Afton State Park

Quick Facts

Afton State Park

Minnesota

(651) 436-5391

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

Just a short distance from Minnesota's twin cities, 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.

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.

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.

Map of Afton (MN)

Latitude, Longitude: 44.848052, -92.786770

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Activities

  • Boating

    Boating is allowed but some restrictions apply. Access facilities are located within 10 miles of the park.

  • Bicycling

    Mountain biking is available within 10 miles of the park, at Afton Alps ski area. There are four miles of paved bike paths in the park.

  • Camping

    Camping is available year-round at this park. There are 28 non-electric sites are available. Wood and water are available. The Group Camp closes for the winter on November 1.

    Reservations are recommended during the regular camping season for the backpack campground and group camp. No reservations needed from November 1 through April 1. Camper cabins are available to reserve up to 1 year in advance and reservations are recommended.

  • Fishing

    The St. Croix River is accessible from the park. Fishing poles and tackle boxes are available to checkout at the park. No fishing licenses are required in Afton State Park when fishing from shore. If you want to check out equipment during the week, please call the office a day ahead of time so they can ensure someone will be in the office.

  • Hiking

    There are 20 miles of hiking trails in Afton State Park.

  • Horseback Riding

    There are five miles of horse trails in the park; the horse trails close for the season in mid-November.

  • Picnicking

    The accessible upper picnic area is near the parking lot. There is a half-mile walk to the lower picnic area on the river. Of the four shelters in the park, three are open and one is enclosed. The enclosed shelter is heated in the winter and is accessible. Two of the open shelters are accessible. Contact the park to reserve.

  • Winter Sports

    The visitor center has a warming shelter that includes bathroom facilities, a wood stove, and tables. The park boasts 18 miles of cross-country ski trails, all of which are intermediate or advanced except for a 2.5-mile beginner loop. Four miles of snowshoe trail are maintained and snowshoe-clad visitors can go anywhere except groomed ski trails. There are also six miles of winter hiking trails.

Seasonality/Weather

Camping is available year-round. Water is available year-round at the Visitor Center and at the solar pump at the Backpack Campground. Modern bathroom facilities are available year-round in the Visitor Center. The facilities are handicapped accessible. Vault toilets are also available year-round throughout the park. Reservations are recommended during the regular camping season for the backpack campground and group camp. No reservations are needed from November 1 through April 1.

Park Partners

The Regional Parks Foundation

The Regional Parks Foundation is committed to enhancing the region's livability by using private funds to support planned land acquisitions for the metro regional parks and trails system and to promote the value of parks.

(952) 697-3554

Directions

Driving

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.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(651) 436-5391

Links