Visit State Parks at Lake of the Woods

State Parks of Minnesota can be a great experience for people of all ages. This is particularly true of state parks within the Lake of the Woods area. Trails, trees, lakes and education make a great family excursion. Plan a whole trip visiting state parks in 2024 where you will find beautiful sites and education as well. Lake of the Woods is fortunate to have many state parks in the county and have a great neighbor south of us on Hwy 72, the Big Bog State Park.

The Minnesota DNR is the place to contact when looking to purchase your yearly sticker. A $35 year-round vehicle permit provides unlimited visits to all 75 Minnesota state parks and recreation areas for a full year from the month of purchase. Day permits are $7.00.

state parksBy purchasing a vehicle permit, you help maintain and improve the natural resources, facilities, and education and outreach programs that make Minnesota’s state parks among the best in the nation. Vehicle permits are valid for one year from the month of purchase. Plus, you can receive a discount on additional year-round permits for other vehicles you own. In order to buy a permit you must follow one of two ways: Call: • DNR Information Center at 651-296-6157 (Twin Cities area) • Toll free 1-888-MINNDNR (646-6367)

Lake of the Woods has a few state parks and forests. A year-round pass would be perfect with all the time you could spend inside these beautiful parks. A few of the closest ones include Zippel State Park, Franz Jevne State Park, and Beltrami Island State Forest. The outdoor activities you can do in the parks are endless, from fishing, canoeing, hiking, mushroom hunting, biking, camping, etc.

The Big Bog State Recreational Area  is just a few miles south of Lake of the Woods County on Hwy 72. state parksThis very unique and educational experience is one of a kind. The boardwalk itself is 1 mile long and reaches far into the swamp while having benches and teaching plaques along the way. It’s a must to put on your vacation list.

It’s time to get outdoors now and get some fresh air and sit and enjoy the beauty of creation as it comes to life in the springtime. Zippel Bay State Park is a beautiful spot to visit at any season, but springtime has special beauty. With miles of groomed trails, you will enjoy wildflowers peeking through the undergrowth and the aspens and birch trees coming alive with their bright green leaves and beautiful white bark. This State Park is located at 3684 54th Avenue Northwest, Williams, MN 56686 on Hwy #8 northwest of Baudette. This park provides a great opportunity to take the family on a walking tour.state parks

The State Park at Zippel Bay is also known for its sandy beach reaching out into Lake of the Woods. It’s a perfect place for children to build sand castles and explore the shoreline. The bay itself is very shallow there so it is the best place for visitors to swim and walk out a long distance. You may obtain a State Park Sticker online before you visit or right at the entrance. A great family experience while practicing social distancing.

Zipple Bay State Park also manages the Blueberry Hill and Faunce campgrounds inside the Beltrami Island State Forest. For information on these units, please contact the Zippel Bay State Park office at (218) 783-6252. Blueberry Hill State Forest is located 3.5 miles west of Williams on the south side of Highway 11 and is one of the highest points of elevation in the county.

If you’re looking for remote, check out Franz Jevne State Park located on Highway 11. franz jevneHere there is primitive camping with access to the Rainy River. This is located a few miles east of Birchdale, home of one of the last unique General Stores.

Other state parks in the area include an excursion by boat to the northern-most park of Garden Island on Lake of the Woods.

Garden Island State Park Boat docks and picnic grounds are available three seasons of the year. Here you can explore and do some walleye fishing and even enjoy a shore lunch on these beautiful grounds. Here’s a link to see what you can expect. garden islandDon’t forget that if you’re a birding fanatic, you are able to see many species at this untouched landscape. http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/destinations/state_parks/virtual_tours/garden_island/vt_gardenisland.html

Other recreation areas are also available in the Baudette, Lake of the Woods area. Baudette is fortunate to be located on the waters of Baudette Bay off of the great Rainy River that flows from Rainy Lake at International Falls to Lake of the Woods. This forms the border between the United States and Canada. So, whatever park you visit, you are able to feast your eyes on beautiful waterways.

state parks

Timbermill Boat Ramp

There are three major parks within the City of Baudette. As you travel into the city on Hwy 11, you first come to Timbermill Park which is the city park.timbermill park 1 Here you will find a great campground equipped for tent camping or RV camping with full water and electric hookups. Great amenities at the park include a boat ramp onto the Rainy River, a fish cleaning house, a beautiful shower house, and an outside water spicket.  There is a sand volleyball court, basketball hoops, softball fields and a state of the art children’s playground.

Local people enjoy the park for its great pavilion. The other feature of this beautiful park is the incredible walking trail. This surrounds the park and is paved for your walking experience. Adjacent to the park is also a great skatepark where all ages find their skills using skateboards or even small bikes.

Further into town at the junction of Hwy 11 and 172 north is Willie Walleye Park. This park is a beautiful area to sit on benches there and enjoy the scenery. There is a pier that juts willie walleye summer 2out into Baudette Bay where people jump off to swim or cast a line to see what species frequent the Bay. A fairly new boat ramp allows you to tie your boat and shop around Baudette.

The third beautiful park is known as Peace Park and is very unique as it sits on the land right next to the Canadian Border Crossing. Locals enjoy this park all year round as they gaze on the Rainy River, the International Bridge and also the land of Canada. It’s not unusual to find people enjoying their lunch break there or having an ice cream while enjoying the view in the evening. There are a number of cement picnic tables available and also bathroom facilities.

The greatest feature of Peace Park is the boat ramp which accesses the Rainy River.  It’s quite a sight to see the boat ramp full of boat trailers parked in a line at the parking area. The view is spectacular and the park is always a great place to drive through just to gaze at the water and the bridge.

Venture to the northland very soon to enjoy the rich beauty spring offers in state parks and recreational areas.

For more information and lodging availability, please see out website at ww.lakeofthewoodsmn.com/lodging. Feast your eyes on the beauty nature has to offer.

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