Take your dog on an outing in Aitkin County by visiting Savanna Portage State Park.
When you walk the Savanna Portage Trail, you and your dog will be traveling a historic trail used by fur traders, Dakota and Ojibwe Indians, and explorers more than 200 years ago. The historic trail required a six mile portage across marsh, swamp, and forest which took an average of five days to reach the West Savanna River. Today, you’ll be able to hike a large portion of the Savanna Portage Trail. Currently the eastern 1.6 miles of the trail is minimally maintained.
Savanna Portage State Park has 15,818 acres of rolling hills, lakes, and bogs and the Continental Divide marks the great division of water: water to the west flows into the Mississippi River; water to the east runs into Lake Superior. Visitors can hike the Continental Divide Trail and see forested vistas.
During the summer, enjoy swimming at Loon Lake. If you are a bike enthusiast you can pedal on roads, or on dirt trails designated for mountain bikes. There are four fishing lakes and a river in the park and you are likely to catch panfish, trout and bass.
Winter activities include snowmobiling on about 32 miles of trails. This park is a favorite among cross-country skiers too, with 14 miles of trails, and an additional 6.4 miles available at Remote Solitude, 1 mile south of the park.
Wildlife is plentiful in this park and while walking trails you are likely to see deer, bear, skunk, wolf, moose and coyote. The bog areas of the park attract many small animals and songbirds, especially warblers – is this your “big year” birders? The lakes are home to migrating loons and numerous other waterfowl.
Some pet and horse tips for Minnesota State Parks:
State Parks: Pets
Pets are welcome in Minnesota's state parks but must be kept on a leash of not more than six feet and must be personally attended at all times. No pets other than hearing or seeing-eye dogs or other service animals are allowed in state park buildings, lodging, cabins, camper cabins, on tours, or in beach areas.
Except on state forest roads or forest road right-of-ways, anyone riding a horse on land managed by the DNR—including state parks, state recreation areas, state trails, and state forests—must have a valid horse pass in their possession.
While you are in the area, check out McGregor Minnesota Tourism and see what local flavor tickles your fancy.
All images courtesy of Minnesota DNR Savanna Portage State Park Accessible Virtual Tour.
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