.If you're looking for quiet solitude in the woods, the campgrounds at Banning State Park probably aren't your place. In general, they lack privacy and can be noisy. The sound of I-35 can be heard in the distance, as can frequent trains at night. You can also hear people from the too-close campsites. Our site was one of the better ones, but it was still exposed to the road and the family camping right across from us. If you can, get site #18, one of the few sites that had some privacy. (Avoid 32, 2E, 4E and 6E at all costs.) On the plus side, Banning is a great place for some easy and scenic hikes. The main trails are along the raging Kettle River, and include several historic mining structures. There’s also a great hike to a waterfall that is not to be missed. Another plus is that it’s possible to bicycle from your campsite to the Munger Trail. First, take the access trail in the park (ask at the entrance station), then bike about 4 miles down to Sandstone on the shoulder of the road. Then, cross the interstate to an access trail about a ½ mile down on the left. From the Munger, you can bike down to Hinckley or up to Finlayson, Rutledge, or Willow River. Overall, we had a very nice time at Banning and on the Munger Trail, but will probably continue our search for campgrounds with a little more privacy and less noise.
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