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Lac qui Parle State Park 

Lac qui Parle State Park is located in the Prairies region of southwestern Minnesota near Watson, Granite Falls, and Montevideo.

Lac Qui Parle State Park

How to Get to Lac qui Parle State Park:  Drive approximately ½ mile north of Watson on U.S. Highway 59. Turn left on County Road 13 and follow the signs to the park entrance.

Park Highlights:

  • Lac qui Parle Lake is a primary feature of the park. The name is a translation from the Dakota Indian language: “The Lake That Speaks.” Some say that is because this lake, created by a wide spot in the Minnesota River, attracts migrating flocks of up to 150,000 geese whose honking “chatter” fills the air during some seasons.
  • Adjacent to the park is the 34,000-acre Lac qui Parle Wildlife Management area that stretches for 25 miles along the river. The nesting grounds attract many species of birds, including white pelican and prairie chickens. Bald eagles congregate in winter and can be seen feeding below the Lac qui Parle Dam.
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Lac qui Parle’s Natural Attractions: Three interconnected bodies of water (the Minnesota River, Lac qui Parle Lake, and Lac qui Parle River) attract wildlife and people who love wildlife.

Things to Do in Lac qui Parle State Park: Drive-in boat access makes it easy for anglers, canoers, and kayakers to get on the lake or rivers. Enjoy the swimming beach and stargazing at night from the Upper campground.   

Hiking trails include 7 miles of relatively easy, flat trails through some great bird watching and wildlife viewing areas of the park. In addition, there are 5 miles of horse trails, and 5 miles of trail are groomed in winter for cross-country skiing. Snowshoeing is permitted throughout the park, except on groomed trails. Picnic areas in the park include one that overlooks the lake, and two open shelters near the lower campground. One enclosed shelter has electricity and a fireplace. This shelter serves as a warming house in winter.

Camping in Lac qui Parle State Park: There are two main campgrounds. The Upper campground has 43 drive-in sites; 37 with electrical hookups.  The Lower campground has 24 sites; 10 with electrical hookups. There are also 3 cart-in sites in the Upper campground and 2 tent-only group camps that accommodate up to 50 people each. Three heated camper cabins are available year-round. Call the park to inquire about reservations. Amenities in campground areas include picnic tables, fire rings, grills, drinking water, showers, flush and vault toilets, and a dump station.  

Lac qui Parle State Park

More Attractions in This Region:  Just outside the park you can visit the Lac qui Parle Mission, the first church erected in Minnesota, now operated by the Minnesota Historical Society. One mile up the road, an overlook provides a view of the original Fort Renville site, a fur trading post that operated until the 1830s. 

Visit Pipestone Natural Monument where Native Americans quarry for pipestone and create pipestone pipes.

Make a side trip to Jeffers Petroglyphs.

Other State Parks in This Region of Minnesota: Big Stone Lake State Park > Upper Sioux Agency State Park > Fort Ridgely State Park > Camden State Park > Lake Shetek State Park

A complete guide to Minnesota state parks is our own Kindle book Minnesota State Parks: From Afton to Zippel Bay

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Watson, MN 56295

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