These Are The 10 Best City Parks In Minnesota
Minnesota has a wealth of incredible parks. From the pristine wilderness of Voyageurs National Park to the incredible variety offered across Minnesota's 66 state parks, there is a ton to enjoy across that park spectrum.
While those parks tend to get the most attention, the Land of 10,000 Lakes is home to a lot of incredible city & municipal parks that deserve a visit (or several).
Unlike state and national parks, city parks offer free access to enjoy a walk or hike, eat a picnic lunch, or take in some beautiful elements of nature. Many are also host to events like art fairs, music events, and other fun you generally don't find in other park spaces.
To celebrate these incredible free gems throughout the state, here is a list of the 10 best city parks across Minnesota, according to TripAdvisor.
Here Are The 10 Best City Parks In Minnesota
#10: Green Giant Statue Park - Blue Earth, MN
Also rated as the top thing to do in Blue Earth, this park space is home to a 55-foot-tall statue of the Jolly Green Giant. The 8,000-pound statue, which wears a size 78 shoe, stands at the center of a park space that also has a welcome center and museum building.
Reviews by visitors highlight this as a unique photo opportunity just off I-90 and Highway 169 in Southern Minnesota. One user commented that while the museum may look small, it has a lot of memorabilia and great information.
#9: Lester Park - Duluth, MN
Featuring waterfalls along the Lester River, tons of walking and hiking trails for all skill levels, biking trails, and even welcomes cross-country skiers with groomed trails available in the winter. There's a huge picnic space and a playground as well, rounding out an incredible nature-centric destination on the northeastern part of Duluth.
Reviews from visitors highlight the sheer length of available trails, along with the spectacular views of the Lester River. One user highlighted the mountain biking opportunities, while another user called their visit "an unexpected, amazing surprise".
#8: Hyland Lake Park Reserve - Bloomington, MN
This park space, which is managed by the Three Rivers Park District, has so much to offer as part of the experience of visiting the space. The park's website highlights prairie landscapes, downhill and cross-country skiing, disc golf, fishing opportunities, expansive playground, hiking, camping, biking, and so much more.
Reviews from visitors call it a "scenic retreat in the heart of Bloomington" and "one of the best kids play areas". Multiple people comment on the huge playground offering, which includes multiple slides, climbing areas, and more.
#7: Centennial Lakes Park - Edina, MN
With a putting course, paddle boats to leisurely cruise around the water, walking paths, ice skating in the winter, and events like a farmers market and free summer concerts, there's a ton to love about this space. It is worth noting that things like the putting green and paddle boats do come with a charge, much of this park does provide free access to visitors.
Reviews from visitors call it a beautiful place for an evening walk, a peaceful place in the bustling Twin Cities area, and a well-tended park with a lot to offer.
#6: Lebanon Hills Regional Park - Eagan, MN
While actually managed as a county space and not a city park, this area offers a similar charm and level of access to the city parks on this list. This park space is the largest in Dakota County, composed of nearly 2,000 acres of space with trails, lakes, and outdoor sports and recreation opportunities like mountain biking, ice skating, sledding, and fishing.
Reviews from visitors call this a fabulous free attraction for people of all ages, highlighting the many nice hiking trails passing by lakes in the park. One user also pointed out fishing and canoeing opportunities that make this park "a real gem".
#5: Elm Creek Park Reserve - Maple Grove, MN
Another offering managed by the Three Rivers Park District, this is another park space with a ton to offer. Swimming, archery, sledding and downhill skiing, snowmobile trails, mountain biking, horseback riding, and camping (including camping cabins on-site) are some of the highlights of this expansive space to the north of Maple Grove
Reviews from visitors highlight "awesome snow tubing", and lots of great trails for walking. While access and many park amenities are free, usage of some facilities and access to some activities may include a fee.
#4: Leif Erikson Park - Duluth, MN
With incredible views of Lake Superior, the stunning rose garden, access to the Duluth Lakewalk, and a huge amphitheater-like greenspace used for events like the free Movies in the Park, it's easy to see why this is a popular destination.
Reviews from visitors call the park "beautiful" and "gorgeous", with many people highlighting the stunning views available from the rose garden.
#3: Enger Park and Tower - Duluth, MN
Sitting atop the hill on which Duluth sits, you'll find a wonderful picnic and relaxation destination with unbeatable views of Lake Superior and Duluth and neighboring Superior, Wisconsin. Located on a site once called Grand Mountain, Enger Park is home to a tower that was built in 1939 to honor Bert Enger. Enger donated the land for the park space that now bears his name. Also on site is a beautiful garden and the American-Japanese Peace Bell, which was a gift from Duluth's sister city Ohara-Isumi.
Reviews from visitors call the views from the park "gorgeous" and "breathtaking", with one user pointing out that the park and tower are an incredible place to take in a panoramic view of the fall colors as well.
#2: Canal Park - Duluth, MN
The starting point of Duluth's famous Lakewalk, Canal Park is a park space near the Aerial Lift Bridge that offers great views of the Duluth skyline and Lake Superior. This is a great location to watch ships and sailboats arrive or depart into the Duluth Harbor, or catch an unforgettable Lake Superior sunrise or moonrise. The adjacent business district, also referred to as Canal Park, has some of the area's popular shopping and dining hotspots.
Visitors call it a great, family-friendly hotspot that is a must-see - especially in the summer. One user highlighted it as a ship watcher's dream location.
#1: Minnehaha Park - Minneapolis, MN
Considered one of the best things to do in the Twin Cities, Minnehaha Park is an expansive park space that is centered around the key attraction, Minnehaha Falls. The falls can be viewed from above, or visitors can travel down a staircase to reach the bottom of the river gorge to see the falls from below. The park space also offers walking trails along the river, heading to the nearby Mississippi River. The park includes things like a garden, wading pool, bike paths, and disc golf, along with a bandstand for music events.
Visitors call the park a pleasant nature getaway in Minneapolis, offering a welcome break from the bustle of a large city. One user pointed out that the falls do vary based on the season and how much rain (or snow) the area has received.