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Banning and Kettle River - Hike the Best Kept Secret State Park in Minnesota

Banning State Park - the little gem with Kettle runs through it. Join us first for a social breakfast at Peggy Sue's cafe at Willow River (exit 205 off I-35). Peggy Sue's is a vintage country cafe with authentic country kitchen atmosphere and food is terrific. After breakfast we will drive and meet at the picnic parking lot at Banning State Park. A brief safety talk and we will depart on a challenging hike along the precipices, under the overhangs carved from sandstone dotted with miniature fern and moss gardens kept green and glistening by droplets of water tricking from cracks in stone. After a mile we will climb up on trail hike along the river in hope of reaching Wolfe Creek water falls and then return via old rail road bed to the parking lot.

This hike is rigorous and involves bouldering as well as sliding on your posterior. It will test your ability to balance on rocks and courage in face of steep uphills. Additional note: Not for the meek and faint of heart.

Other notice: Please turn your phone to airplane mode for wilderness like experience. This hike is pet and tobacco free. Expectations are for the participants to complete the hike which may take longer than anticipated. If you have a Saturday evening commitment, we ask that you attend another hike.
Bring: Small pack, 2 Qts. water, electrolytes, snacks, sturdy hiking shoes, sunglasses, sunscreen, insect repellent, rain gear, trekking poles, TP.
Intended time line:

7:45 AM Meet and carpool from Northern burbs.
9:30 AM Breakfast at Peggy Sues, 8135 Co Hwy 61, Willow River, MN 55795
11 AM Meet at Picnic Parking Lot at Banning State Park
4:30 PM Return to parking lot and drive home.
6 PM or later - Back in Twin Cities

More small print: State Park Permit (day or annual required)