By Heather Brown

MINNESOTA (WCCO) – Just under 1% of Minnesota is state or national park land, which places Minnesota 29th compared to other states across the country.

There are six national park sites. Two of those are monuments – Grand Portage and Pipestone. The North Country National Scenic Trail runs through Minnesota. Two miles of St. Croix National Scenic Riverway and 72 miles of the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area are NPS sites. Up near the Canadian border, about 40% of Voyageurs National Park is water.

READ MORE: COVID In Minnesota: 24 More Deaths Confirmed By MDH; 2,434 More Cases

There are 75 state parks and recreation areas. The largest is St. Croix State Park and the smallest is Franz Jevne State Park, which is 116 acres near the Canadian border.

The oldest park is Itasca State Park, which was created in 1895 with land given by the federal government and bought from lumber and railroad companies, according to Rachel Hopper with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

READ MORE: MN Dept. Of Human Rights: Brooklyn Center Police, Michaels Store Discriminated Against Black Teenager

The newest park is Lake Vermillion State Park, which came about after the DNR bought the land from U.S. Steel in 2010.

In Minnesota, the state legislature sets the borders of any state park and passes legislation to create them.

MORE NEWS: Target Lowers Seasonal Hiring Goals Due To Tough Labor Market

In 2020, the most visited state parks in Minnesota were Gooseberry Falls, Whitewater, Tettegouche, Itasca and Interstate.

Heather Brown