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Sand Dunes State Forest

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Sand Dunes
Sand Dunes
Sand Dunes
Sand Dunes

Sand Dunes State Forest, Minnesota

When the dust bowl came to Minnesota, the area now known as Sand Dunes State Forest was blanketed in a snow-like powder that hung in the air and blanketed porches. Folks wanted to settle that ish Read more...

When the dust bowl came to Minnesota, the area now known as Sand Dunes State Forest was blanketed in a snow-like powder that hung in the air and blanketed porches. Folks wanted to settle that ish down, so they petitioned the government to plant more hardwood and conifer trees in the area, which is how Sand Dunes was born. It’s got a north woods vibe, without all the driving (and mosquitoes) you’ll find up north. Less than an hour from the Twin Cities, it’s just a few miles from some fun small-town America times in Elk River (put-put and arcade games, anyone?)

The forest is also right next to Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge, a plot of land where 58 species of mammals roam and hikers can pick berries and mushrooms along the trails for personal consumption. The refuge is for day-use only, so the over-nighters at Sand Dunes are often in town just to see the wildlife. Make friends, forage snacks, or just make the most of all that dust on one of the forest’s sandy beaches!

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Browse camping spots nearby —
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