Father Hennepin State Park improvements

Temporary park closure


In fall 2024, Father Hennepin State Park will be the site of a construction project to upgrade the park's wastewater system. This project will connect the park to the sewer system in the city of Isle, Minnesota.

Because the construction area follows the park entrance road, the DNR will temporarily close the park during the construction period, as there will be no access for the public to enter the park.

Project timeline

The project is slated to begin the week after Labor Day (September 3, 2024) and last through early November 2024. During this time, the public will not have access to the park for either day use or overnight use.

Why are wastewater system upgrades needed?

The pond wastewater system currently used at the park is outdated and has exceeded its useful life. In addition, there is increased demand on the wastewater system due to growing visitation at state parks and the larger RVs and camping rigs that are commonly used by today’s campers. This upgrade will position the park for success in the future.

Another important benefit to this upgrade is the new wastewater system is better suited to climate change and severe weather events.

How does this project serve visitors?

These improvements may not be visible to park visitors once complete, but will impact their visits positively by making sure the amenities visitors enjoy in the park are in good working order.

Where can people recreate while Father Hennepin State Park is closed?

While the construction project is underway and the park is closed, the public will have other recreation options available nearby.

State parks and recreation areas within a one-hour drive of Father Hennepin State Park are:

There are also numerous state forests and wildlife management areas near Father Hennepin State Park. The Recreation Compass is a good tool to find DNR-managed state lands that are open to the public for outdoor recreation.

Will the project impact the public water access site at the park?

Yes, the public water access in the park will be closed during the construction project. Other public water accesses nearby include:

  • Isle
  • Cedar Creek
  • Cove Bay
  • Garrison
  • Malmo (note, this water access site is very shallow)
  • Fee-based accesses at private resorts

Map of Kanabec and Mille Lacs county public water accesses.

Find public water accesses in other counties.

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