Last weekend, Mitch and I met up with my parents for an afternoon at Minneopa State Park. We had a blast while we crossed another MN State Park off the list!
Just an hour and a half drive southwest of Minneapolis, the state park is located in Mankato, Minnesota.
Minneopa State Park Information
Cost: Since it’s a state park, there is an entrance fee. Currently the daily rate is $7 per vehicle or $35 for a season pass to all MN state parks.
Hours: Open 8 AM – 10 PM daily. Bison Drive road is closed on Wednesdays and has more limited hours.
Be sure to check here for updated hours and fees!
The first thing we did at the park was drive through the Bison Range. If you enter the state park in Google Maps, this should be where it takes you.
It was a pretty quick drive on Bison Drive Road (maybe 10 or 15 minutes). It was especially quick, because when we were there all the Bison were in just one spot!
You must stay in your vehicle while in this part of the park! I took this picture from our car window.
After we drove through the bison viewing area, we drove 0.6 miles to the other part of the park, Minneopa Falls.
As soon as you enter this park, you’re greeted with a beautiful segment of the falls. There are spots to view the larger waterfall from above, but the view is semi-obstructed. If you want a great view you can take stairs down to the base of the falls.
After you go down a flight of stairs, you’ll cross a bridge and then you can take some rocky dirt paths that take you right up close to the waterfall!
There’s also a very small cave right on the side of the waterfall that I of course had to get a photo in! I saw a few kids take photos in it first and decided I needed to check it out too 🙂
If you’re looking for a fun outdoorsy activity near the Twin Cities, I would definitely recommend spending an afternoon at this MN state park in Mankato!
Another great spot for hiking and waterfall viewing is Vermillion Falls, located just ~40 minutes southeast of Minneapolis in Hastings, MN. If you haven’t been before, be sure to check out my Vermillion Falls blog post here.