Dogs are allowed in all of Minnesota’s state parks, provided that they are on a leash six feet or shorter (important not only so your dogs don’t clash with other dogs, but with other animals of all sorts around the woods of Minnesota). Some parks, however, are simply a better fit for a camping trip with Fido; a more perfect place for your pup. You can take your dog for a walk anywhere, but these are the best places to go camping with your pet.

Wild River State Park
39797 Park Trail
Center City, MN 55012
651-583-2125
www.dnr.state.mn.us/WildRiverStatePark

There are many different trails to take your dog on. Both paved and natural trails are available, whichever you prefer for your pet. Wild River also offers very secluded sites to set up camp, with plenty of trees and bushes and greenery to block your dog from other campsites. This might not seem like much, but it keeps your pooch playful without getting stressed out by other people or animals.

(credit: Jupiter Images)

(credit: Jupiter Images)

Cozy Bay Resort
23684 Co Rd 4
Nisswa, MN 56468
888-829-6861
www.cozybay.com

This resort offers everything from swimming areas, great fishing, boats and kayaks available to rent to fantastic accommodations for both indoor and outdoor camping. And yes, you can bring your pet along for the fun. While you do have to register your pets ahead of time, and pay a small fee, it’s more than worth it to make sure your pup can get in on the memories made here.

Nerstrand-Big Woods State Park
9700 170th St E
Nerstrand, MN 55053
507-333-4840
www.dnr.state.mn.us/NerstrandBigWoods

Possibly the most picturesque place on this list, your dog will love the view as much as you do at this park near Northfield. Beautiful flowers bloom in spring, and the vibrant colors of fall make it an almost magical walk for you and your dog. There is also a waterfall where you can sit, relax and cool off. The endless trails and incredible natural colors are probably why it is one of the most popular places in the state for a getaway. Though, be warned: it does get busy come autumn.

Related: Best Places Where Dogs Can Swim In Minnesota

(credit: Jupiter Images)

(credit: Jupiter Images)

Don & Mayva’s Campground
2393 Crow Wing Camp Rd
Brainerd, MN 56401
218-829-6468
www.crowwingcamp.com

There is no extra fee (!) for Fido at this small campground, part of Crow Wing Lake Campground in Brainerd. There is plenty of room to run around and plenty of trails to follow. After a day of running, jumping, splashing, hiking up bluffs and back down, you can use the bathing station to get your dog clean and fresh again, also free of charge. Plus, it’s a smaller campground, so there won’t be as many dogs there to distract or get tangled up with.

St. Croix State Park
30065 St Croix Park Rd
Hinckley, MN 55037
320-384-6591
www.dnr.state.mn.us

This park might have the most diverse options walks, hikes, runs, or however you like to move and groove with your dog. There is plenty of exploring to be done of the different paved and natural trails. The St. Croix area is also one of the most beautiful parts of the state during the fall when the leaves change color. Another bonus: there is plenty of drinking water around for when your pup gets thirsty on hot summer days.

Related: Best Dog Walking Trails In Minnesota

Adrian Schramm is a resident Saint Paul writer with a passion for all things local. Through his work with Saint Paul Almanac and Minneapolis Examiner at Examiner.com, as well as in the kitchens of bars and restaurants around town, he has discovered what truly makes the Twin Cities tick.

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