lake maria state park

Lake Maria State Park: Explore Minnesota

Are you ready to immerse yourself in the beauty of the great outdoors? Look no further than Lake Maria State Park, a hidden gem nestled in southern Minnesota. This stunning destination is a haven for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, offering a unique and pristine natural environment to explore. From the breathtaking “Big Woods” forest to the abundance of outdoor activities, Lake Maria State Park has something for everyone.

Key Takeaways:

  • Lake Maria State Park is a hidden gem in southern Minnesota.
  • The park offers a unique and pristine natural environment.
  • Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy a variety of activities.
  • The “Big Woods” forest is a major highlight of the park.
  • Plan your trip today and explore the untouched beauty of Lake Maria State Park.

Essential Information about Lake Maria State Park

Lake Maria State Park

When planning a visit to Lake Maria State Park, it’s important to know some essential information to make the most of your experience. Whether you’re interested in camping, hiking trails, wildlife watching, or birding, this section will provide you with the details you need to plan your trip.

Hiking Trails

The park offers a variety of hiking trails that cater to all skill levels. From easy strolls to challenging treks, there’s something for everyone. You can explore the scenic beauty of Lake Maria State Park while immersing yourself in nature. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the breathtaking views along the way.


If you’re looking to spend the night under the stars, Lake Maria State Park offers year-round camping options. Whether you prefer a drive-in campsite or a hike-in campsite, you’ll find suitable accommodations here. Set up your tent, roast marshmallows over a campfire, and enjoy the tranquility of the park at night.

Wildlife Watching and Birding

As a nature lover, you’ll be in awe of the diverse wildlife and bird species that call Lake Maria State Park home. With over 200 species of birds passing through each year, it’s a paradise for birdwatchers. Grab your binoculars and keep an eye out for the fascinating avian inhabitants. Don’t forget to explore the park’s lakes and forests, where you might spot other wildlife like deer, foxes, and maybe even the threatened Blandings turtle.

Activity Details
Hiking Trails Various trails for all skill levels, showcasing the park’s scenic beauty
Camping Year-round camping options, including drive-in and hike-in campsites
Wildlife Watching Opportunities to spot diverse wildlife, including the threatened Blandings turtle
Birding Over 200 bird species passing through the park each year

As you plan your visit to Lake Maria State Park, keep these essential details in mind to ensure a memorable experience. Whether you’re hitting the trails, setting up camp, or observing the park’s wildlife, you’ll be immersed in the natural beauty of this remarkable destination.

Park Highlights

nature photography

As you explore Lake Maria State Park, you will discover a range of highlights that make this destination truly special. From unique wildlife sightings to picturesque picnic areas, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Biodiversity and Nature Conservation

One of the park’s standout features is its diverse array of wildlife. Keep your eyes peeled for the threatened Blandings turtle, which calls the park’s lakes home. These gentle creatures are a treat to encounter and are a testament to the park’s commitment to nature conservation.

Lake Maria State Park also offers a haven for nature photographers. Capture breathtaking shots of the park’s scenic lakes, lush forests, and abundant wildlife. The untouched beauty of the park provides endless opportunities for stunning nature photography.

Picnic Areas for Relaxation

After a day of exploration, take advantage of the well-maintained picnic areas scattered throughout the park. Enjoy a leisurely meal surrounded by the serene beauty of nature. Whether you’re picnicking with family or seeking a peaceful solo retreat, these picnic areas provide the perfect setting for relaxation.

With its commitment to nature conservation, stunning photography opportunities, and peaceful picnic areas, Lake Maria State Park is a destination that should not be missed. Immerse yourself in the natural splendor of this remarkable park and create lasting memories.

Park Highlights Features
Biodiversity and Nature Conservation Threatened Blandings turtle sightings, nature photography opportunities
Picnic Areas for Relaxation Well-maintained areas for peaceful meals in nature

Activities at Lake Maria State Park

hiking at Lake Maria State Park

If you’re looking for outdoor adventure, Lake Maria State Park has plenty to offer. From scenic hiking trails to camping under the stars, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or a beginner camper, this park has activities to suit all skill levels.

