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George H. Crosby Manitou State Park

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Park Info

George H. Crosby Manitou (Man-i-too) is a rugged wilderness park where waterfalls cascade through a volcanic canyon surrounded by forest filled with fir, cedar, spruce, and northern hardwoods. This park offers hiking, camping, fishing, and waterfront views (canoes and kayaks are welcome!).

Since the trails are pretty backwoods, you have the opportunity to see bears, wolves, moose, and deer. There are also plenty of small animals and birds, like snowshoe hare, red squirrels, Canadian jays, sharp-shinned hawks, beaver, and ruffed and spruce grouse. If fish is what you fancy, you can also see Trout (brown, rainbow, and brook) and splake (a hybrid of brook and lake trout) reside in Benson Lake.

There is so much to see and learn about this amazing park, so please check out the website linked below before you go!

All of this info came from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources website, so credit where credit is due. Click here to view the original source.


  • Parking for this park was on a gravel lot with limited space. There is no visitor center, but there is a kiosk with information at the entrance.
  • The bathrooms in this area are vault toilets, basically larger outhouses. They are large, so they could be accessible if needed, but it is not like a modern bathroom. One was located by the parking lot and two more were located at the trailhead/picnic area.
  • Access to the trails were marked with signs, but I would still recommend downloading trail maps since there isn’t cell service or Wi-Fi. A kind backpacker showed us his map and pointed us in the right direction.

Trail Info

Manitou itself (as well as the trails and campgrounds) are located 18 miles off the main highway on a minimally maintained gravel road (at least they admit it haha).

We did the Benson Lake Loop trail, which was about 1.3 miles and had an elevation of about 42 feet. It was a nice, gentle walk on a boardwalk for the majority of the trail, however, there were some steps and trees to maneuver around. This one would be difficult for those with mobility and balance issues. We did use our walking sticks, so that was helpful.
On my rating scale, I would say this one lands in the easy category. It was short, sweet, and hand minimal incline and stairs.

Be safe out there! If you have stuff to say, comment below 🙂 REMEMBER YOUR MAPS AND PASSPORT STAMPS!! Seeyalaterbye <3

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