Afton State Park’s rugged, rolling landscape provides excellent hiking, horseback riding and skiing opportunities, plus a swimming beach and spectacular scenic overlooks of the St. Croix River. The Prairie Walk interpretive trail, oak savannas and wooded river valley offer an interesting contrast of wildlife habitats and exceptional birdwatching. The visitor center is a good place to get oriented to the park’s trails and special features.

The campground is located on the bluffs overlooking the St. Croix River, and is a strenuous 3/4-mile hike from the parking lot. The park also has camper cabins, yurts, and group campsites.

Grand oaks and delicate prairie flowers grace the rugged, rolling landscape of this park. Trails traverse remnant and restored prairies, wind down deep ravines and rise up to the grassy ridgetops and bluffs overlooking the scenic St. Croix River.

The trails are perfect for hikers, horseback riders and cross-country skiers. The park offers visitors a swimming beach, backpack campsites and a visitor center with interpretive displays.

The park is set in a rolling glacial moraine and bluffland. It contains a combination of oak openings and woodlands. The forests combine upland hardwoods with some pine plantations. Remnant prairies are being expanded and oak savannas are being restored through an aggressive resource management program that makes extensive use of volunteers. Park wildflowers include prairie pasque flowers and woodland ephemerals in the spring; butterfly weed and puccoons on the summer prairie; and sunflowers and blazing star in the fall.

Location

Afton State Park
6959 Peller Ave S, Hastings, MN 55033, United States

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Hours

The park is open daily from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m. 

The office is staffed from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends. Weekday availability varies.

Rates

Park permits: $35 annual, $26 second vehicle, $12 handicapped, or $7 daily. Camping fees are separate.

Contact Details

Phone: 651-201-6780

Email: afton.statepark@state.mn.us

Official Website: Afton State Park

Reservations can be done here.

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Area Attractions

Suggested Equipment for Afton State Park Adventures:

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The following activities within the park should be done with utmost caution. Make sure that you have the proper protective gear and equipment necessary to make your adventures safe and accident-free. We advise you to read the TIPS underneath each activity to serve as a guide on what you may need to bring in order to enjoy your stay fully.

Activities & Tips

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The park can be very crowded on weekends, especially when the weather is nice. If the parking lot is full, you may have to wait to enter. Have a backup plan in place so you can avoid the crowds and enjoy the outdoors at a nearby park or trail.

  • The park will be closed to the public during the hunt. The park will close at 6 p.m. on Friday, November 5 and will reopen to the public at 8 a.m. Monday, November 8.
  • This hunt is the park’s annual mentored youth deer hunt, which is held to help manage the over-population of deer. Learn more about deer hunts in Minnesota state parks.

NOTES:

  • Goats at Work! – A prescribed grazing project is underway at Afton State Park. A herd of 60 goats is currently on-site to graze invasive buckthorn and honeysuckle shrubs. Goats are monitored daily by park staff, and have access to fresh water and mineral supplements. Please maintain adequate distance from the grid fence that surrounds the paddock, it can deliver a painful shock if touched. Pets must be on leash, attended, and under control at all times. Also, please refrain from petting or feeding the goats; their behavior can be more unpredictable than a barn-raised herd.
  • The park office is open for sales of vehicle permits and other merchandise. The office is staffed from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends. Weekday availability varies depending on staff availability. The office restroom remains closed for public use, but flush toilets are available 24 hours a day in the Visitor Center.
  • The park’s Visitor Center is available for daily public use; typical hours are 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • The backpack campground is open year-round with both self-serve bulk firewood ($6/night) and drinking water available.
  • Camper cabins and yurts are available year-round. Reservable by phone at 1-866-857-2757 or online at mndnr.gov/reservations.
  • The wall tent is now closed for the season.
  • The remote campsites (Homestead & Meadow) are now closed for the season.

PLANNING AHEAD

  • The horse trails will be closed to riding beginning Monday, November 1.
  • Group Camp 1 and Group Camp 2 will close to advance reservations beginning Sunday, October 31. Group Camp 1 will remain available as snow conditions allow through the winter; please contact the park office at 651-201-6780 if you are interested in staying in the group camp after October 31. Deer hunt in the park November 6-7.

Check seasonal updates for this park.

Afton State Park is a must-visit state park in Minnesota. Check out other state parks in Minnesota here.

Minnesota State Parks