Hiking: Lace up your boots and explore the park’s 13 miles of hiking trails. From gentle paths that meander through the forest to more challenging routes with breathtaking views, there’s a trail for every hiker. Keep your eyes peeled for native wildlife along the way!

Camping: Experience the great outdoors with a camping trip at Lake Maria State Park. Choose from drive-in campsites for easy access to amenities or hike-in campsites for a more secluded experience. Spend your evenings around the campfire, roasting marshmallows and sharing stories with family and friends.

Wildlife Watching: Lake Maria State Park is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts. Grab your binoculars and look out for deer, foxes, and a variety of bird species. Whether you’re exploring the hiking trails or relaxing at your campsite, keep your camera handy for those unforgettable encounters.

Hiking Trails at Lake Maria State Park

Trail Name Difficulty Level Distance
Maple Loop Trail Easy 1.5 miles
Oak Ridge Trail Moderate 3 miles
Basswood Challenge Trail Difficult 5 miles
Heron Pond Trail Easy 2.5 miles

Whether you’re seeking a leisurely stroll or an adrenaline-pumping hike, Lake Maria State Park has a trail perfect for you. Lush forests, serene lakes, and vibrant wildlife await you on your adventure. So pack your bags, lace up your boots, and get ready to explore the natural wonders of Lake Maria State Park.

Accommodations at Lake Maria State Park

I had the pleasure of exploring Lake Maria State Park, and I was impressed by the range of accommodations available to visitors. Whether you prefer camping or a cozy cabin, this park offers options that cater to different preferences.

For those who love camping, Lake Maria State Park has both drive-in and hike-in campsites. The drive-in campsites are perfect for families or individuals looking for a convenient camping experience. The hike-in campsites, on the other hand, provide a more secluded and immersive experience in nature. Whichever option you choose, you’ll be surrounded by the park’s serene beauty and have easy access to hiking trails and other amenities.

Looking for a rustic yet comfortable accommodation? Lake Maria State Park also offers camper cabins. These cabins provide a cozy retreat after a day of outdoor adventures. They are equipped with the essentials, including beds, a kitchenette, and heating. It’s a fantastic option for those who want a bit more comfort while still being close to nature.

To reserve your preferred accommodation, visit the Lake Maria State Park website and make your reservation online. It’s a simple and convenient way to secure your spot and plan your visit ahead of time. Whether you’re a camping enthusiast or prefer a cabin experience, Lake Maria State Park has accommodations that will ensure a memorable stay in the heart of Minnesota’s natural beauty.

With such a wide range of accommodations available, Lake Maria State Park is the perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. It offers a variety of experiences, from camping under the stars to enjoying the comfort of a cabin surrounded by the park’s breathtaking scenery. Plan your trip today and immerse yourself in the untouched beauty of Lake Maria State Park.

Image source:

Exploring the Area

nearby parks and trails image

When visiting Lake Maria State Park, it’s worth taking the time to explore the surrounding area and discover nearby parks and trails. These additional destinations can provide even more opportunities for outdoor adventures and appreciation of the natural beauty of southern Minnesota.

One popular nearby park is Lake Rebecca Park Reserve, located just a short drive from Lake Maria State Park. This expansive park offers a variety of recreational activities, including hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. With its picturesque lakes, rolling hills, and diverse ecosystems, Lake Rebecca Park Reserve provides a scenic backdrop for outdoor enthusiasts to explore.

Another nearby park worth exploring is Baker Park Reserve, which is situated along the shores of Lake Independence. This park offers a range of amenities and activities, including hiking trails, a swimming beach, and picnic areas. Visitors to Baker Park Reserve can also rent boats and explore the lake, or simply relax and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.

By venturing beyond Lake Maria State Park, you can extend your outdoor adventures and discover even more of the natural wonders that southern Minnesota has to offer. Whether it’s hiking, birdwatching, or simply enjoying a picnic in the great outdoors, the nearby parks and trails provide endless opportunities for exploration and enjoyment.

