My Favorite Places: Banning State Park | Minnesota State Parks | Waterfalls | Hiking | Outdoors!
My Favorite Places is a potential series that I’m working on. If you like this video be sure to give it a thumbs up so I know y’all are interested in more videos like this!
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Quarry Loop Trail
This 1.8-mile loop trail is probably the most popular trail at Banning State Park being the easiest to access from the parking area. The trail partially follows an old railroad bed and features many remnants of the Sandstone Quarry that operated in the 1800’s along the Kettle River. Along the trail, you will see the beautiful banks of the Kettle River, the remains of the buildings used in the sandstone quarry operation, including the rock crusher and powerhouse buildings. Continuing on you will see piles of rock slabs, tall rock walls and pass the hiking club password on your way back to the parking area.
Wolf Creek Falls
This graceful waterfall is truly a hidden gem nestled deep in the woods of Banning State Park. The water falls into a pool below and then flows to the Kettle River, there are no guard rails here so you can walk right up to the edge of the falls so be careful not to fall in. Wolf Creek Trail can be accessed from multiple routes, so be sure to check out the park map for the best route. I’ve also added a featured hike on hikingproject.com featuring all the places in this video.
Hell’s Gate Trail
I would consider this trail to be one of the best state park trails in Minnesota. Hell’s Gate trail also follows the Kettle river but includes more features of the river’s namesake. The river is named for the various kettles or potholes scattered along its banks, formed by the water over the river’s history, it created these awesome rock formations for us to see, just don’t fall in. The area is covered by many other rock formations formed by the river over time which also makes for a difficult trail. This route includes scrambling and climbing over many scattered rocks and formations and can be dangerous in some areas but provides an amazing hiking experience.
Continuing on this amazing rugged trail, it will lead you to Hell’s Gate where travelers throughout history such as Dante have started their journey through the 9 circles of the underworld… I’m kidding, Hell’s Gate is a powerful set of rapids on the Kettle river that are frequented by thrill-seeking kayakers. Although difficult to access the area provides amazing scenery and is totally worth the effort.
The featured on hikingproject.com :