Go for a refreshing dip in the pond at Flandrau State Park along the Cottonwood River or in one of the many swimming pools found in cities of all sizes from Bloomington to Mankato to Dawson. Places like Big Stone State Park offer a sandy beach right on the lake and for more of an adventure the City of Benson features a water park right next to the Chippewa River. There is always a spot to hang a rope off a tree for a little fun (Photo by Ron Bolduan).
Big Stone Lake State Park - http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/big_stone_lake/index.html Found on east side of the Big Stone Lake, this state park has a swimming beach.
Glacial Lakes State Park - http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/glacial_lakes/index.html On the far northwest edge of the basin, this state park has a swimming beach.
Lac qui Parle State Park - http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/lac_qui_parle/index.html Situated at the south end of the lake, this state park has a swimming beach.
Sibley State Park - http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/sibley/index.html North of Willmar, this state park has a swimming beach.
Camden State Park - http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/camden/rec.html Close to Marshall, this state park has a swimming beach.
Flandrau State Park - http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/flandrau/index.html Down along the Cottonwood River in New Ulm, this state park has a swimming pond and historic bathhouse.
Fort Snelling State Park - http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/fort_snelling/index.html At the confluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers, this state park has a handicapped accessible swimming beach on Snelling Lake.
Minnesota Department of Health: Beaches and Recreational Waters in Minnesota - http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/eh/beaches/ This is a good place to start looking for information on public beaches including the Minnesota River Basin.
Minnesota Department of Health: Public Swimming Pools - http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/eh/pools/ Go here to find out information on swimming pools in Minnesota.