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Staycation Itinerary: A day in the outdoors with kids at Memorial Park

With the high gas prices, not only is a day in the City of Granite Falls-owned Memorial Park a short drive, but offers a new state-of-the-art play­ ground for children.

The park is the second oldest park in Granite Falls, and sits on 141 acres of land. Inside the park that sits along the Min­nesota River, there is a large stone shelter house for gatherings, as well as an exercise walking trail that offers a vari­ety of infographics explaining how to use the various equip­ment provided along the trail.

Across the road however, exists a state-of-the-art play­ground that was installed last summer that features a rope climbing opportunity, as well as a zip-line. The park also fea­tures trails that contain geologi­cal outcroppings of some of the oldest rock on earth, as well as the opportunity to view a vari­ety of native species of plants and trees that are specific to this region.

According to the City of Granite Falls website, “In 2016 the park became a regionally designated facility through the Greater Minnesota Regional Parks & Trails Commission. As a National Resource Based Park, Memorial Park has qualified for multiple grants award­ed by the Greater Minnesota Regional Parks & Trails Com­mission through the Water, Land & Legacy Amendment.”

Memorial Park is located on Minnesota Hwy 67.

Memorial Park Itinerary

What to pack: A camera, play clothes for children, a ther­mos with coffee, a good book, a first aid kit just in case), bug spray, a picnic of fresh fruits and vegetables, a tablecloth, plenty of water for hydrating.

Morning: While the guests are fresh, take the opportunity with the morning light to take some family photos near the rock outcroppings just down the gravel road from the playground. Moss and wild ferns grow along tall granite rock formations that make a nice backdrop. Trees provide shade from overhead sun to provide the right lighting for a photo session.

Late morning: Let the children burn off some energy at the newly installed playground. Between the rope climbing op­portunities, balance beams and a short zip-line, they’re sure to be occupied with some time. Be sure to have your camera ready for their maiden voyage on the zip-line, as it can be an exciting experience for first­ time riders. Enjoy a good book and cup of coffee while they play.

Lunch: Pack a picnic and utilize one of the multiple shelter houses that exist at the park. Don’t forget a 1ablecloth for some added ambiance.

Afternoon: Take a leisure­ly stroll on the nature trail to walk off your lunch. Follow the unmarked but easily vis­ible trail up the hill from the playground. The trail goes up through a wooded landscape before meeting an open prai­rie area. Cross straight over the open area to continue the trail, following the sign that says “Lookout.” At the end of the trail exists a granite rock outcropping that overlooks the valley below, with additional large outcroppings and water. Along the path, identify the native plants, flowers and trees that grow.

Late Afternoon: Stroll along the river and watch the geese and pelicans enjoy the water. Take in the exercise op­portunities along the trail on the riverside of Memorial Park.

For even more of a look at this itinerary, follow the QR code at the end of this article.

Enjoy a ride on the zip line at Memorial Park.

Large rock outcroppings make a backdrop for family photos.


Reporter & photography by Jessica Stolen-Jacobson