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Father Hennepin State Park

Two weekends ago our family went on a short but incredibly active camping trip. We visited the Airstream Park up in Clear Lake Minnesota for a night and had a great time there. But while we were there Keegan and I decided that while we liked the park, we hadn’t been in a good woodsy campground in a while. So we decided on Saturday morning to see if there were any spots open at any nearby state parks. Thankfully we found a great spot at Father Hennepin State Park near Isle, MN which is located directly on Mille Lacs Lake.

We packed up the camper around noon on Saturday and were on the road before 12:30. Our plan was to make sure that Ruth and Isaiah took their naps during our 90 minute drive to Father Hennepin.


By this time of the year, everyone knows their role for packing up the camper and setting up the camp site, so when we did arrive around 2, we were up and rolling by 2:15 and ready to check out the campground.

Father Hennepin State Park Camp Site
Isaiah knows his role. It’s mowing the camp site.

This was exactly what we were looking for, a heavily wooded campsite with lots of privacy, trails and more. Father Hennepin actually has two different campgrounds. The first, which is the one we stayed in, is heavily wooded and natural. The second has large trees with mowed grass, it kind of has a city park feel to it.

For the rest of the afternoon we hung around our campsite and played games. I cooked some hamburgers, the girls played frisbee, found “Beautiful Rocks” and tried to make friends with neighboring campers while Keegan rode his skateboard around the trails (many of them were paved. We also spent some time filming our first episode of “Beyond The Tent” which you can check out at the bottom of this post.

Father Hennepin State Park
Jaids is playing Frisbee
Honestly, I have no idea what these two are playing...
Honestly, I have no idea what these two are playing…

The next morning we decided it was time to go and check out everything that Father Hennepin had to offer campers. We absolutely loved the trails there, many of them were paved, while others were gravel.

Kelly looking cute!
Kelly looking cute!
Father Hennepin State Park
The Family

Father Hennepin also had a great playground and beach but we really didn’t use either, it was really cold weekend. When we got close the lake, the wind really picked up and everyone decided they didn’t want to stay at the beach or the playground for very long.

Father Hennepin Playground
Kids enjoying a little bit of park time.

With our kids, one mile hikes are really all we can do at a time, anything further and we start to have issues with tired feet and other ailments. But man did we love the trails, they were so beautiful. That was easily our favorite part of the park.

Walking on the trails at Father Hennepin State Park
Father Hennepin State Park

A couple of other notes about Father Hennepin: There are some great fishing docks (which you can see in our video), the bathrooms are nice and clean and park is really kept up well.

Ruthie Hiking
My Hiking Partner
I just think she is cute!
I just think she is cute!

We loved the park and had a really great time.