When it comes to exploring the beauty of nature, the state of Minnesota well and truly has you covered.
Featuring 66 state parks, it boasts a breathtaking landscape of forests, rivers, bluffs, meadows and prairies. As well as the little matter of some 10,000 lakes.
If you happen to live in or around the city of Hutchinson, these parks provide you with an abundance of opportunities to enjoy a variety of outdoor pursuits. This includes everything from fishing, swimming and water based recreational activities, like canoeing and kayaking, to photography, hunting and star gazing.
For those people, there are lots of destinations you can head to. So should the urge to explore the wilds of nature engulf you, here are 5 state parks near Hutchinson we highly recommend you visit.
Map of State Parks Near Hutchinson MN
Here is a map of the state parks in Minnesota covered in this post:
List of State Parks Near Hutchinson
The great thing about all the state parks outlined below is that they can be reached within a 2 hour and 45 minute drive of the city. This means they can easily be visited as day trip destinations.
However, should you want to spend a longer amount of time exploring any of them, they all offer camping facilities that will appeal to all styles and budgets too.
1. Sibley State Park
Location: 800 Sibley Park Rd NE, New London, MN 56273
Sibley State Park is the closest destination on this list to Hutchinson.
Situated just an hour’s drive northwest from the city, this park is a renowned hiking spot, with several trails taking you through a gorgeous landscape of lakes, prairies, farmlands and forests, on your way up to Mount Tom.
The forest in particular is rather eye-catching, featuring a very Insta-worthy selection of maple, aspen, green ash, oak, red cedar, basswood and ironwood trees.
Equally attractive is the scenic Lake Andrew, which is a popular spot for swimming, boating and fishing. While there is also a waterway route which you can take via kayak, or canoe, to the adjacent Swan and Henschien lakes.
In terms of camping accommodation, the park offers guests the choice of 132 campsites that range from primitive to full hookups.
2. Crow Wing State Park
Location: 3124 State Park Rd, Brainerd, MN 56401
Over in the quirky sounding town of Brainerd, the Crow Wing State Park is a great place to go for those who love nature.
It will take you about an hour and 40 minutes to drive north there from Hutchinson, but once you are there you will be able to explore a wonderful terrain of lush forest, beautiful prairies and verdant wetlands.
Spread across 3,119 acres, the park is nestled near the fringes of both the Mississippi and Crow Wing Rivers, which provides lots of scope for fishing, boating, canoeing and kayaking. You’ll also get to see plenty of wildlife too, in the form of muskrats, beavers and white-tailed deer.
Overall for campers, the park offers 59 wooded sites which can accommodate both tents and RVs. There is also a small selection of camper cabins, as well as a group camp which can sleep up to 75 people.
3. Rice Lake State Park
Location: 8485 Rose St, Owatonna, MN 55060
Just over a 2 hour drive south of Hutchinson lies Rice Lake State Park.
Completely framed by stunning parkland, the centerpiece of this park is the 750 acre lake from which it gets its name. Featuring a limestone bedrock that was formed over 500 million years ago, you’ll be directly standing on land that dates back to the Paleozoic Era, should your feet touch it whilst swimming.
A renowned spot for kayaking and canoeing, wild rice grows in abundance around the lake, which was the inspiration for its name.
For those who enjoy hiking, there are several trails that will take you through the parklands to gorgeous meadows, and beautiful hardwood forests of maple, basswood, elm and oak. Where you will also find plenty of lovely spots for a picnic.
Camping options here take the form of 40 drive-in sites, of which 18 are 50 amp electric. If that is not quite your style, there are also 5 canoe and walk-in sites which you can stay at, as well as 4 cart-in sites.
4. Glendalough State Park
Location: 25287 Whitetail Ln, Battle Lake, MN 56515
If you are looking for a place where you can really escape the pressures of city life then Glendalough State Park may well be the destination for you.
At 2 hours and 30 minutes north it is a lengthy drive from Hutchinson. However, as it features one of the biggest stretches of undeveloped lakeshore in west Minnesota it is a drive you shouldn’t mind making.
The park was named after the spectacular Gleann Da Loch in Ireland, which translates in English to ‘Valley of Two Lakes’. Just like its namesake there are two lakes here, both of which are excellent for fishing, swimming and a range of other water based recreational activities like SUP, canoeing and kayaking.
Given its spectacular tapestry of rolling prairies, dense forest and lush countryside, the park is also a very popular spot for hiking and biking as well.
All up the park offers 22 camping sites for overnight guests. Alternatively you can hire out one of four cabins, or choose to stay in a group camp that can sleep up to 40 people.
5. Moose Lake State Park
Location: 4252 Co Rd 137, Moose Lake, MN 55767
Despite being a 2 hour and 45 minute drive north from Hutchinson, the Moose Lake State Park is another fabulous destination for those who want to immerse themselves in nature.
Boasting a gorgeous terrain of thick forest, picturesque rolling hills, lush fields, scenic ponds and sparkling lakes, it is the perfect spot to hike around.
Other activities like swimming, fishing, picnicking, wildlife watching, photography, stargazing and boating are regular pastimes here too.
Spread across three loops, camping options here include 33 drive-in sites – of which 20 are electric 30-amp sites.