Revealed: Minnesota State Parks


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Answers to Minnesota State Parks Trivia:


  1. How many state parks are in MN? How many state parks are in the U.S.?
    Minnesota has 66 state parks and 9 recreation areas.  There are over 6,600 state parks in the United States!
  2. How much land does MN DNR manage and what percent of MN land is this?
    MN DNR manages about 5.6 million acres or 11% of state land.
  1. What year was the MN park permit created and what was its cost? What is the current cost for an annual permit? 
    State Park Permit Act was passed in 1953 that required $1/year for access.  In 2023, the cost is $35/year vehicle permit.
  1. What is the oldest MN State Park?
    Itasca State Park (established April 20, 1891).  MN became the second oldest state park system in the country with the establishment of this park.  The next state park added was Interstate State Park (April 25, 1895).
  1. What was the oldest state park in the U.S.?
    Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove of Big Trees was the first state park in 1864; became a national park in 1890.  Interestingly, Yellowstone is considered the oldest national park 1872 – followed by Sequoia 9/25/1890 and Yosemite 10/1/1890 (but Yosemite was a state park first!).
  1. What is the newest MN State Park?
    Lake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park (received its official name in 2014 when the two properties merged as MN newest state park)
  1. What are the five most visited MN State Parks? (DNR-MN data from 2021)
    Gooseberry Falls – 782,125
    Fort Snelling – 702,351
    Itasca – 569,835
    Tettegouche – 564,992
    Split Rock Lighthouse – 544,327
  1. What MN State Park has the highest waterfall?
    High Falls at Grand Portage
  2. Which MN State Park is defined by Sioux quartzite cliffs?
    Blue Mounds

  3. Which MN State Park is considered a geological wonder, known for 10 lava flows, valleys, faults and glacial deposits?
    Interstate State Park has world-famous potholes and ancient lava flows.
  4. Why is the water brown at Gooseberry Falls?
    Amber-brown color water comes from tannins, the bitter compounds that come from the wood, bark and leaves of oak and fruit trees in the area.
  1. What is the only national park in MN? (not shown in the puzzle)
    Voyagers National Park in northern MN, near the Canadian border.
  1. What are the two national monuments in MN? (Hint: one is adjacent to state park in this puzzle)
    Pipestone: 301-acre Monument consist of quarry pits, 56 active pipestone extraction sources and the tall grass prairie landscape surrounding them. There is no specific structure, plaque, marker or monument.

    Grand Portage: 710 acres located on Lake Superior including historic depot, Fort Charlotte and semi-wilderness setting. Preserves fur trade activity and Anishinaabey Ojibwe heritage.
  1. There 8 state parks on the North Shore in MN.  Name the 6 shown in the puzzle and the 2 not included?
    Shown in the puzzle: Gooseberry, Split Rock Lighthouse, Tettegouche, Temperance River, Cascade River and Grand Portage
    Not included in the puzzle: 1) George Crosby Manitou State Park known for scenic view of Lake Superior and the Manitou River 2) Judge C.R. Magney State Park known for the Devil’s Kettle
  1. What is the largest MN State Park? (not shown in the puzzle)
    Croix State Park with over 34,000 acres of forests, prairie, wetlands and river shoreline; Itasca is a close second at 30,553 acres

Challenge Revealed:

Can you name the location of all 18 MN State Parks shown in the puzzle?

Can you order the parks shown in the puzzle from oldest to newest? (based on date established)

1891 – Itasca (Park Rapids)
1895 – Interstate (Taylors Falls)
1911 - Fort Ridgely (Fairfax)
1915 - Jay Cooke (Carlton)
1923 - Lake Bemidji (Bemidji)
1931 – Lindbergh (Little Falls)
1937 – Gooseberry (13 miles northeast of Two Harbors)
1937 - Blue Mounds (Luverne)
1945 - Split Rock Lighthouse (Two Harbors)
1957 - Cascade River (Lutsen)
1957 - Temperance River (Silver Bay)
1957 – Frontenac (Frontenac)
1961 – Fort Snelling (St. Paul)
1963 - Upper Sioux Agency (Grantie Falls)
1963 - Glacial Lakes (Starbuck)
1979 – Tettegouche (Silver Bay)
1989 - Grand Portage (Grand Portage)
2014 - Lake Vermilion established in 2010 and Soudan Underground Mine that opened as a state park in 1965 merged in 2014 (located in Soudan)

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