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Best of

the Twin Cities

Best Park

Fort Snelling State Park

Spend a day at Fort Snelling State Park — an entire day, from morning till evening — and chances are you'll exhaust yourself before you exhaust all the possibilities of things to do there. For the sheer variety of activities, its profound natural beauty, its historic significance, and all the educational extras of a state park, it's hard to find an equal to Fort Snelling. Bring a bike and explore the park, or pedal a few short miles along the exquisite trail to Minnehaha Falls and back. Or hike over a small bridge and circumnavigate the wilds of Pike Island along a trail that will take you to the confluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers, a place considered sacred by the Dakota Indians. If you start early enough, chances are good you'll see deer wandering in the park. When you return from your hike, haul out a picnic in view of the stunning Snelling Lake, glinting in the sunlight. Take a nap on the wide, sandy beach, then go for a dip in the lake. Morning or evening, try your luck from the fishing pier. And if all that isn't enough, you can wander through the interpretive exhibits in the visitor's center, or hike up a steep trail to the historic fort, where you can spend a couple more hours relearning a fascinating part of the state's early history. Fort Snelling has something for just about everyone, whether you're looking for a day's worth of calorie-burning exercise, a magnificently lazy afternoon of leisure, or an unforgettable family bonding trip with the kids. True, a visit will cost you money — a paltry $5 for a daily parking pass, or $25 for a year-round pass — a small price to pay for maintaining this jewel of a park in the heart of the metro area.

Best Place to Jog (2015) Fort Snelling State Park

Best Urban Hike (2011) Pike Island, Fort Snelling State Park

Best Nature in the City (2009) Fort Snelling State Park

BEST PUBLIC PARK (2006) Fort Snelling State Park

Best Weekend Getaway The Jeffers Petroglyphs

Best College Athlete Trevor Mbakwe

Best Bike Trail West River Parkway

Best Bike Ride Freedom From Pants Ride

Best Bike Shop Penn Cycle

Best Public Golf Course Rush Creek Golf Club

Best Hike Lebanon Hills Regional Park

Best Run The Downtown YMCA track

Best Road Race (Running) Get Lucky 7K and Half Marathon

Best Race City of Lakes Loppet Ski Festival

Best Day Trip Winona

Best Sledding Powderhorn Park

Best Ice Skating Wells Fargo WinterSkate

Best Picnic Spot Minnehaha Falls

Best Dog Park Battle Creek Regional Dog Park

Best Apple Orchard Apple Jack Orchards

Best Gym YWCA of Minneapolis

Best Personal Training Studio APEX Personal Training

Best Outdoors Store Vertical Endeavors

Best Twins Player Joe Mauer

Best Vikings Player Adrian Peterson

Best Timberwolves Player Ricky Rubio

Best Lynx Player Seimone Augustus

Best Wild Player Zach Parise

Best Coach Leslie Frazier, Minnesota Vikings