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Minnesota State Parks

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Twin Cities - Metro Region
Afton State Park
Afton State Park © Cynthia Vehe
Common Loon ©
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6959 Peller Ave.
South Hastings, Minnesota   55033

Phone: 651-436-5391
Toll Free: 888-646-6367
Email: park email button icon
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.
Nature of the Area
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.

Birdwatchers can observe hawks and waterfowl on the St. Croix flyway, bluebirds and meadowlarks in the grasslands, and waves of migratory birds in the floodplain. Deer, fox, and badgers live here along with the thirteen-lined ground squirrel, turkeys, gray and fox squirrels.

The park is cut by deep ravines which drop 300 feet to the river. The ravines display spectacular outcrops of sandstone and the rugged terrain affords spectacular views of the St. Croix River Valley.
History of the Area
The park was established in 1969 to preserve unique natural features and to provide opportunities for nature-oriented recreation.
1. Afton State Park offers a sandy beach on the St. Croix River for swimming.
2. No lifeguards are present at this location, so swim with caution.
3. Swimming is allowed from 8: 00 AM to 10:00 PM daily during summer months.
4. The park's water quality is regularly tested and generally safe for swimmers of all ages.
5. Pets are not permitted in designated swimming areas within the state park boundaries.

Fishing enthusiasts can enjoy the St. Croix River, known for its Northern Pike and Smallmouth Bass populations. Shore fishing is also available with potential catches including Walleye and Catfish. Trout anglers will appreciate Hidden Valley Pond's stocked Rainbow Trout population.

Afton State Park is located near Cottage Grove, Hastings and Hudson

1. Afton State Park offers numerous picnic spots with tables and grills.
2. Picnic shelters are available for larger gatherings or events.
3. Enjoy a riverside picnic at the St Croix River beach area.
4. Some areas offer stunning views of rolling prairies, bluffs, and forests while you eat.
5. Winter picnicking is possible; some shelters have fireplaces to keep warm.

Located in Minnesota, this park offers birdwatchers a chance to spot over 200 species of birds. The diverse habitats attract various types such as warblers, hawks and waterfowl. Birding is best during spring migration season but can be enjoyed year-round.

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
September 7 Great park! by sulver
park review stars; one to five Love this park!
May 9 Beautiful
park review stars; one to five Go to this park with some friends, use the free and copious firewood to build a bonfire, wait until the sun goes down and wander the trails. The fog that rolls in on some nights is unbelievable with the 50 foot, long needle, groves and the river. This place is extremely beautiful and only about 20 minutes out of the city.
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Nearby Hotels

From St. Paul, go 9 miles east on I-94, then 7 miles south on Highway 95 and 3 miles east on County Road 20.

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Minnesota State Parks