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Frontenac State Park, Frontenac

Categories: State Parks, Nature & Parks
Inspirock Rating:
4.3/5 based on 30+ reviews on the web
Frontenac State Park is a state park of Minnesota, United States, on the Mississippi River 10mi southeast of Red Wing. The park is notable both for its history and for its birdwatching opportunities. The centerpiece of the park is a 430ft, 3mi steep limestone bluff overlooking Lake Pepin, a natural widening of the Mississippi. The bluff is variously called Garrard's Bluff or Point No-Point, the latter name coming from riverboat captains because of the optical illusion that it protruded into the Mississippi River. There is a natural limestone arch on the blufftop called In-Yan-Teopa, a Dakota name meaning "Rock With Opening". Park lands entirely surround the town of Frontenac, once a high-class resort at the end of the 19th century.GeologyThe limestone was laid down 500 million years ago as organic sediments settled to the bottom of a shallow sea that covered much of the Midwest. Much later Glacial River Warren carried torrents of runoff from the melting glaciers of the last ice age. Flowing out of Lake Agassiz, Glacial River Warren carved the Minnesota River valley and the Mississippi River Valley, leaving steep bluffs along the latter's banks. At times Glacial River Warren overflowed its bed and Garrard's Bluff would have been an island. The area is near the northern extreme of the Driftless Area of Minnesota, a region that remained unglaciated during the phases of the last ice age.
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  • I'm not well versed in State park camping, but my friends are! We brought my friends' 5th wheel (a very large camper in my limited experience). We got a drive through site, which pleased my hosts very...  read more »
  • I brought the kids to this park for a couple nights' stay in the hottest part of August. We stayed at cart-in Site 3 or 4 or something. We're hammockers, so avoid these sites if you are--there's not e...  read more »
  • We camped for a night here. The park is a smaller park which we like. However the sites were not as private as most of the state parks. It's also very tight to get some of the larger campers in there....  read more »
  • Clean, nice and quiet at night. Very much a typical organized campgroud. Not what you're looking for if you're trying to achieve that backwoods escape from society kind of camping.
  • A beautiful MN State Park. I visit this one regularly as I live close by. Gorgeous views of the Mississippi River valley. A wonderful place to take in /photograph a sunrise. Fantastic morel mushroom hunting opportunities in the Spring. Nice campground and 14 miles of hiking trails. There is one completely paved ADA trail.
  • Another wonderful Minnesota state park, located on the Mississippi River just above Lake Pepin. Featuring a nice campground with two electric loops, clean rest rooms and showers, and many more without electric. Potable water and an RV dump station rounds out the campground portion. The park itself is really two parks in one. Perched on a high bluff beside the river, the views are amazing. A completely accessible, paved 1-1/2 mile path allowed us to bring a friend in a wheelchair. Much rougher and tougher trails are available for the more adventurous. Amazing vista overlook at Lake Pepin and into Wisconsin. And then...native prairie trails laden with wild life as you go away from the river. And EAGLES! Lots of them! A great spot to spend a day or a week! $5 Day Fee or $25 per year. (Motorcycles $20)
  • Canping Nazi's. I've camped all over Minnesota and never have I had park patrol routinely "check up" on our sites. Like I said My friends and I have camped all over the state. We are group of young late 20 somethings and at this park we were treated like children. They were accommodating to our group size but treated us like local highschool kids who come to the park to get wild. Instead of relaxing all weekend we were more worried about the "policing" of the Park patrol. We were respectful and courteous at every encounter and Id say there were over a dozen. I'll be avoiding this Beautiful Park in the future. Sad :(
  • Good for hiking or trail running! Possible to do a loop of anywhere from 1.5 to 6+ miles from the main parking lot. Lower bluff trail is nice hiking, steep trail, rocks and roots and a great river right there to keep things interesting.
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