Welcome to the Lake Maria State Park virtual tour! In this journey you'll check out a few of our favorite campsites and trails, and enjoy the shores of Little Mary Lake and Maria Lake. Anderson Hill offers a wide view of the Big Woods, and exhibits inside the shingled Interpretive Center also offer a resting spot for your hike. We hope it prompts you to visit the park in person sometime soon.
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Little Mary Lake Fishing Pier
The wooden fishing pier extends out into Little Mary Lake, with a picnic table at the end for anglers to relax between casts. Keep a look out for the Blandings turtle, a threatened species that makes its home in the park.
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Little Mary Lake Boat Ramp
Boats are tied to the two docks that extend from the boat ramp on Little Mary Lake while canoes sit in the rack situated on shore. Located on the east side of Little Mary Lake, this boat ramp is a drive-in facility perfect for those looking for a quiet day on the water.
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Little Mary Lake Picnic Area
Picnic tables and fire grills dot the heavily wooded picnic area beside Little Mary Lake. From here, visitors can access the fishing pier and hiking trails, with the Little Mary Lake boat access just a short distance away.
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A visitor to the park stands on the wildlife observation deck and looks out over a small lake in the northern part of the park. The park is home to a great diversity of wildlife, with over 200 species of birds passing through each year, and land mammals ranging from woodchucks to white-tailed deer roaming the forests.
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Camp Site B-5
A rustic campsite in the midst of the woods includes a picnic table and fire ring with grill. This campsite is located in the northern part of the park along the Big Woods Loop trail and a short ways away from one of the park's camper cabins.
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A camper cabin sits in the middle of the forest, not far from a vault toilet. The park has three camper cabins that are located a half mile to a mile away from the parking lot; two are available year-round. The cabins have no electricity, but are heated by woodstove in the winter.
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Camper Cabin Interior
Inside the camper cabin, a picnic table rests below the window and next to a single-over-double bunk bed. Each of the park's three camper cabins can accommodate up to six people.
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Oak Hill Group Camp
A wide open spot in the middle of the forest houses the Oak Hill Group Camp, with picnic tables and fire rings dotting the area. The rustic camp can accommodate up to fifty people.
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A grassy bank leads up to a clear and still lake, rimmed by forest on all sides. The lake is located in the northeast corner of the park and provides a scenic spot for campers and hikers to take in the natural beauty of the park.
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A tent, picnic table and fire ring with grill sit in the middle of this wooded campsite beside a lake. The campsite is hike-in and located about three-quarters of a mile from the parking lot.
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Anderson Hill Overlook
Anderson Hill overlooks a section of prairie that melds into the Big Woods. Lake Maria State Park has one of the last remnants of the big woods that used to cover much of Minnesota. These forests consisted of maple, basswood, white and red elm, red oak, tamarack and red cedar, and were so thick that sunlight could not pierce through. Today, developments have eradicated much of the previous forest. Small sections—like the one found in Lake Maria State Park—are all that remain.
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Trail – Interpretive Center
Outside the shingled trail center is a patio and picnic table where visitors rest before heading out on one of the park's many trails. The center is located southwest of the park entrance and sits at the head of the interpretive trail while providing access to Maria Lake Trail and Big Woods Loop.
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Trail Center Interior
Artwork is displayed on the walls of the trail center, which includes a woodstove, picnic tables and restrooms. The trail center features interpretive displays.
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A tie post and picnic tables are positioned in the partially shaded equestrian area. Lake Maria State Park has six miles of horse trails that wind through the remnants of the Big Woods forest that used to cover much of Minnesota.
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Water grasses grow along the edge of the still and calm Maria Lake, located in the western part of the park, south of Lake Maria. The park lakes provide excellent habitat for wildlife, with about 205 species of birds—either resident or migrating—and many mammals and fish living in and near the water.
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Maria Lake Canoe Access
Canoes are stacked on the shore next to the Maria Lake canoe access dock. The canoe access is walk-in only, and is located about a half mile from the parking lot. There is a small picnic area and observation deck for canoeists and hikers to relax at while enjoying the beautiful Maria Lake.
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Maria Lake Campsite B-8
A fire ring with grill and picnic table sit in the middle of this partially-shaded campsite next to Maria Lake. This campsite is hike-in only and is located over a half mile from the parking lot.
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Maria Lake Campsite B-12
A packed-earth campsite near Maria Lake is surrounded by forest and contains a fire pit and picnic table. There is only tent camping available in Lake Maria State Park. This spot is a hike-in campsite, located about a half mile away from the parking lot.
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Big Woods Loop
A falling tree is propped up by others in a densely wooded section of the Big Woods Loop Trail. The trail encircles the northern half of the park, starting near the park office and traveling by Anderson Hill and the Trail Center. Most of the trail is open to both hikers and horseback riders.