking Lake Superior

Weather

Short, warm summers and long, cold winters define the climate of northern Minnesota. Average range of summer temperature is from 55°F to 78°F in July and average range of winter temperatures is from –11°F to 12°F in January. Average annual precipitation in Grand Portage, MN is about 32 inches.

Driving Directions

Traveling northeast or southwest on MN Hwy 61 visitors will see signs alerting the approach to Grand Portage National Monument. A right turn exit lane or left turn from Hwy 61 at the Grand Portage Trading Post will take visitors onto Casino Road. Turn left at the first stop sign from Casino Road to Mile Creek Road. About 3/4 mile on Mile Creek Road, look for a large wooden entrance sign on your left. Turn left up the short hill into the Heritage Center parking lot. More directions to Grand Portage.

Operating Hours

Heritage Visitor Center: Summer hours: Daily 8:30am - 5:00pm CDT - Memorial weekend through Columbus (Indigenous People's) Day. Winter hours: Monday-Friday 8:30am - 4:30pm CST - Columbus (Indigenous People's) Day through.Memorial Weekend. Historic Depot Open Seasonally: Daily 9:00am - 5.00pm CST Memorial weekend through Columbus (Indigenous People's) Day. Park Grounds and trails are open daily from sunrise to sunset.

Monday: All Day
Tuesday: All Day
Wednesday: All Day
Thursday: All Day
Friday: All Day
Saturday: All Day
Sunday: All Day

Entrance Fees

Grand Portage National Monument is fee free.: Grand Portage National Monument is fee free. This includes visiting the heritage (visitor) center and the historic depot (great hall, kitchen, canoe warehouse, gatehouse, stockade and picnic grounds. Camping at Fort Charlotte requires a free camping reservation for the two back country campsites. To preserve the campsites, no more than nine campers may occupy a campsite at one time.

Contact

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 426
Grand Portage, MN 55605

Physical Address:
170 Mile Creek Road
Grand Portage, MN 55605

Phone Number: (218) 475-0123

Mississippi

National River and Recreation Area

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In the middle of a bustling urban setting, this 72 mile river park offers quiet stretches for fishing, boating and canoeing. Other spots are excellent for birdwatching, bicycling and hiking. And there are plenty of visitor centers that highlight the history and science of the Mississippi River. If you are interested in the Mississippi River, this is a great place to start your exploration.

A park ranger guides a boat past historical buildings.

Weather

Minnesota has a continental climate characterized by cold winters and warm summers. Spring brings moderate temperatures and low humidity. Summer days may reach temperatures of more than 100°F (38°C), but are usually pleasant with temperatures in the low to mid-80°F (25-30°C). Autumn brings dry, warm days, cool nights and gorgeous fall colors. Winter daytime highs are around 25°F (-3°C). Rarely, winter daytime high temperatures may not get above -10°F (-23°C), sometimes with strong winds.

Driving Directions

Limited metered street parking is available on nearby streets near our headquarters. Several parking ramps are available nearby including the Kellogg Square parking ramp. Visitor Centers are located in the lobby of the Science Museum of Minnesota (120 Kellogg Blvd East, St. Paul, MN) and at the Upper St. Anthony Lock and Dam (1 Portland Ave, Minneapolis, MN). More directions to Mississippi.

Operating Hours

We are a partnership park that overlaps many parks (regional, city, state), other public lands, museums, and historical sites. Check with the specific park site you plan on visiting for their hours. See http://www.nps.gov/miss/planyourvisit/placestogo.htm for more information. The National Park Service does not control the visiting hours for the partner sites. Coldwater Spring (NPS) is open from 6:00 a.m. through 10:00 p.m., 365 days a year.

Monday: All Day
Tuesday: All Day
Wednesday: All Day
Thursday: All Day
Friday: All Day
Saturday: All Day
Sunday: All Day

Entrance Fees

Fees: We do not charge any fees for entrance, parking, or Ranger programs. However, some of our partner sites do and those specific sites should be contacted for more information about their fees. See http://www.nps.gov/miss/planyourvisit/placestogo.htm for contact information.

