I’ve lived in Minnesota my entire adult life and, as I’ve grown older, my appreciation for our state’s natural beauty has only increased. I’ve visited 45 of our Minnesota state parks since 2019 and have set a goal of visiting them all. At the time of this writing, Minnesota is home to 66 state parks. In less than a month, that number will be 65, after a scheduled Minnesota state park closure on February 16, 2024. This month, I headed out to visit Upper Sioux Agency before it closes and to reflect on how this came about – and whether it should have ever been a state park in the first place.

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I think it’s encouraging, too, that the DNR has committed to establishing additional recreational sites in this part of the Minnesota River valley to replace those once available at Upper Sioux Agency State Park. In the meantime, you have a few weeks to visit this haunting Minnesota state park before its closure – and I recommend it if you you can make the trip. In the meantime, Lac Qui Parle State Park and Camden State Park are both near the area and offer excellent hiking and camping. And you’ll find plenty of things to do in the Granite Falls area, where you can stay at a charming vacation rental cottage.

Do you have a chance to visit Upper Sioux Agency before the Minnesota state park closure? What are some other parks in the Granite Falls area do you recommend? Let us know in the comments!

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