Lake Maria State Park  » Travel  »
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11411 Clementa Avenue NW Monticello, MN 55362
  • The interpretive trail has several signs with a lot of interesting information about the lake, surrounding plants, and wildlife
  • And, I prefer to travel to other parks I do not get to see often when my stay will be longer
  • I recommend visiting Lake Maria State Park for a fun day trip, or to camp out if staying for a couple days

    • by Snowflake
      TRUSTWORTHY

      all reviews
      Lake Maria State Park is a great park for exploring a hardwood forest, wetlands, lakes, and rolling hills. I have visited this state park many times over several years, and usually visit at least once every year. The park is home to Blandings Turtle, a threatened species. I have never seen this turtle, but have seen painted turtles many times; they enjoy sitting on logs at the edges of ponds and wetlands.

      Near the park’s only entrance/exit is Anderson Hill. It’s a short hike to the hill to see a wonderful view of the surrounding landscape. There are many trees, tall grasses, and more rolling hills visible from the top. Anderson Hill has always been one of my favorite spots in the park because it’s a fun, short hike that can easily be completed when arriving or leaving.

      From the main entrance, the narrow dirt road that leads to Maria Lake is very long. It literally takes about 15-20 minutes just to drive from the Maria Lake parking lot to the park’s entrance. When leaving the park after sunset watch out for deer along


      the roadside. It’s easy to see at least a dozen or more deer while driving slowly along the dirt road. If you are still walking shortly before sunset you will also see many deer around the park. We have stopped many times to simply watch deer and see how long they will let us stare at them before they run off. During daylight hours deer tend to run away fast when they see people.

      There is an interpretive trail that starts by the parking lot at Maria Lake. The lake is visible from the trail until it makes a small loop through the hardwood forest. One year there was a fox den along this trail, but now the foxes moved their home to another location. The interpretive trail has several signs with a lot of interesting information about the lake, surrounding plants, and wildlife. This trail is always fun to explore, and you get a great distant view of the lake from the boardwalk.

      Bjorkland Lake is another beautiful lake to visit at the park. It’s more quite than Maria Lake simply because the ...


      • only way to get there is by walking on a trail. There are always swans and great blue herons on the lakes, but they tend to stay farther out in Maria Lake by the small island. Last year we were lucky to see some swans closer up. We were walking on a trail that ended at the main dirt road, and were walking along the dirt road to get back to Maria Lake. I looked down the short hill and saw two swans swimming in the lake very close to where we were walking. We have also heard loons on the lakes many times, but do not see loons very often.

        The Trail Center is a fantastic place to learn more information, take a break, and they have full handicap accessible bathrooms. Outside of the Trail Center it’s beautiful. They have a circle area for groups to sit and have picnics. And the wood utilized around the outside of the building along with the steps is also very nice.

        When visiting the park during spring some trails are blocked by standing water. If you

        stay on trails that are farther away from wetlands then they will be dry in spring. The only thing I do not like about the park is hiking on the trails where horses are allowed. Horses leave the trails very dirty everywhere, and it’s hard to enjoy the area you are walking through when you constantly have to look down so you do not step in any horse manure.

        I have never camped at the park, but it would be a very nice place to camp. They have several backpack campsites along with group campsites and a few camper cabins. The reason why I have not camped here is because I have visited the park many times. And, I prefer to travel to other parks I do not get to see often when my stay will be longer.

        I recommend visiting Lake Maria State Park for a fun day trip, or to camp out if staying for a couple days. It’s also a great getaway from the city when you do not have a lot of time to drive to state parks that are farther away.




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    The review was published as it's written by reviewer in July, 2010. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 3825071205651031/k2311a0725/7.25.10
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