Minnesota State Park Hiking Club
Did you know that the Minnesota State Park system has a hiking club that features 68 hiking trails scattered in state parks throughout Minnesota?
The trails highlighted in the Hiking Club are specific trails that lead hikers to the main attraction of each park. The trails are marked with hiking club signs, including a sign at the end of the trail (or at the turnaround point) with a password unique to the area.
The club offers hikers a great way to explore some of the best and most popular attractions throughout the state. Trail highlights include everything from waterfalls, to overlooks, and natural history, depending on the park’s location and features. It offers a great reference for curious hikers and even offers the thrill of a treasure hunt!
In total, the club features more than 175 miles worth of hiking trails across the state, with trails varying in distance from one to six miles. By hiking all club trails, you will be sure to get a sense of the variety of natural beauty Minnesota has to offer along with a hiking club plaque and a free night of camping.Getting Involved
All you need to do to join the club and to earn rewards along the way is to purchase a hiking club kit. They can be purchased for $15 at most state parks, at the DNR License Center, or over the phone by calling 651-259-5600. Inside the kit is a passport which will be used to track progress.
At each park designated by the MN Hiking Club, follow the highlighted trail and around the half-way mark there will be a hiking club sign that has a password on it. Mark down the password in your passport book to show the officer at the park office as this is how you validate that you did the hike.
The end goal is to hike all of the club trails throughout all the Minnesota State Parks and get your passport stamped at each park office.
- You will receive a colorful patch for hiking 25, 50, 75, 100, 125, 150, 175, and all miles.
- Every 25 miles you receive a patch/pin
- Every 100 miles you get a voucher for free camping
- After all park miles are complete you get a plaque stating that you have hiked all the miles in Minnesota State Parks and a voucher for a free night of camping
We recommend dressing appropriately for each hike. Proper footwear and clothing are very important in preventing injury and ensuring that you have the best experience. When hiking make sure you remember to bring water, to stay hydrated. The beauty of the landscape can sometimes detour you from remembering to drink water, so we like to incorporate the WBS “Water Buddy System”. Before you start each hike, make sure you verify the trail you will be traveling. This ensures that you know your location so you don’t get lost, and also that you can find the trail password.
While hiking make sure you slow down and appreciate all the beauty. We can sometimes get going too fast in life and forget to look around. One of our favorite quotes from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off states “Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it” (Cameron Frye) and this couldn’t be more true. So make sure you slow down, enjoy the nature…and collect your passport stamps!