Lake Maria State Park
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 one to two miles from the trailhead parking. 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.
Tell me more about this park's wildlife, history, geology and landscape.
Peak of fall color usually occurs within the first two weeks of October, with oak color peaking the following week. Check our weekly fall color report for updates.
Getting to the Park
When traveling west on I-94, be aware that the Highway 25 park exit is closed. Take the first Monticello exit (Highway 39). Then take the frontage road north (left turn) to Highway 25. Turn left and watch for park signs at Chelsea Road (right turn).
Attention Horseback Riders
On Saturday, October 4 there will be limited horse trailer parking at the Trail Center. Participants in the TimberDash Event usually fill the Trail Center parking areas. The event concludes by noon, so parking should be available for the afternoon.
Horseback riding trails will close on for the season on November 1st.
State Park Deer Hunt
There will be a deer hunt in Lake Maria State Park on December 6 through December 8 for a special muzzleloader season. The park will be closed to the public and open only to deer hunters with a valid permit during the special permit hunt.
For more information: state parks during fall hunting season.
Last updated September 19, 2014
Be fascinated. Check out the naturalist programs and other activities scheduled at the park.
Year-round camping and lodging:
Backpack-in campsites and camper cabins are available year-round! Camper Cabin reservations required.
Friends of Lake Maria State Park:
The Friends of Lake Maria State Park sponsor many events and programs at the park. Membership is open to individuals and organizations interested in supporting Lake Maria State Park. Call the park at 763-878-2325 for additional information.
State Forest Campground:
Lake Maria State Park manages the Ann Lake Campground, located 20 miles from Lake Maria in Sand Dunes State Forest near Big Lake. From Big Lake on Hwy 10, take County Road 5 north and follow signs. Camping will be open from May 16th to October 19th. Thirty-six rustic campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Camping is $14/night. Four group sites are also available. There are NO reservations for regular camping, only for group sites (call the park at 763-878-2325 to make reservations). Individual horse campsites and group sites are also open early May to October 31.
Purchase a Minnesota State Parks Gift Card.
Don't move firewood!
Burning non-local firewood can spread invasive species, and it's against Minnesota state law. Learn more. Always buy your firewood at the park, or from an approved local vendor. Find firewood vendors for Lake Maria State Park.
Bundled firewood is not available for after-hours purchase at the park. It is available on weekends during office hours, which are generally 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Use a locally approved vendor if you need firewood when the park office is closed.
Bird Checklist at Lake Maria State Park.
Best time to contact the park:
Friday - Monday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Other times, leave message on machine.
11411 Clementa Avenue Northwest
Monticello, MN 55362
The park may be reached from the south via I-94 (exit 193) at Hwy 25, south to Chelsea Rd to Hwy 39 west and Wright County Rd 111, or from the north via I-94 (exit 183) to Hwy 8, County Rd 39 and County Rd 111.