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Minnesota State Parks

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Twin Cities - Metro Region
Lake Maria State Park
Lake Maria State Park © Nancy Bauer
Common Loon ©
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11411 Clementa Avenue Northwest
Monticello, Minnesota   55362

Phone: 763-878-2325
Toll Free: 888-646-6367
Reservations: 866-857-2757
Email: park email button icon
Visitors who come to Lake Maria State Park will enjoy one of the few remaining stands of the "Big Woods," a maple, oak and basswood forest that once covered part of southern Minnesota.

The park is perfect for hikers, backpackers, horseback riders, and cross-country skiers who enjoy the challenge of the rolling terrain. Take a stroll on the boardwalk which winds through a marsh.

Backpack sites, located on remote lakes and ponds throughout the park, are just two miles from the trailhead parking lot. New log camper cabins, located near lakes and ponds, provide bunk beds for six people and a table and benches for campers who want more of the creature comforts.

Lake Maria State Park is home to the Blandings turtle, easily identified by bright yellow spots on its shell. It is one of Minnesota's threatened species.
History of the Area
The Big Woods was a forest that once occupied 3,030 square miles in south-central Minnesota. The forest was comprised of maple, basswood, white and red elm, red oak, tamarack, and red cedar on the banks of numerous lakes. The trees were so thick that sunlight couldn't penetrate to the forest floor in some spots. French explorers called the forest "Bois Grand" or "Bois Fort." Later, settlers altered the name to the "Big Woods." Today, farms, towns, suburbs, and industry have replaced much of the Big Woods. Fortunately, Lake Maria State Park retains a remnant of the grandness of the original Big Woods.
Anglers can enjoy fishing in the park's three lakes, Maria, Bjorkland and Mud. The waters are home to various species including northern pike, largemouth bass and panfish such as bluegill. Ice fishing is also popular during winter months for those seeking a unique experience.

Lake Maria State Park offers scenic picnic areas with tables and fire rings amidst oak forests and rolling hills.
Birding enthusiasts can explore diverse habitats, including forests and wetlands. Look for warblers, woodpeckers, owls, and waterfowl. Hiking trails offer excellent bird-watching opportunities throughout the year. Spring migration brings an abundance of songbirds to observe. Winter visitors might spot trumpeter swans or pileated woodpeckers among others.

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Nearby Hotels

The park may be reached from the south via Highway 39 and Wright County Road 111, or from the north via Highway 8, 39 and County Road 111.

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Minnesota State Parks