Beaver Creek Valley State Park Snapshot Tour

Welcome to the Beaver Creek Valley State Park virtual tour! Trails wind through limestone cliffs, offering a glimpse of geological time. The campsites and vistas within the park offer a pleasant experience for the traveler. We hope the tour prompts you to visit the park in person sometime soon.


Photo of a bridge crossing over Beaver Creek.
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Beaver Creek Bridge

The bridge crossing over Beaver Creek is a common starting point for people visiting the park. Just off of the parking area, a swinging bridge provides a great view of the creek and its wildlife. Bright green patches of watercress are found throughout the creek.


Photo of huge limestone bluffs lining the trail.
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Beaver Creek Valley Trail   

Huge bluffs line the trail and represent the unique geologic history of this area. Missed by the last set of glaciers that came through Minnesota, Beaver Creek Valley State Park lies in the driftless region of the state. These limestone bluffs are what remains from the glacial melt.


Photo of one of the numerous bridges crossing the creek.
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Trail Crossings

Numerous bridges cross the creek as you hike along the trails in the park. These crossings provide an opportunity to cool down on a warm summer day or watch herons and muskrats feeding in the water.


Photo of a small restored prairie nestled among the bluffs, showing a glimpse of what the landscape looked like before European settlement.
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Restored Prairie

A small prairie lies nestled among the bluffs, giving hikers a chance to see what the area may have looked like before European settlers entered the region. Through restoration efforts such as prescribed burning and invasive species removal, rare and unique wildflowers have been able to make a return to the park landscape.


Photo of the banks along Beaver Creek, which is a trout stream with good population of naturally reproducing fish.
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Trail Streams

Brown and native brook trout inhabit Beaver Creek and attract anglers who try their luck for these wary fish. Beaver Creek is not stocked with hatchery trout, but it maintains a good population of naturally reproducing fish.


Photo of woodland bluffs and prairie in fall color.
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Native Prairie

In addition to the numerous wildflowers that color the prairie throughout the camping season, several rare wildlife species also inhabit the park. Five-lined skinks make their home among the bluffland prairies and many species of birds, such as the Louisiana waterthrush, visit the park during migration.
 


Photo of a hillside view of the bluffland prairie, which is a diverse ecosystem serving as an important research and study site for university students.
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Quarry Trail Prairie

Bluffland prairies are one of the most diverse ecosystems in Minnesota. Due to rich areas of rare and unusual species, Beaver Creek Valley State Park is listed as a Natural State Park. The park’s unique bluffland prairies serve as research and study sites for university students and non-game wildlife staff.


Photo of native oak savannas along the quarry trail.
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Quarry Trail Oak Savanna

Oak savannas were once commonplace throughout this region as prairies and woodlands met in these oak retreats. Prairie fires would keep these habitats clear of other trees and shrubs. The oaks also provide acorns for the many deer and turkey that live within the park boundaries.


Photo of the park office where visitors enter the Beaver Creek Valley State Park.
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Park Office

Visitors pass by the park office as they enter the park. Stop in with questions, to purchase park permits, or to checkout birding kits from the staff. During the winter, self-registration is available at the kiosk outside of the office if you wish to spend the day snowshoeing or hiking.


Photo of the enclosed shelter located in the park's picnic area.
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Picnic Area

The picnic area provides an enclosed shelter for groups wishing to stay dry on rainy days or open tables and fire rings in the sunshine. A light canopy of leaves provides shade for the multiple tables located throughout this area.


Photo of the interior of the picnic shelter which features a rock fireplace and picnic tables.
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Picnic Shelter

During the winter, this picnic shelter is used as a warming house with a fireplace to warm up toes and fingers after a day out on the trails. The picnic shelter is also home to occasional interpretive programs held throughout the year.


Photo of a unique growth between two trees, joining them together.
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Connected Trees

Just over the river and past the swinging bridge is a unique growth between two trees. Stop and get a picture with them or look for other unusual finds throughout the park.


Photo of the playground area in fall color.
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Parking - Playground

A playground area for children is located near the large parking lot on the edge of the campground. In addition to playground equipment, there is also a sand volleyball court available.


Photo of a vehicle using a water crossing.
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Campground Crossing

Using a special concrete crossing, visitors drive through Beaver Creek to access the campground area. These water crossings are located throughout the campground and provide access to camping spots without changing the flow of the creek. The water is slow moving and depth depends on the season.


Photo of a camper using one of the many a drive-in campsites.
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Drive-in Campsites

If you are looking for comfort away from home, you may enjoy the park’s 42 drive-in campsites (16 of which are electric). A large sanitation building with showers is located within the campground and is open seasonally. Each site offer campers a picnic table and fire ring and most are bordered by tall shade trees.


Photo the exterior of wooden cabin, which is heated and has electricity.
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Camper Cabin

A single camper cabin sits next to Beaver Creek and offers privacy and comfort. The wooden cabin is heated and has electricity, but no running water or restroom. A ramp leads up to an enclosed porch perfect for use on a summer evening. The cabin is available on a seasonal basis. A nearby vault toilet is available to campers.


Photo of the interior of this camper cabin sleeping area.
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Camper Cabin Interior

Warm and inviting, the interior of this camper cabin is well suited for a weekend getaway or a weeklong adventure with family or friends. After a full day of exploring the park, the cabin offers three twin beds and one full-sized bed for a good night’s rest.


Photo of wet area called Big Spring.
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Big Spring

The history of this area once centered on Big Spring. Early farmers used the spring as a cooling system for their milk, cream, butter, and other farm goods. In the 1900s, families began to recreate around the entrance of the spring. Today, the spring helps maintain the high quality stream that trout depend on and wildlife need.


Photo of a tent camper using a campsite that offers a picnic table and fire ring with vault toilets located nearby.
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Non-electric Campsites

Campers who like the peace and quiet will enjoy the park’s 26 non-electric sites. These individual sites were thoughtfully planned out to provide natural privacy to neighboring sites. A picnic table and fire ring are available at each site, and vault toilets can be found nearby.


Photo of one of the six cart-in campsites located at the end of the campground.
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Cart-in Campsites

If you wish to get a little further off the beaten path, the park offers six cart-in campsites located at the end of the campground. A cart is provided to help bring camping gear to your cart-in campsite. These serene sites each contain a picnic table and fire ring, and vault toilets can be found nearby.


Photo of picnic tables located in a group campsite.
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Group Camp

Large family groups, clubs, and scouts also have a place within the park at three available group campsites. Space for tents, additional picnic tables, and nearby vault toilets are all provided for the needs of your group. Fire rings also allow you to sit around the campfire and enjoy time together.


Photo of a view along the Hole-in-Rock Trail.
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Hole-in-Rock Trail Prairie

Another small section of bluffland prairie presents rare wildflowers all season long. Taking hikes along the trail just weeks apart reveals displays of different flowers and colors. This section of trail is always ready to catch your eye with something new.


Photo of the overlook on the Switch Back Trail showing far hills sprinkled with rich autumn colors.
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Switch Back Trail Overlook

A quick hike up the bluff showcases another splendid view of the park. From the overlook on the Switch Back Trail, visitors can enjoy fall colors as they look down upon the red, gold, and yellow of lowland trees.


Virtual Tours

Beaver Creek Valley State Park home page

Legacy Amendment logo

This program is made possible by funds from the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment.