The fall colors are spectacular, the trails are amazing, and it does t matter what time of year you arrive.
I make 2 trips here a year.
Secluded campsites, electrical hookups, friendly staff. Beautiful sights and amazing trail heads. Some were challenging but worth it! Bathrooms/showers were really clean as well.
Banning is located just off I35 but you would never know it; unlike other parks close to highways, we didn’t hear any road noise at all. Small campground (34 sites including one cabin, about a third with electric). Some sites (18-34 especially) offer great privacy. Clean bathrooms. Great hiking trails (although the Wolf Creek Trail between the split from High Bluff and the falls is not marked and can get a little confusing to navigate). The Quarry Loop Trail is also interesting and you can pick up an interpretive map.
This park seems to be a missed gem as people head farther north towards Superior. This park has decent facilities and fun hiking along the bluffs of the Kettle River. There is a self guided tour of a historic granite quarry, and a great swimming place with a waterfall.
We will definitely be visiting again!
Camped here #7 for an overnight while heading to the North Shore. camp site was nice and adequate for what I needed. Next morning I captured the geocache I was looking for and back on the road. I loved how the park had clean pit toilets and recycling bins!!
Plenty of trails to hike, pretty waterfall and some interesting history. Easy to get to just off of I-35
This campground has many trails to hike right along the kettle river. Hike along the dirt trail or make it a little more adventurous by holding along the cliffs right over the river! There is also a beautiful water fall sort of like a treasure if you decide to go for a long hike! Wonderful place!
I had the pleasure of stopping at this park as part of a day trip to do some hiking and relaxing and can’t wait to get back!!! Banning State Park also has an old quarry you can see if you’re interested. The hiking trails were well marked and clean and the bathrooms were also nice! (I can now say I’ve been in a composting bathroom that the smell didn’t make me want to die- super bonus!!!) However the real magic of Banning State Park was the beautiful river and the fauna. It was so so incredibly beautiful. Tall and lush trees in every direction! We also saw several different Warblers!
Second favorite campground in Minnesota!!
We arrived Friday to a not so helpful girl. I told her my name and ask to check in and was promptly asked for a site number, I couldn’t remember exactly what it was. I said 72 and she rudely said we only have 34 sites. Figuring you only have 34 site I figured it would be easy to find my name. 15 seconds later she told me it was site 27. Not sure why she could find it earlier but no big deal. We were given no map, no information just a site number… our site was decent size private from our neighbors. The following day it rained, and rained, and rained so we greatly appreciated the elevated tent pad!! Because of the rain we headed to a trail listed on one of the maps I picked up, because it was a short hike. We had to drive into sandstone and drove down a dirt road (reccomend an suv or truck) to get to the trail. The drive to get to this trail is not marked so just trust the directions and look on google maps. We made it to the end of the road and a gate closing the road and off the the left is the trail with a little parking spot. I was so disappointed to see the amount of trash laying on the trail. I suspect it’s a local hang out for teens. We hiked on this trail for a bit and saw the rapids if you climb down on the rocks to the island be careful it’s slippery!!! Since it was raining we had the entire place to ourselves it was so beautiful and peaceful. We later hiked the self guided trail and it was so beautiful! Because it had rained the mini waterfalls (streams) where like something out of a story book! I thought the history part of it would be boring but it was anything but! Read the signs and pick up a map! Seeing something and being able to touch something that old was amazing! I can’t wait to go back next year already my husband has already said we are staying a week instead of just a day!
postives: Small campground but still very private! GREAT hiking! It’s absolutely beautiful here, straight out of a story book! Clean bathrooms and showers. Plenty of primitive bathrooms as well!
Negatives: Not so friendly staff, trash and graffiti on trails, our shower QUICKLY ran out of hot water which I wouldn’t really mind but my toddler refused to shower and cried about being cold.
a must see state park!!
We decided to try an extend the camping season by staying here in the first weekend of October, and we were rewarded greatly! The colors were near peak and the water was really high, so there were many kayakers going down the river as we hiked along the parallel trails. There was so much natural beauty along the trails, this park stands out as unique among several beautiful state parks along the St. Croix in eastern Minnesota.
Typically my family likes to camp where we can swim, and there is not a great option for that here, but this late in the season, hiking was on the agenda and this park is amazing for that!