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Banning State Park  
A Minnesota State Park

Banning State Park is a Minnesota State Park located on the southern edge of The Arrowhead Region in east central Minnesota and on both sides of the Kettle River near Hinckley.

Banning State Park

How to Get to Banning State Park: Take Highway 35 north from the Twin Cities for about an hour and a half to Highway 23 east, which will take you to the park entrance.

Minnesota State Parks Guidebooks to all of our state parks.

Park Highlights:

  • The (now extinct) village of Banning was established here in the early 1890s, when a sandstone quarry was opened at Hell's Gate. A rock quarry operated near the river in the early 20th century. When you visit, you can see the remains of the stone buildings.
  • White-water enthusiasts can shoot the mile-long gorge over rapids with names like Dragon’s Tooth and Hell’s Gate.
  • The Kettle River was the first waterway officially designated "Wild and Scenic" by the State of Minnesota. 
  • Several of the most scenic hiking trails in the state are found here. Hike along the gorge for views of the river and of those who brave the waters below.

Banning’s Natural Attractions: The Kettle River provides much of the scenic beauty, as well as the recreation, making it a canoeing and kayaking paradise. Explore impressive sandstone rock formations. If you look carefully, you will see potholes carved into the rocks by rushing waters in time past.

Hinckley Vacation Rentals

Things to Do in Banning State Park: Explore the historic ruins of the Sandstone Quarry. Hike to Wolf Creek Falls, Big Spring Falls, and the Log Creek Arches. Hike the trails in spring to view an awesome wildflower display. In winter, 12 miles of trails are groomed for cross-country skiing. Six miles of snowmobile trails connect to the Willard Munger Trail. Snowshoeing is permitted in all areas of the park.

Camping in Banning State Park: The Banning campground is at the crest of a pine-forested hill. There are 33 campsites available for tents and RVs; 11 sites have electrical hookups. There are 4 canoe-in campsites, 1 backpacking campsite, and 1 seasonal cabin as well.

Camping Equipment Checklist - Do you have what you need for camping?

More Attractions in This Region: Other area attractions include the Midwest Country Music Theater, the Audubon Center of the Northwoods, and the Robinson Park stone quarry in Sandstone. 

Visit Hinckley Minnesota and explore the Hinckley Fire Museum and Grand Casino. Don’t miss tiny Askov nearby. All the streets have Danish names, and they host the annual Askov Fair and Rutabaga Festival that offers Aebleskiver on the menu. 

Hinckley Minnesota Attractions: - Things to do near Banning State Park.
Banning State Park Waterfall

State Parks Guides and Gear

Other Minnesota State Parks in This Region of Minnesota: St. Croix State Park > Moose Lake State Park > Jay Cooke State Park


61101 Banning Park Road
Sandstone, MN 55072
Phone: 320-245-2668
Fax: 320-245-0251

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