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Minnesota state parks get 2 new campgrounds, new chance to see bison

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Footbridge at Whitewater State Park
Ryan Ingebritsen leads hikers over a footbridge at Whitewater State Park on a song path tour.
Marc Sanchez for MPR News 2010

New campgrounds, a new water trail and a new chance to see bison are coming to the Minnesota State Parks and Trails system this year.

The Department of Natural Resources says two new campgrounds will open this summer at the Lake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park in northeastern Minnesota and Whitewater State Park in the southeast.

A yearling bull has joined the bison herd at Minneopa State Park in south-central Minnesota. The animals can often be seen on a two-mile drive through the park's new bison range.

For paddlers, the new 20-mile Shell Rock River State Water Trail begins at Fountain Lake in south-central Minnesota.

Minnesota state park visits hit a record 10 million in 2016. Gov. Mark Dayton's budget includes fee increases to help maintain the system.