Greater Mankato is a community that provides opportunities to be active and adventurous at every corner all year-round. But one of the best ways to experience the true surroundings is to slow down and enjoy one of our many local parks and gardens. Rich in natural and historic areas these sites have been developed into more than 900 acres of quality park and recreation areas. We are proud to point out that many local parks are attractions in themselves.
City of Mankato Community Parks
City of North Mankato Parks
Blue Earth County Parks, Campgrounds & Trails
Nicollet County Parks
** adding part on how to make reservations **
Minneopa State Park
You could spend hours watching the double waterfall, hike along the trails that encircle the falls, picnic in the park, watch the birds and other wildlife, visit Seppman Mill, an abandoned windmill, and camp in one of the picturesque sites. Don’t forget the state park’s newest residents on Bison Drive. This bison herd has high quality genetics descending from the type of bison Lewis and Clark gazed upon in the 1830s. The Bison Drive Road is open Thursday-Tuesday, closed on Wednesdays, and drive hours vary by season, so please check the park website for current hours.
Take a virtual tour of Minneopa State Park. Go>
** link to own page because it is a State Park **
Sibley Park – [In City Center Mankato]
Nestled between the Minnesota and Blue Earth Rivers, Sibley Park is one of the oldest parks in Greater Mankato, once featuring a horse racing track, regional zoo, museum and clay tennis courts. Now featuring an agricultural theme, the park has been recognized as having one of the coolest playgrounds in the state by NewsCastic. To add to the theme, there is a petting zoo with farm animals typically including, alpacas, goats, peacocks, lambs, chicks, as well as Koi fish in the pond. More features of this beautiful, historic place include beautiful walking trails through the park and along the river, gorgeous flower and stone gardens, HealthBeat outdoor exercise equipment and a bandshell that is utilized in the summer months to host the Mankato Area Community Band and more! In the winter, take a sled and delight in a large sledding hill for everyone to enjoy! Coming festively aglow, the park is decorated with more than 1 million lights and dancing displays during the month-long Kiwanis Holiday Lights event.
Riverfront Park – [In City Center Mankato]
Riverfront Park has been recognized as one of Minnesota’s best outdoor music venues. It plays host to variety of events and festivals for people to enjoy. The Grand Lawn and amphitheater provide seating for more than 12,000 and can accommodate a variety of performances with the portable canopy. Access to the river and trail head building filled with information for recreational enthusiasts, a playground and public art are just some of the amenities to be enjoyed at the park. The Minnesota River Trail, Sakatah Singing Hills State Trail, and Red Jacket trail intersect in the park serving as a connection to more than 60 miles of on- and off-road trail with great views of the Minnesota River and the City Center.
Land of Memories Park
This park features trails that wind through the woods and along the Blue Earth and Minnesota Rivers. Campers can find access to the river [LINK] as well as a rustic, relaxing camping experience throughout 100 acres of beautiful scenery surrounding 47 camping sites for both tents and recreational vehicles. This park also has a disc golf course, wide-open spaces for all kinds of activities, a playground, pavilion for rental and several events [LINK] hosted by the City of Mankato.
Spring Lake Park
North Mankato’s Spring Lake Park has all kinds of fun for families. For some water play, check out the newly renovated Spring Lake Park Swim Facility. There are also shelters, trails, playground equipment, sand volleyball courts and ball fields for the warmer months. During the winter, Spring Lake Park opens their warming house for people to go skating on the rink or sliding the sledding hill.
The North Mankato Kiwanis Club along with community members came together to make the dream of an inclusive playground a reality. Positioned next to the North Mankato Miracle League accessible baseball field, the inclusive playground delivers fun for children of all ages and abilities. In addition to PlayBooster® and Weevos® play structures, there are loads of freestanding play components including the ZipKrooz®, Global Motion®, Sway Fun® glider, We-Saw™ and Cozy Dome® among others. Plus, a custom playground net climber uses natural topography to give everyone a chance to reach the top.
Red Jacket Valley Park
Formerly known as the Guaranteed Sand and Gravel Pit, the Red Jacket Valley Park is a scenic area designed for hiking, canoeing, kayaking, paddleboarding, swimming, and picnicking. There is a beach area on the south side of the pond and wooded walking trails throughout the park. Across the road is access to the Red Jacket Trail and Red Jacket Trestle Bridge where you can access the Le Sueur River. The park is located 2.5 miles southwest of Mankato city limits along Old Hwy 66 (CSAH 1). [The pond contains sunfish, crappies, perch, and northern for some fun fishing. **Check this with DNR Website**]
Reconciliation Park [In City Center]
I’m not seeing any content on VM/CCP websites about Reconciliation Park, but there is info on the CityArt website here: https://www.cityartmankato.com/cityart/reconciliation-park/
I’m not seeing any content on VM/CCP websites about Stoltzman Park.
It has access to a regional trail, basketball court, community garden, grills, hard-surface rinks (popular for bike polo), ice rink, playground equipment, and shelters with electricity. In 2019, the park won CCP’s Downtown Detail award.
[In City Center Mankato]. @Crystal Olson
Other Parks [In City Center]
City Center Mankato also features a number of smaller parks that offer beautiful places to gather, relax and enjoy the outdoors, including Malda Farnham Park, Washington Park, Lincoln Park, Vetter Stone Plaza, Jackson Park, Veterans Memorial Park and Civic Center Plaza. With so many parks and trails, a great outdoor experience is just steps away!