The bean counters at Love Lawn have poured over the data and crunched the numbers to determine the best states for camping in America -- and Minnesota is among the best!

Seriously, Minnesota is home to 75 state parks and recreation areas, Superior National Forest, Voyageurs National Park, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, and countless other county, city, and private campgrounds. Summer's coming, let's go camping!

Minnesota DNR
Nerstrand Big Woods State Park/Minnesota DNR
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Amie and I are fans of tent camping. We love getting out and exploring Minnesota's state parks. We plan on taking a week to explore Superior National Forest up north this October.

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The team at Love Lawn compared the 50 states based on 25 metrics, such as campsite access, acreage, and trails. They also considered safety, supplies, camper satisfaction, and affordability. Here's how it all shook out:

Rice Lake State Park/Minnesota DNR
Rice Lake State Park/Minnesota DNR
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The Top-Ten States for Camping in America

  1. California
  2. Washington
  3. Texas
  4. Florida
  5. New York
  6. Colorado
  7. Michigan
  8. Virginia
  9. North Carolina
  10. Minnesota
Banning State Park/Minnesota DNR
Banning State Park/Minnesota DNR
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How did our neighbors score? Good question. Iowa came in at #18. Wisconsin was 28th. South Dakota is at #45, and North Dakota was dead last at #50.

Here are some of the State Parks Found Across Southern Minnesota

  • Open fields, wetlands, upland forests, lakes, and forest edges provide the perfect habitat for many southern Minnesota wildlife species at Sakatah Lake State Park near Waterville.
  • Walking the Prairie Loop Trail at dusk or dawn can be a magical time visually. With the beautiful contrast in wildflowers and grasses, and the kaleidoscope-like lighting of the sunset or sunrise, the imagery can take your breath away at Nerstrand Big Woods State Park near Nerstrand.
Beaver Creek Valley State Park/Minnesota DNR
Beaver Creek Valley State Park/Minnesota DNR
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  • Rice Lake State Park near Owatonna is a major wetland in the area. Enjoy camping under the tall hardwoods, picnicking, and birdwatching.
  • Bring a picnic to eat under towering trees in the picnic area or while on a break at one of the overlooks on the trails. Follow the Hiking Club Trail as it loops through the park's varied landscapes at Myre Big Island State Park near Albert Lea.
  • Minnesota's third oldest state park is home to a newly re-established American Bison herd. Enjoy a fun day of exploring Minneopa State Park filled with natural and historical features, including Southern Minnesota's largest waterfall.
Whitewater State Park/Minnesota DNR
Whitewater State Park/Minnesota DNR
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  • Bring a picnic to eat under towering trees near the swimming pond, beach house and trailheads. Follow the Hiking Club Trail as it loops through the park's varied landscapes at Flandrau State Park near New Ulm.
  • Beauty and quiet, that is the essence of Carley State Park near Altura. The park's hardwood forest and adjacent farmland is home to white-tailed deer, beaver, coyotes, red and gray fox, pileated woodpeckers, great horned owls, and many migratory songbirds.
Cascade River State Park/Minnesota DNR
Cascade River State Park/Minnesota DNR
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  • Hike Chimney Rock Trail for a scenic view of the Whitewater River, or take the Meadow Trail for a more accessible hike surrounded by dramatic bluffs at Whitewater State Park near Altura.
  • Mystery Cave is the longest cave in Minnesota, with over 13 miles of underground passages! Each guided tour takes you underground through different areas, and showcases scenic pools and a variety of cave formation at Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park near Preston.
  • Explore a 3-mile loop around Pike Island and keep an eye out for wild turkeys at Fort Snelling State Park in St. Paul.

The bottom line is that there's no shortage of ways to spend some quality time with your family outdoors.

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