The park opened in 1962 to conserve open space and wildlife in the metropolitan area.
Fort Snelling State Park is located at the confluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers. The Dakota called this place Ha-Ha Mdo-Te which translates to "junction of two rivers" and from which the town of Mendota got its name.
Fort Snelling State Park is adjacent to the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge. Seven major paved bike trails link the park with the surrounding suburbs and cities.
Situated near Historic Fort Snelling, the park is also adjacent to the Twin Cities International Airport and ranks as one of Minnesota's top 10 tourist attractions, with an average of over 400,000 annual visitors.
There are 18 miles of hiking trails, 5 miles of biking trails, snowshoe and canoe rentals, picnicking, fishing, boating, and swimming. Fishing licenses are not required for Minnesota residents fishing on Snelling Lake but are required in other water bodies within the park. Out-of-state park users will need to purchase a license to fish at any site in the park. Fishing licenses are not available for purchase in the park but can be purchased electronically or at other locations around the state.
GPS units and fishing poles are available for checkout.
Winter activities abound. This park offers 12 miles of groomed and tracked ski trails, six miles of trail packed for multiple use and dog sledding and skijoring is permitted on seven miles of trail on the Dakota County side of the park. Ice Fishing is allowed on Gun Club Lake and Snelling Lake. Heated trail shelters are available at Picnic Shelter A and the park's Visitor Center. MN Ski Pass available for purchase. Drinking water and toilets available year-round.
Open year-round, 8 a.m. - 10 p.m.
There is a daily entrance fee of $5.00 or an annual pass for $25.00.