Back in late September and early October I tried to hit up some state parks for another Parktober adventure. Hitting five state parks on this trip means I have only 13 of 66 Minnesota State Parks left to visit.
Cuyuna & Banning
I blew off work on a Friday in hopes of getting to Cuyuna Country Recreation Area for some incredible mountain biking. Unfortunately, the rain didn’t cooperate. Still a gorgeous place though.
With the weather, I gave up on biking and drove across the state to Banning State Park. Gorgeous leaves on the way, and Banning never disappoints:
Fergus Falls & State Parks
For my actual Parktober trip, I stayed at an Airbnb in downtown Fergus Falls and hit five state parks. Unfortunately, the fall weather didn’t cooperate with highs hitting 90. The leaves were pretty great, but that heat was gross.
Monson Lake State Park
Not much to see in Monson Lake.
Glacial Lakes State Park
Glacial Lakes had some unexpected topography, with lots of hills making for great views.
Maplewood State Park
Maybe the best park of the trip was Maplewood with just about perfect leaves and lots to do.
Glendalough State Park
Glendalough had some nice views, though it had an odd feel as a former retreat center (dog cemetery?). Seemed like a park that would work best doing some biking to the nearby town and back. I also hit the nearby Nyberg Park with weird metal sculptures by Ken Nyberg.
Lake Carlos State Park
Lake Carlos had pretty incredible leaves too. The best was perhaps the picnic ground blanketed with fall leaves for that satisfying crunch crunch crunch as you walk through the fallen leaves.
Some great art in the town of Fergus Falls and a burgeoning downtown with lots of funky places to eat. Unfortunately, they were all closed on Sunday, so not the best timing. Another great sight in Fergus Falls is the Broken Down Dam, something I saw back in 2021 and kind of forgot was in Fergus Falls.
And of course, I brought the mountain bike. I hit Kensington Runestone Park, which had a pretty good trail, but 90 degrees in the middle of the day is not fun. I did bike around Fergus Falls a bit and gave up any biking plans for day two.