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Lake Maria State Park 

Lake Maria State Park is located in the Heartland region of Minnesota near Monticello and St. Cloud.

Lake Maria State Park

How to Get to Lake Maria State Park:  Drive west from Monticello on County Road 39 NE for 5.7 miles to County Road 111. Turn right and drive for 0.7 miles to the park entrance.

Park Highlights:

  • More than 1,500 acres of Minnesota’s “Big Woods” are preserved here. The forest provides a wilderness experience close to the Metro area, and you can camp in a shady forest of hardwoods that include oak, basswood, and maple. Visit in autumn for beautiful displays of fall fo
  • Small lakes dot this park and are scattered among the rolling, wooded hills. Wildflowers bloom lavishly in spring and summer. The lakes and ponds provide many attractive spots for the backpackers who come here to camp.   
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Lake Maria’s Natural Attractions: Park habitat provides a home for the endangered Blanding’s turtle. You will recognize them by the bright yellow spots on their shells. Egrets, swans, ospreys, and eagles may be spotted. Look up into the trees and you will likely see some eagle nests.

Things to Do in Lake Maria State Park: There is a swimming beach, fishing pier, canoe access, and picnic area on Lake Maria. The smaller lakes in the park are too marshy for water sports, except for Bjorkland Lake, which has walk-in canoe access.

There are 14 miles of hiking trails that wind through the forest areas, and 6 miles of horse trails. Two self-guided trails include a boardwalk through the marsh and the Forest Shadow Trail. In winter, 14 miles of trails are groomed for cross-country skiing. You will also find 2 miles of skate-skiing trails, 3 miles of packed snowshoeing trails, and 3 miles of packed hiking trails. A small skating pond near the Trail Center is lit for evening skating. The Trail Center serves as a warming house in winter.

Camping in Lake Maria State Park: Campsites are available for backpackers and horseback riders only. The 17 secluded backpack campsites are accessed by a one to two mile hike from the park entrance. Sites in the Big Woods loop trail are as much as a mile apart.

Other lodging in the park includes 3 rustic camper cabins and 2 tent-only group campsites that accommodate up to 50 people each. Call the park for reservations. Backpack sites and camper cabins are available year-round. Flush toilets are available in the Trail Center and vault toilets can be found throughout the park.

More Attractions in This Region: Visit Saint Cloud and take a walk through the Munsinger and Clemens Gardens. Stroll through Riverside Park, located alongside the Mississippi River. Stop in at the Stearns History Museum. Children will enjoy Summerland Fun Park’s mini golf, go karts, and waterslide.

Other State Parks in This Region of Minnesota: Charles A. Lindbergh State Park > Crow Wing State Park > Mille Lacs Kathio State Park > Father Hennepin State Park


11411 Clementa Avenue Northwest
Monticello, MN 55362
Phone: 763-878-2325

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

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Minnesota State Parks: From Afton to Zippel Bay

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