Monson Lake State Park

Snapshot virtual tour

Welcome to the Monson Lake State Park virtual tour! Explore camping options, hiking trails, and beautiful lake scenes. The accessible wooden pier may tempt you to fish from the rails, or bring your boat and enjoy a sunny day on the water. We hope it prompts you to visit the park in person sometime soon.

Photo of the wooden fishing pier on Monson Lake.


Fishing Pier

A wooden fishing pier looks over Monson Lake. It provides accessibility to anglers looking to catch northern pike, sunfish, walleye, or “lunker” bass.

Photo of the park's boat ramp, available to launch boats on Monson Lake.


Boat Ramp

A boat ramp is available to visitors who want to launch their boat on Monson Lake for fishing or pleasure boating. Fishing is one of the main attractions at Monson Lake State Park.

Photo of a campground site near the shores of Lake Monson.


Campground View

Several of the sites in the campground include a beautiful view of Monson Lake, as well as a great opportunity for watching sunsets.

Photo of a picnic table, a fire ring for cooking, featured in one of the park's campsites.



Non-electric campsites, such as this one, provide you with all the basics. Campers can enjoy a picnic table, a fire ring for cooking or sitting around the campfire, and an area to set up a tent or back-in a camper.  Several sites also come with a wooded view of Monson Lake.

Photo of campers enjoying a campsite that offers electrical service.


Electric Sites

If you desire the comfort of electricity, the campground offers six electric sites for you to choose from. This particular campsite is more open than most in the campground, but majestic bur oak trees will keep you shaded and cool during your stay. Campers may access the nearby Glacial Lakes State Trail in New London (about 20 miles from the park) for biking or hiking during their stay.

Photo of the entrance to Monson Lake State Park.


Park Entrance

Monson Lake State Park is located 20 miles northwest of Willmar, Minnesota. It is a small, quiet park rich in history. The park offers 20 campsites (6 electric), good fishing, great spring bird and wildflower viewing, hiking, and canoeing.

Photo of the park office where visitors can purchase park permits.


Park Office

Self-registration is available to visitors interested in camping or purchasing a daily or annual park permit. The office building is accessible.

Photo of a memorial marker describing historic events that occurred during early settlement in 1862.


Historic Site

Monson Lake State Park was established as a memorial to the family members of the West Lake Settlement that lost their lives in the Dakota War of 1862 on August 20 of that year. The marker in this scene indicates where the home site of the Broberg family, Swedish immigrants, once stood.

Photo of the large grassy picnic area offering a picnic shelter and other amenities for visitors.


Picnic Area

This large grassy area is sprinkled with large ash and oak trees, making it an excellent place for family reunions, field games, and cookouts. A picnic shelter, fire ring, and several picnic tables are available for visitors to enjoy.

Photo of the fireplace inside the historic stone picnic shelter, built in the 1930s by men of the Veterans Conservation Corps.


Picnic Shelter

During the 1930s, men of the Veterans Conservation Corps (unemployed World War One veterans) built this historic stone picnic shelter. The shelter is located in the picnic area and offers electricity and an open fireplace.

Photo of the shower and restroom building.


Restrooms and Showers

This 1930s Veterans Conservation Corps constructed stone building includes modern sinks, showers, and toilets. It is a short walk from any site in the campground.

Photo of the trail crossroads behind the shower building.


Nature Trail Crossroads

Begin your hiking journey throughout Monson Lake State Park by starting at the trail crossroads behind the shower building.  From this wooded location, you can venture off onto three different trail segments.

Photo of the shore of Lake Monson along a grassy walking path.


Walking Trail View

At this point along the mowed path, trees are on one side of you and Lake Monson is on the other. This combination provides an excellent opportunity to observe the plants and wildlife of Monson Lake State Park.

Photo of a beautiful view of Monson Lake and place to rest along the trail.


Walking Trail Point

A bench at the end of a one mile woodland trail offers a beautiful view of Monson Lake.  Relax and enjoy the peace and solitude.

Photo of the woodland which shade walkers using the mowed trail.


Monson Lake Nature Trail

This flat, easy section of trail takes you along the beautiful wooded shoreline of Monson Lake. Trees provide welcome shade as you journey along this mowed trail.

Photo of a sun shaded view of West Sunburg Lake.


West Sunberg Lake Trail

Walk along this section of mowed trail and you will be rewarded with a wonderful view of West Sunburg Lake.

Photo of the portage from Monson Lake to West Sunburg Lake.


West Sunberg Lake Portage

Take the short, easy portage from Monson Lake to West Sunburg Lake and enjoy a day of excellent wildlife viewing from your canoe or kayak.

Photo of bay of Monson Lake, which offers an opportunity to view wildlife attracted to the lake.


Monson Lake Bay

Birdwatchers should not miss this bay of Monson Lake. Birds frequently seen here include pelicans, wood ducks, great egrets, great blue herons, and an occasional bald eagle.

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