Services and Facilities

Lake Maria State Park Interpretive Display

When planning a visit to Lake Maria State Park, you can expect a range of services and facilities to enhance your experience. From informative exhibits to convenient amenities, the park provides everything you need for a memorable trip.

History and Interpretive Displays

Immerse yourself in the park’s rich history by exploring the interpretive displays and exhibits. Learn about the indigenous people who once inhabited this land and the early settlers who shaped the area. Through captivating stories and visually engaging exhibits, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of Lake Maria State Park and its significance.

Planning Your Visit

With online reservations available, planning your visit to Lake Maria State Park is convenient and hassle-free. Secure your campsite or camper cabin in advance to ensure a comfortable stay amidst nature’s beauty. The park’s website offers additional resources to help you make the most of your visit, including maps, trail conditions, and helpful tips for exploring the park.

Facilities and Amenities

During your visit, you’ll find well-maintained restroom facilities conveniently located throughout the park. Take advantage of the picnic areas to enjoy a meal in a serene and picturesque setting. Whether you’re planning a day trip or an extended camping adventure, Lake Maria State Park provides the facilities and amenities you need for a comfortable and enjoyable stay.

Table: Park Services and Facilities

Facility/Service Description
Interpretive Displays and Exhibits Learn about the park’s history and natural features through informative exhibits and interpretive displays.
Online Reservations Make reservations for campsites or camper cabins conveniently through the park’s website.
Maps and Resources Access maps, trail conditions, and additional resources to help plan your visit and navigate the park.
Restroom Facilities Well-maintained restrooms conveniently located throughout the park for visitors’ convenience.
Picnic Areas Enjoy a meal in the midst of nature at the park’s scenic and well-equipped picnic areas.


Lake Maria State Park is a hidden gem in southern Minnesota, offering a unique and pristine natural environment for outdoor enthusiasts to explore. Whether you’re a nature lover, an avid hiker, or simply looking for a peaceful escape, this park has something for everyone.

From the moment you step foot in Lake Maria State Park, you’ll be captivated by its untouched beauty. The park’s vast hiking trails invite you to discover stunning landscapes, from dense forests to picturesque lakeshores. Camping under the starry night sky is a truly magical experience, immersing you in the tranquil ambiance of the park.

If wildlife is your passion, Lake Maria State Park won’t disappoint. With its diverse ecosystem, the park is a haven for birdwatchers and wildlife enthusiasts alike. Capture breathtaking moments with your camera as you encounter fascinating wildlife species, including the threatened Blandings turtle.

So, why wait? Plan your trip to Lake Maria State Park today and embark on an unforgettable adventure. Whether you’re seeking thrilling outdoor activities or a serene retreat in nature, this hidden gem is the perfect destination to satisfy your wanderlust. Come and immerse yourself in the untouched beauty of Lake Maria State Park.


Is Lake Maria State Park open all year-round?

Yes, Lake Maria State Park is open year-round for camping and day use.

Are there hiking trails in Lake Maria State Park?

Yes, the park offers a variety of hiking trails, ranging from easy to challenging, that take visitors through the scenic beauty of the park.

What wildlife can be spotted in the park?

Lake Maria State Park is home to unique wildlife, including the threatened Blandings turtle, which can be spotted in the park’s lakes.

Can I go camping at Lake Maria State Park?

Yes, camping is available at the park, with both drive-in and hike-in campsites.

What other outdoor activities are available at the park?

Besides hiking and camping, visitors can enjoy wildlife watching, birding, and nature photography at Lake Maria State Park.

Are there picnic areas in the park?

Yes, there are well-maintained picnic areas throughout the park, providing a perfect setting for a family picnic.

What are some nearby parks and trails to explore?

Some popular nearby parks and trails include Lake Rebecca Park Reserve and Baker Park Reserve.

Are there facilities available at Lake Maria State Park?

Yes, the park offers facilities such as restrooms and picnic areas for visitors.

How can I plan a visit to Lake Maria State Park?

Planning a visit is made easy with online reservations available and additional resources provided by the park.

Source Links

Scroll to Top