GLACIAL LAKES STATE PARK
Stand on top of the scenic glacial hills and experience the vast, open prairie which once dominated Minnesota. Wildflowers and prairie grasses blanket the landscape from spring through fall. Swim, fish or boat (electric motors only) in the fresh, clear waters of 56-acre Mountain Lake. A shady, spacious campground is available; horseback riders and backpack campers can camp at the trail center and at remote sites. Canoe rental available. A picnic area deck overlooks Mountain Lake.
The park is located at a crossroads or transition zone between the original prairie land to the west and the central hardwood forests to the east. Only about 1/10 of 1 percent of the original Minnesota prairie remains. The park preserves a portion of rare native prairie including a wide variety of grasses and forbs such as the big and little bluestem grass, Indian grass, prairie clover, pasque flowers, coneflowers, and goldenrods. Common prairie shrubs include wolfberry and rose. Check at the park office to see what wildflowers might be in bloom during your visit. Enjoy the clear and clean 56-acre Mountain Lake that has its entire watershed inside the park.
Glacial Lakes State Park is located in western Minnesota in a geological area commonly known as the Leaf Hills. This region, a 10- to 19-mile-wide band of glacial hills unlike any other in the state, extends from Detroit Lakes to Willmar. As glacial ice advanced southward, hills and bluffs were sheared off down to the bedrock. When the ice retreated, it deposited the rocks, gravel and dirt once suspended within it.
Many species of prairie and woodland birds make their home at Glacial Lakes. Take the Prairie-Woodland Interpretive Trail or visit marshland areas to see a variety of bird and mammal life. Squirrels, deer, beaver, wood ducks, raccoons, pileated woodpeckers and occasionally coyotes can be seen.
Glacial Lakes was established as a state park in 1963 to preserve the rolling prairies of the area, the comparatively pristine condition of the land and its rich prairie flora. The park preserves a special kind of landform and was an important addition to the Minnesota state park system.