Banning State Park is located directly off Interstate 35.
Stretched along 10 miles of the Kettle River near Sandstone in Pine County,
the park is known for camping, picnicking, and cross-country skiing.
It is a favorite for those seeking beautiful trails, however,
there is also quite a lot of history to soak in such as visiting the ruins of Banning Sandstone Quarry.
When first discovered, the durable, pink-colored sandstone of the area was exposed by the river and became the ideal construction material.
You can still see the dramatic sandstone rock formations with lush lichens, liverworts, and mosses.
The park is named for the president of the railroad, whose tracks allowed the stones to be shipped to St. Paul, Duluth, and beyond.
The centerpiece of the park is the 1.5 miles of churning rapids, with a difficulty range up to the advanced challenge of Class IV, where canoeists and kayakers can try their luck at Blueberry Slide, Mother’s Delight, Dragon’s Tooth and Hell’s Gate.
You can also visit Wolf Creek Falls, the Log Creek Arches, Robinson’s Ice Cave and numerous glacial potholes!
This is certainly worth the trip whether you are a history lover or adventure seeker.