Contact

Mailing Address:
111 E. Kellogg Blvd., Suite 105
Saint Paul, MN 55101

Physical Address:
120 W. Kellogg Blvd.
Saint Paul, MN 55101

Phone Number: 6512930200

North Country

National Scenic Trail

Come to the North Country. Trek the hills and valleys. Lakes and streams remain from glaciers that molded the landscape 10,000 years before. Experience clear-flowing water, the red and gold of autumn, a fairyland of snow, tall grass prairies, and distant horizons. From New York to North Dakota, you're never far from a great outdoor adventure. Experience your America at a walking pace.

Hiking on trail

Weather

With the trail going through over 4,600 miles through seven states from the Northeast to the Great Plains, weather along the trail can be highly variable. You could be subject to any kind of weather or temperature related emergency depending on your location and the season. Be careful to protect yourself from heat-related illnesses and hypothermia while out on the trail. Be mindful of lightning, severe storms, and other environmental hazards common to the “North Country.”

Driving Directions

When complete, the North Country National Scenic Trail will be approximately 4,600 miles long. Currently, over 2,000 miles of trail are complete and waiting for you to use. Trail headquarters is based in Lowell, Michigan. Find North Country Trail Association's Maps and Trails Data to help you get there at https://northcountrytrail.org/trail/maps. More directions to North Country.

Operating Hours

The North Country Trail is generally open at all times and during all seasons. There may be area or seasonal closures at the discretion of the local land owner or manager. Please contact local managers or the North Country Trail Association at (616) 897-5987 x1 for the latest trail closures.

Monday: All Day
Tuesday: All Day
Wednesday: All Day
Thursday: All Day
Friday: All Day
Saturday: All Day
Sunday: All Day

Entrance Fees

Fees: No fees are charged for hiking on the trail but fees may be required for parking, camping, or entrance at various sections along the trail. http://www.nps.gov/noco/planyourvisit/fees.htm

Contact

Mailing Address:
PO Box 288
Lowell, MI 49331

Physical Address:
219 E. Main Street
Lowell, MI 49331

Phone Number: 6163197906

Pipestone

National Monument

For countless generations, American Indians have quarried the red pipestone found at this site. These grounds are sacred to many people because the pipestone quarried here is carved into pipes used for prayer. Many believe that the pipe's smoke carries one's prayer to the Great Spirit. The traditions of quarrying and pipemaking continue here today.

Beautiful view of Lake Hiawatha from Monument's Circle Trail.

Weather

Weather varies seasonally from warm and humid in the summer to cold and snowy in the winter. Visitors should be prepared for seasonal weather and for rapidly-changing conditions.

Driving Directions

Plane: Commercial service - located at Sioux Falls, SD -Joe Foss Field airport. 50 miles from Pipestone National Monument. Rental cars are available at the airport. Non-Commercial service - located at Pipestone MN airport. Courtesy car or transit service available to Pipestone National Monument from the airport. Car: Pipestone National Monument is easily accessible from local highways. When you reach the city of Pipestone, road signs will lead you to Pipestone National Monument. More directions to Pipestone.

Operating Hours

"When you pray with this pipe, you pray for and with everything." -Black Elk For countless generations, American Indians have quarried the red pipestone found at this site. These grounds are sacred to many people because the pipestone quarried here is carved into pipes used for prayer. Many believe that the pipe's smoke carries one's prayer to the Great Spirit. The traditions of quarrying and pipemaking continue here today.

