Banning State Park in Sandstone, MN was an easy choice for our first family outing of the year. Curtis and I went hiking in Banning last summer and fell in love with the trails and forest surrounding it! (Check out our hiking reviews under "activities") So, needless to say we had to make a stop to stay overnight. It was perfection. Enough of a crispness keep it cozy and bug free, and enough sunshine to make us feel like summer is around the bend. The trails were a bit on the muddy side this time of year, but with good boots it was no problem. We stayed around the park most of the weekend because---well, you just have to see it for yourself! But, we did venture out to get some lunch at a local bar and grill. Nothing beats hanging out with the locals--no one cares who you are or how much you stink like a bonfire. Everyone is just laid back, pulling tabs and enjoying their company. Gosh, we love small towns! We will definitely stop back at Banning in the future and hope to even take a day trip out this summer so the kids can see the falls when it's warm enough to walk in them and play in the water.
Here's some pictures we'll throw at you and a fun video to recap our weekend!