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Afton State Park
A Minnesota State Park 

Near the Village of Afton and Afton Alps Ski Area

Afton State Park, a Minnesota State Park in our Southern Prairie region, overlooks the St. Croix River and is about a 20 minute drive south of St. Paul.

Afton State Park

This state park is the closest to the Twin Cities and, of course, the quaint village of Afton, Minnesota. Also nearby is the Afton Alps ski area.

Park Highlights:

  • Afton State Park is ideal for backpackers. There are 24 "tents only" secluded backpacking campsites.
  • This is a popular winter skiing destination because of its proximity to the Afton Alps ski area. 
  • Geocachers love to come to Afton for the geocaching program. You can check out free geocaching units and explore the area for hidden "treasures."
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Explore the Quaint Village of Afton: Afton Minnesota Attractions - Things to do in the area near Afton State Park.

Afton’s Natural Attractions: The park includes a mixture of prairie and forest land. Some of the landscape features deep, wooded ravines and sandstone outcroppings that drop down to the St. Croix River. You can hike the trails that wind through the ravines and bluffs, and stop to enjoy the overlooks to the river. Walk the prairie land and enjoy the abundant wildflowers and birds. Visit in autumn for spectacular fall color and glimpses of migrating eagles and hawks.

Visit Afton State Park in winter to enjoy the cross-country ski trails.

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Things to Do in Afton State Park: The Afton Visitor Center is open all year. Some of its offerings include occasional interpretive programs and a self-guided interpretive trail. There is also a gift shop in the center. You will find a picnic area near the interpretive center, and another near the river. There are four picnic shelters in the park.

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The St. Croix River provides several recreational opportunities.

There is a swimming beach, as well as access to the river for fishing and boating.

Trails in the park include hiking, biking, horse-back riding and snowshoe trails. In winter you can enjoy a sledding hill, and then warm up in the warming house.

Inside the park there are also groomed cross-country ski trails.

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Afton State Park Yurts

Camping in Afton State Park: Campground facilities are more limited than in most other Minnesota State Parks.

There are 24 backpack campsites, 1 canoe site at the river, and 2 rustic group sites that will accommodate up to 30 people.

Several yurts have been recently added to the accommodations in the park.

Afton Alps Ski Area surrounds the park though it is not part of the park. Minnesota's largest ski hill can be enjoyed at Afton Alps. We have spent many fun-filled days as a family skiing and snowboarding here. Afton Alps is just one of many ski areas and Minnesota ski resorts.

Nearby attractions include: The tiny village of Afton, Minnesota and the historic Afton House Inn.

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Afton State Park River View

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For those of us who live in the Twin Cities area, Afton is a great day trip  or location for a family gathering. Because Afton State Park is so close to the metro area, you can enjoy the atmosphere of a Minnesota state park and still have a taste of what is offered by Minneapolis tourism and the best of Saint Paul Minnesota vacations.

Other state parks in this area of Minnesota include Fort Snelling State Park, right in the heart of the Twin Cities, William O'Brien State Park just a few miles north, and Frontenac State Park, just a short drive south.

Camping Guides and Gear


6959 Peller Avenue South
Hastings, MN 55033

Phone: 651-436-5391

Fax: 651-436-6912


Minnesota State Parks: From Afton to Zippel Bay Our love for Minnesota State parks led to us spending a year writing our own reviews of every state park in Minnesota. The result is this e-book...available on for 2.99.

Flow gently, sweet Afton! amang thy green braes,
Flow gently, I'll sing thee a song in thy praise;
My Mary's asleep by thy murmuring stream,
Flow gently, sweet Afton, disturb not her dream. ~ Robert Burns

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Minnesota State Parks: From Afton to Zippel Bay

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