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