Afton State Park

Happy late 4th of July. Oh jeez, it was hot as balls outside on the 4th.

It being independence day and all, Mel and I really wanted to do the most American thing we could think of. But sitting around in our cool air-conditioned living room watching MASH re-runs on MeTV and eating pizza just seemed a bit wasteful of a day off, so we decided to go to the beach instead. We wanted to go someplace we’d never been before, so we just started googling around and found Afton State Park, which offers a “swimming beach” according to the website.

We drove out to the park, and found it to be beautiful and pleasant.

Beautiful Trails.

Except for this:

Sad Trombone.

Nothing says state park like a high-voltage transmission line.

At any rate, we discovered that after you park the car, the beach is about a half-mile walk down some trails.

Fat Lips won’t stop us.

The beach wasn’t what we were expecting, but it turned out to be pretty perfect for us. The beach is actually more of a small sandbar along the river with trees growing all over it. If you were expecting a wide expanse of sand, or great tanning conditions, you’d be disappointed.


But anyone with a toddler knows that direct sun isn’t always the best thing in the world because we don’t want to accidentally burn our daughter and end up likeĀ Tanning Mom.

Shady Beach.

So we enjoyed the shady beach, went swimming in the river, and had plenty of time to play in the sand.

St. Croix River
fun stuff happened

All in all, the beach at Afton State Park turned out to be a pretty family-friendly place to hang out, and great for kids with all the shade (although, the river can be awfully turbulent – keep a close eye out for those kids near the water). The $5 state park entrance fee and 1/2 mile walk kept it uncrowded (even on this hot as balls 4th of July holiday.

How about you, readers? Ever been to Afton State Park? What did you think?

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