Prairie trail Buffalo River State Park
Buffalo River
Buffalo River

I have traveled to most of the U. S. National Parks in the contiguous United States, including Denali in Alaska, Arcadia in Maine, The Everglades in Florida, Yosemite in California, and Olympia in Washington State, and each has provided an adventurous excitement that my heart and soul crave several return visits to enjoy thoroughly.

However, as a full-time traveler, I have limited my visits to the U.S. National Parks to the shoulder seasons, which are before Memorial Day and after Labor Day.

Over the past three years, I have explored Minnesota’s state parks to discover the most beautifully dense old-growth forests, with dark green canopied hiking trails and natural prairies filled with decorative wild plants beckoning butterflies to dance among their colorful flowers.

I parked Foxy in the Forest Hills RV campground three miles west of Detroit Lakes, MN, where I began my visits and tours of two of Minnesota’s incredibly scenic wildlife-filled state parks. 

In my previous blog post, I highlighted Maplegrove, State Park, which became a daily destination, and a blog post about my adventures in capturing the images of the Trumpeter Swans.

I visited and toured Buffalo River and Glendalough State Parks, each with a specific uniqueness.

The Buffalo River State Park was my visual beauty with a natural Native Prairie Landscape trail, and I fell in love with the many landscapes, insects, and colorful flowering photo opportunities. The park provides fishing and hiking trails along the Buffalo River, camping for RV’s and tents, with several picnicking areas.

The Buffalo River State Park is located in Glyndon, a small town in Clayton County, Minnesota, 4.5 miles from the outskirts, with its entrance from east or west along U.S. Route 10.

The park provides twelve miles of hiking footpaths, allowing visitors to experience the two hundred and fifty species of wildflowers and grasses, with the Buffalo River bisecting the park to become the center of most activity.

The park began with the indigenous Ojibwe people, who named the river/stream “Pijijiwizbi,” meaning “Buffalo River.” The Bison wintered along the river and became extinct along with the wolves. Plans are considered to return the bison and the wolf.

Buffalo River State Park

565 155th Street South

Glyndon, MN 56547


Glendalough State Park Map

Glendalough State Park is named after Glendalough in Ireland and nearby Glendalough National Park in Ireland. The state park was once used as a resort and game farm by the owners of the Cowles Media Company, owner of what is today the Star Tribune newspaper.

Glendalough became my favorite shakedown overnight backpacking destination with a short walk from the car, twenty-two campsites with fire rings to choose from, with nine miles of hiking trails with very little elevation. It was a perfect destination to prepare for overnight backpacking trips. I took little to no photos of this location as I was like a little kid in a new playground.

The paved bicycle trails double as a winter cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, along with two miles of mountain bike trails. If camping on the ground is not your desire, the park offers Cabin & Yurts sites accessible by foot or bicycle.

Group campsites to accommodate up the forty people near a shaded creek between two lakes, a short distance from the swimming beach, fishing pier, picnic shelter with fire rings, picnic tables and rustic toilets, and a hand pump for water.

Camper Cabins are available with electricity and a propane fireplace from April – October and Thursday through Sunday in the winter. One cabin is disability-accessible with room for five, and the other sleeps six, but no pets are allowed.

Two Yurts are accessible via canoe, kayak, hiking, bicycle, and cars can park nearby. The Yurts are heated with firewood from a woodstove at no charge in the winter. No electricity, pets, open flames, or cooking are allowed inside the yurts.

The showers are seasonally accessible throughout the park, so check seasonal dates. Flush toilets are accessible at the Trail Center restroom, available year-round. There are Vault Toilets open to the public year-round throughout the park.

Winter snow trails

I have fallen in love with the versatility offerings of this park, so much so that I’m considering returning in the winter to snowshoe and cross-country ski.

Click the link below to see the map of the entire park.

Glendalough State Park

24869 Whitetail Lane

Battle Lake, MN 56515


Glendalough State Park

By Expedition Nomadic Adventurer

As a retiree travel blogger touring the US, voicing my wisdom, opinion, and thoughts about the retirement lifestyle and life in general. I'm an aspiring pre-published indie author of baby boomer romance and adventures with a whimsical comedic side. I photograph wildlife and landscapes, mountain, biking, kayaking, hiking, and backpacking. I travel the back roads and highways of America, Canada, and Mexico, documenting my adventures via print and photography.

2 thoughts on “Minnesota State Parks, Wow!”
  1. I’ve also enjoyed some serious wandering in Northern Minnesota and would like to see more of the Boundary Lakes region.

  2. I absolutely love the parks in the US. I spent a year touring the parks in my 20s, what an experience.

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