Exciting updates are coming to the park!
Starting in December 2023, a number of accessibility improvements and amenity updates will be coming to William O'Brien State Park. This project includes facility upgrades that will make the park more accessible to visitors with disabilities, and will provide updated amenities for all park visitors to enjoy.
Many facilities in the state parks and trails system are aging and do not comply with current state or federal accessibility standards or best practices. We are continually making improvements to make our parks and trails more accessible as funding allows. The research is clear, time spent in the outdoors has great health and wellness benefits, and it's a priority of the DNR to make our parks and trails accessible to all people who want to enjoy the benefits of outdoor recreation.
- What will remain open to visitors during construction?
Plenty of recreation opportunities will remain available at the park during construction, including all parts of the park that are west of Highway 95. You'll still be able to access:
- Camping and lodging, including the Savanna campground, the Wedge Hill group camp, and the camper cabins;
- Most of the park's 17.4 miles of hiking trails, including the summer Hiking Club Trail;
- And the park office and interpretive center.
- What will be closed to visitors during construction?
Reservations for picnic shelters and the Riverside and Riverway campgrounds will not be available while construction is underway. The lower portion of the park – near Lake Alice – will be closed starting in winter 2024, including:
- Mondale Day Use Area, including the Lake Alice public water access, swimming beach, parking lot and picnic shelters;
- Riverway campground;
- Riverside group camp;
- Riverside Trail;
- And the amphitheater.
Once a definite construction start date is known, it will be announced. The construction area noted in the map will remain open until closure signs are posted in the park and a closure date is announced here.
- How does this project fit with the park's management plan?
Management plans provide a long-term strategic vision for parks and guide the development of facilities and management of resources. The William O’Brien State Park Management Plan was completed in 2008 with input from a Citizens Advisory Committee, a Technical Advisory Team, and the public.
It often takes many years to see the vision of management plans come to fruition. This project is an opportunity to implement several of the recommendations from the plan, including a new layout for the day use area, improved campsite amenities and resolving safety issues on some trails.