Monday: 8:00AM - 5:00PM
Tuesday: 8:00AM - 5:00PM
Wednesday: 8:00AM - 5:00PM
Thursday: 8:00AM - 5:00PM
Friday: 8:00AM - 5:00PM
Saturday: 8:00AM - 5:00PM
Sunday: 8:00AM - 5:00PM

Entrance Fees

Pipestone National Monument Entry Fee: Entrance Fee, entitles visitors access to the circle trail, which leads to several points of interest around the park, and Visitor Center, which includes a 22 minute film, museum, exhibits, and seasonal demonstrators. EXEMPT: Children 15-years-old and younger and American Indians enrolled in a tribe recognized by the U.S. Government. Fee Waivers may be granted to accredited school and educational groups (service, civic or fraternal organization) visiting the park in an educational capacity. Cost: $7

Contact

Mailing Address:
36 Reservation Ave
Pipestone, MN 56164

Physical Address:
36 Reservation Ave
Pipestone, MN 56164

Phone Number: 5078255464

Saint Croix

National Scenic Riverway

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Grab your paddle and your longing for adventure and head to the St. Croix and Namekagon rivers! Together they form the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway, offering over 200 miles of clean water that glides and rushes through a forested landscape. Paddle, boat, fish, and camp among this wild and scenic beauty. Hiking and historic towns also beckon, if you can bear to leave the cool water.

A man holds a large fish while sitting in a boat near a forested shore.

Weather

Access to the Riverway is year-round. Early spring temperatures can reach into the 40's resulting in high, fast, and cold water from melting snow and ice. Summers are warm and humid. Severe weather can be experienced anytime from mid-spring through late summer. Fall colors begin in late September with high temperatures averaging in the 60's. Winter can set in early with high temperatures in the teens, lows falling below zero, and occasional heavy snow. The rivers can begin to freeze over by early December.

Driving Directions

The St. Croix National Scenic Riverway stretches for over 200 miles in northwest Wisconsin and east-central Minnesota. The Namekagon River flows entirely in Wisconsin while the St. Croix River serves as a border between the two states for much of its length. With many different access points there are numerous opportunities for day trips as well as multi-day paddling adventures. Visitor centers are located on the Namekagon River in Trego, Wisconsin, and on the St. Croix River in St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin. More directions to Saint Croix.

Operating Hours

The St. Croix and Namekagon rivers are open all-day, year-round except for periods of dangerous water conditions. Access to landings and trails is seasonal.

Monday: All Day
Tuesday: All Day
Wednesday: All Day
Thursday: All Day
Friday: All Day
Saturday: All Day
Sunday: All Day

Entrance Fees

St. Croix National Scenic Riverway: Free entrance to national park visitor centers. Free entrance to national park facilities and lands. There may be charges to enter state, county, and private lands within the boundaries of the Riverway.

Contact

Mailing Address:
401 North Hamilton Street
St. Croix Falls, WI 54024

Physical Address:
401 North Hamilton Street
St. Croix Falls, WI 54024

Phone Number: 7154832274

Voyageurs

National Park

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With over 40% of the park water, Voyageurs is a maze of interconnected water highways. Plan ahead before coming to this water park by bringing your own, reserving a watercraft, or taking a park ranger boat tour.

Northern Lights over Voyageurs National Park waters

Weather

There are four distinct seasons in Voyageur country. The air is temperate during June, July, and August when periods of fine, mild weather prevail. The frost-free season averages 120 days from June to mid-September. The average ice-out date is May 3 but varies year to year. Annual precipitation (rain and snow) averages 25-28 inches in the park and snowfall ranges from 55-70 inches, but is highly variable. The first measurable snowfall occurs in late October and the last in late April or early May.

Driving Directions

Voyageurs National Park is located in Northern Minnesota. The park shares its northern boundary with Canada and lies just west of the Boundary Water Canoe Area Wilderness. The park visitor centers are accessible by car but in order to truly experience the park, one must leave their vehicle behind and access the park by boat. More directions to Voyageurs.

Operating Hours

Voyageurs is open 24-hours a day, although activities and services are limited after visitor center hours. Please note that early spring and late fall may present hazards on the lake with thin ice, please use caution.

Monday: All Day
Tuesday: All Day
Wednesday: All Day
Thursday: All Day
Friday: All Day
Saturday: All Day
Sunday: All Day

Entrance Fees

Voyageurs Entrance Fee: No entrance fees associated with this park.

Contact

Mailing Address:
Voyageurs National Park Headquarters
International Falls, MN 56649

Physical Address:
Voyageurs National Park Headquarters
International Falls, MN 56649

Phone Number: 2182836600