Each year, Explore Minnesota’s Hike Minnesota campaign picks two of the lesser-known hikes from five different regions in Minnesota — Northwest, Northeast, Central, Metro, and Southern — to inspire residents and travelers to be active by trying a new hiking route.

Rune Stone Park was selected from the Central region. The park stretches across 304 acres of wooded, swelling hills and is the home of the disputed but lionized Runestone. The stone, dating from 1362, was found in 1898 in the roots of an Aspen tree by Olof Öhman when the park was only a farm.

Kensington Runestone Park's visitor center opened its doors in 2018. (Thalen Zimmerman / Alexandria Echo Press)
Kensington Runestone Park's visitor center opened its doors in 2018. (Thalen Zimmerman / Alexandria Echo Press)

The website highlights key features that make the park a must for those looking to get some outdoor adventures under their belt. Features include the newly developed mountain bike trails, the eight-miles of hiking, riding and running trails, and the Nokke Veien trail tucked away on the northeast side of the park between Eng Lake and Start Lake. The park also features a visitor that can be rented out for events and get-togethers as well as the Öhman farm and discovery site of the Rune Stone.

Kensington Rune Stone Park features miles of trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding. (Thalen Zimmerman / Alexandria Echo Press)
Kensington Rune Stone Park features miles of trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding. (Thalen Zimmerman / Alexandria Echo Press)

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According to Glori Rantz with Explore Minnesota, the campaign aims to feature different parks and hikes for those who enjoy the outdoors and promote healthy outdoor activities and living.

“It is fun to find those parks that people may not know about,” said Rantz, “It is really just about promoting all the different areas in our state.”

Kensington Runestone Park is the discovery site for the stone found on Olof Öhman's farm in 1898. (Thalen Zimmerman / Alexandria Echo Press)
Kensington Runestone Park is the discovery site for the stone found on Olof Öhman's farm in 1898. (Thalen Zimmerman / Alexandria Echo Press)

James Feist, former director of Explore Alexandria, an affiliate of Explore Minnesota, describes Rune Stone Park as “a wonderful park, especially in the fall.” Feist suggests checking out the park in the fall for its “beautiful” sugar maples that showcase a wide spectrum of color with their leaves.

James Feist
James Feist

Kensington Rune Stone Park is located at 8965 County Rd 103 SW, Kensington, MN in Solem Township. From Alexandria, go west on Highway 27 for roughly 14 miles until you get to County Highway 103. Go one and a half miles south on Highway 103 to the park entrance road on the left-hand side.