Plan your weekend with these Minnesota hikes and dog friendly breweries across the state
It’s that time again! We’re back with more recommendations for Minnesota state park hiking and breweries, perfect for weekend excursions and camping trips! We’ve been working towards a goal of visiting all 66 Minnesota state parks, and in the process, we’ve gotten to see most of the state. We love to grab a quick drink as a treat after our hikes are complete - bonus if the breweries are dog friendly so we can bring Bert and Ernie along.
For more perfect pairings of craft breweries and state parks, check out these posts:
Scenic State Park + Klockow Brewing Company (Grand Rapids, MN)
At nearly 4 hours from the Twin Cities, Scenic State Park is a great addition to your road trip to International Falls or even a side jaunt from a trip to Ely. However you choose to visit, the Chase Point Trail is the perfect way to sample what Scenic State Park has to offer. Perched on an esker, a high ridge formed thousands of years ago by a river running through a glacier, the trail provides great (dare we say…scenic) views of both Sandwick and Coon Lakes. Keep going past the bench through the old growth pine stands to get to a lovely overlook. The out and back trail is a little shy of 2 miles round trip.
Klockow Brewing Company is about 45 minutes south of Scenic State Park in Grand Rapids, MN. This brewery is dog friendly inside as well as on their biergarten patio! Bert and Ernie were made so welcome when we visited with a special water bowl and plenty of treats. Klockow has 18+ rotating taps; we were impressed with the variety of styles including some more obscure beers like a rauchbier smoked lager. Check the website for visiting food truck schedule and live music on the large taproom stage!
Charles Lindbergh State Park + Starry Eyed Brewing (Little Falls, MN)
This park is named not after the famous aviator who made the first trans-Atlantic crossing, but after his father! Charles A. Lindbergh, Sr. was a longtime Minnesota legislator, and his home (the boyhood home of Lindbergh, Jr.) has been preserved since 1931. This park actually has two geographically separate units, but the main park has the campground as well as the 2.4 mile Hiking Club trail through pine forest. We appreciated the width of the trails - great for side by side snowshoeing!
Starry Eyed Brewing is a short 10 minute drive from the park in Little Falls. This brewery is dog friendly inside and outside on their massive patio where many verticals of hops growing provide shade in the summer and fall. When you’re inside, look up at the cool ceiling decor of malt bags from all over the world. Starry Eyed had more than 30 taps with beer, seltzer, and cider - something for everyone!
Lake Bronson State Park + Revelation Ale Works + Far North Spirits (Hallock, MN)
Not for the windshield weary, this road trip will take you to the tippy top of the state in the far northwestern corner of Minnesota! It's about a 6 hour drive tp this part of the state from the Twin Cities, and you'll end up just 20 miles south of the Canadian border. We camped at Lake Bronson State Park in early October 2022 about a week before fall colors peaked. The group camp site was completely secluded with its own entrance and parking lot, not to mention the incredible WPA-era dining hall building on site! The 3.4 mile loop Hiking Club Trail includes a nice variety of lakeside walk, prairie, and woods.
Just 20 minutes from the park is Revelation Ale Works in Hallock, MN. This cute service-station-turned-brewery has a dog friendly patio and 10 rotating taps. Their sours and New England IPAs are both creative and delicious! We love the mission of RevAle (as the locals call it) - to create jobs in their ultra-rural setting. In a town of 981, visitors stand out, and we were happy to chat with several folks who stopped to ask what brought us to town and give some pats to Bert and Ernie.
5 minutes down the road from RevAle is Far North Spirits, the northernmost distillery in the contiguous United States. Far North boasts a totally glam, Scandi dream of a tasting room where you can try cocktails made with grains grown less than a mile from the spot you’re sitting. It’s also the first distillery to be Bee Friendly Farm certified by Pollinator Partnership, which means that the farm consciously provides things like nesting habitat, clean water, and varied nutrition for bees. Dogs are welcome to join you for a drink on the patio. This is no spur of the moment drop in though - it’s a 6 hour drive from the Twin Cities to Hallock, and Far North’s tasting room is only open on Saturdays from 5-9pm.
Remember to plan ahead when you bring your dog to a brewery or distillery. Make sure you keep your pup on leash and respect other patrons who may not want to meet your dog! For more tips on bringing your dog to a brewery, see this post: Everything You Need to Know About Bringing Your Dog to a Brewery. And of course, always drink responsibly!
Where are you exploring next in Minnesota?