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Big Stone Lake State Park

Big Stone Lake State Park

Big Stone Lake State Park is a Minnesota State Park that stretches for 26 miles along the Minnesota – South Dakota border in the Southern Prairies region of the state.

Some have called Big Stone Lake "an oasis in the prairie."

How to Get to Big Stone Lake State Park:

Drive about 6 miles northwest from Ortonville to the park entrance.

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Park Highlights:

  • Big Stone Lake is the source of the Minnesota River, which flows east from here and joins the Mississippi River at Fort Snelling State Park in the Twin Cities.
  • The Park is divided into two distinct areas. Meadowbrook is where you will find the drive-in camping loop with camp sites, a picnic area, a swimming beach, and a boat launch. The Bonanza Scientific and Natural Area is where the interpretive center is located. You will be able to see what the land looked like before the area was settled. This area has more primitive camping areas.

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Big Stone Lake's Natural Attractions:

Big Stone Lake attracts people who like to fish. The lake yields walleye, northern pike, bluegills, perch, and channel catfish. A hike through the Bonanza area will let you experience some of the state's rare undisturbed prairie. The wooded Hiking Club Trail along the lakeshore will bring you to tiny Benkowski Falls. Half-mile long Bluebird Trail offers the park's best wildflower viewing.

Things to Do in Big Stone Lake State Park:

If you come for the fishing, the park offers boat rentals and great access to the lake. A swimming beach is just east of the boat landing. Discover more about the area's history at the Bonanza Education Center. There are two picnic areas in the park.

Get a camping tent and other needed camping gear to outfit your state park vacation.

Camping in Big Stone Lake State Park:

Lakeside campsites include 37 campsites for tents and RVs; ten sites have electric hookups. There is 1 hike-in group campsite that can accommodate up to 20 people. Fresh water, showers, flush and vault toilets, and a dump station are all available.

More Attractions in This Region:

Visit the Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge. This haven for migrating birds is a huge draw for bird watchers. The more than 11,000 acres in the refuge include 1,700 acres of native prairie. One way to experience this area is to drive the six miles along the Prairie Drive Auto Tour.

In late summer or early autumn, drive along the Big Stone lakeshore through the apple orchards north of Ortonville. Read reviews of other attractions near Ortonville, Minnesota.

Other State Parks in This Region of Minnesota:

Lac qui Parle State Park > Upper Sioux Agency State Park > Fort Ridgely State Park

Minnesota State Parks Guidebooks


35889 Meadowbrook State Park Road
Ortonville, MN 56278
Phone: 320-839-3663
Fax: 320-839-3676

We Wrote the Book on Minnesota State Parks

Big Stone Lake State Park

Related Pages:

Voyageurs National Park

Boundary Waters Minnesota Vacation

Minnesota National Parks and Forests

Minnesota Camping

Minnesota State Parks Maps, Reservations and Reviews

Campgrounds in Minnesota

Minnesota Campgrounds

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