Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Guided tours
No
Backcountry camping
No
Lodging
No
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Banning State Park is located just off of I-35 in Sandstone, Minnesota, and it is popular for kayaking, hiking, the historic sandstone quarry, Wolf Creek Falls, and the Kettle River.

Banning State Park was designated a state park in 1963 to protect the landscape surrounding the Kettle River. The Kettle River is popular for whitewater paddlers and provides five sets of rapids ranging from Class III to V. Banning State Park is also home to a 130-year-old sandstone quarry. The Quarry Loop Trail takes visitors through the ruins of the quarry.

There are 17 miles of hiking trails in the park with popular options taking visitors to Wolf Creek Falls and along the Kettle River. In the winter there are 13 miles of ungroomed ski trails with snowshoeing allowed anywhere in the park. Rock climbing is also available in the park, but climbers should be sure to check on the climbing policies by contacting the park.

The park is open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. The park offers 33 reservable drive-in campsites (11 of which are electric) and five canoe sites on the Kettle River that operate as first-come, first-served. There is also one camper cabin that is available April through mid-November and sleeps five. Showers and flush toilets are available in the campground, and vault toilets are located throughout the park and are available year round. There are several picnic areas in the park. Some offer nice views of the river and are wheelchair accessible. The park office has a small gift shop and provides firewood sales. Ice sales are available 1 mile away at the Banning Junction.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

General Day Use Fee

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Scenic river and waterfall. Less crowded than other parks.

Cons

None.

Features

Vault toilet
General store
Boat ramp(s)
Historically significant
Waterfalls
Wildlife
Family friendly
Flushing toilets
Geologically significant
Big vistas
Picnic tables
Near lake or river
Wildflowers
Potable water

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Adventures

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