News release: Construction begins on accessibility improvements at William O’Brien State Park

March 21, 2024

Lower portion of the park now closed through early 2025

Construction is starting at William O’Brien State Park on a major improvement project focused on increasing accessibility for visitors.

“William O’Brien State Park is very popular, with nearly 275,000 visitors in 2023, and this project has been several years in the making,” said Ann Pierce, director of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Parks and Trails Division. “The Minnesota DNR is constantly working to make our state park system more accessible, and this project is a key advancement in our efforts to ensure Minnesotans of all abilities can enjoy our state’s outdoor experiences.”

Accessibility improvements at the park include additional accessible campsites, an accessible canoe and kayak launch, trail upgrades to better accommodate wheelchairs and other mobility devices, and new restrooms and shower facilities.

This project is funded primarily through regular state bonding funds, with additional funds provided by last year’s Get Out MORE (Modernize Outdoor Recreation Experiences) appropriation. Get Out More is a historic, one-time investment of $149.9 million to help ensure Minnesotans of all abilities and interests enjoy a world-class recreation system, whichever outdoor experience they choose. To learn more about this special initiative, head to the Get Out MORE webpage of the DNR website.

Most of the park will remain open to visitors during construction, including the Savanna Campground and Wedge Hill Group Camp, most of the park’s 17.4 miles of hiking trails, and the park office and interpretive center. Construction requires the lower portion of the park near Lake Alice and the St. Croix River to close to visitors through early 2025.

Areas of the park that are closed include:

  • Mondale Day Use Area, including the St. Croix River public water access, Lake Alice swimming beach, parking lot and picnic shelters.
  • Riverway campground.
  • Riverside group camp.
  • Riverside Trail.

Ongoing updates on construction will be available on the park webpage of the DNR website.

Back to top