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“Really nice hiking”

Lake Maria State Park
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Attraction details
Owner description: Home to the Blandings turtle, a threatened species, the rolling terrain of this scenic park is perfect for hikers, backpackers, horseback riders and cross-country skiers.
Saint Louis Park, Minnesota
Level Contributor
342 reviews
159 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 249 helpful votes
“Really nice hiking”
Reviewed February 6, 2014

I wouldn't consider this one of Minnesota's best state parks, but it is nice. There are some great trees out here and a lot of bluebirds. What I thought was the nicest was the cabins they had out here for rental. There was a decent amount of cabins but they all seemed pretty private and situated on really nice tracks of land. The few times I have been out here there haven't been a lot of people, so that was really nice. There were a couple of good views from hill tops and shorelines. Overall it was nice but kind of mediocre compared to some of the great parks in MN.

Visited June 2013
1 Thank Justin B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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40 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
Saint Michael, Minnesota
1 review
“ski groomed trails? Not here.”
Reviewed January 31, 2014

5pm 1/31/14. First time at the park to Cross country ski and I was disappointed. Made it 2.7k around the Lake Bjorkland trail and I was stopped cold to find the groomed trail ended in the middle of the woods. 0.8k up hill without a groomed track :(. Why??? The map is littered with trails and only a few are groomed. 48 hours since the last snow flake fell. Lake Maria advertises the trails and owns the equipment to groom and it is not done.

Visited January 2014
Thank 684Erik42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Not worth the $5...”
Reviewed October 7, 2013

My husband and I have been to most of the major parks all over the state, so we were looking for somewhere new to visit. Lo-and-behold, we found an add for Maria State Park, which is only about an hour from our place advertising nice hiking trails, beautiful scenery, etc. Too good to be true so close to home, right? Definitely.

First thing you'll want to know if you go to this park: Don't you dare try to self-register. When you drive in to the main station there are two advertised options: (a) self register (there's a HUGE sign advertising self registration with a drop box to place your $5 check/cash), or (b) go inside the crowded office and pay the lady behind the desk. Since we go to state parks to enjoy nature and "get away" from the business of our lives, and not to chit-chat, we usually opt for self registration whenever possible. OH NO. Big mistake. As I was filling out the self-registration pamphlet, the lady working in the office came outside and nearly bit my head off...why would I fill out the self-registration when she was clearly open for business? I'm just like all the others who try to "get away" with not following the rules, etc, etc. Really? If you don't want folks to self register when the office is open, then maybe (a) take down the huge self registration sign, (b) add a sign that indicates when folks are NOT allowed to self register, or (c) add a sign that says you're open. My gosh. After hearing a piece of her mind, we nearly left right then....we came to enjoy nature, not to feel the wrath of some overly cranky park lady who has to take out her life's frustrations on poor visitors.

In the end, we decided to not let her ruin our day. We parked and got out to go on a nice hike.

A word to the wise: The park advertises that it has trails for hiking and horseback riding and 4-wheelers. It doesn't clarify that these are NOT separate trails....they are all the same. We started off on what was about a 3 mils hike. However, due to all the massive piles of horse poop every few feet that we had to constantly navigate around, this was likely closer to a 4 mile hike. Looking back, I'm not sure why we took the trouble of walking around it....since there is so much of it and it never appears to be cleaned up, its likely that what we thought were dirt paths are actually paths MADE of decomposed horse poop.

We walked in the direction of what was advertised as a scenic overlook. After walking about a mile, you will come to the base of the overlook, climb a decently steep hill, and get to the top for a breathtaking view......of County Road 111 directly below and a factory steam stack just to the east. Both my husband and I said "really?" at the same time. The couple who had walked up just before was equally confused. None of us decided to sit on the benches at the top to enjoy the "view".

paths are clear, but where they go to is not. there are signs at MAYBE half of the path intersections. We came to one point where 5 paths met....no signs....we literally just had to pick a direction (wrong of course) walk until we found the next sign, take a picture of that map, walk back and then follow the correct path.

I could go on, but its not really worth it.

Take it from someone who loves a good state park...unless you really can't afford the extra $3.50 for gas, drive the extra 45 minutes to a better park with friendly, professional staff, more family friendly trails, and better scenery.

Visited October 2013
5 Thank unhappy-clients
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Louis Park, Minnesota, United States
Level Contributor
22 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Private Campsites close to the City”
Reviewed September 2, 2013

This park has great forest camping with very private sites with small lakes/wetland views. You must backpack in all of your food, water, firewood & gear to your site. The trails are hilly, but not too long, so a reasonable amount of fitness is required. Our site overlooked at wetland, but surprisingly, the mosquitos were no worse than our own back yard in the cities. Because it is only 30- 40 minutes outside the city, it's great for out of town travelers with limited time who want to experience backpack camping in an old growth, North American hardwood forest. We brought our canoe, tried fishing and only caught bullheads, but were able to paddle into adjacent Silver Lake to swim. The flora & fauna are the main attractions here, with trumpeter swans, wetland birds, eagles, hawks, deer, turtles, small snakes visible each day. We visited over Labor Day weekend, and there was none of the business that one experiences in other MN State Parks on holiday weekends. We plan to visit again and try one of the other backpack sites or camper cabins that are available.

Visited August 2013
1 Thank Lisa F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Cloud, Minnesota
Level Contributor
73 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed October 14, 2012

It's nothing special. Poor campsites, algae covered lakes, poor fishing. Nothing to do... Luckily we just went there for a day trip to fish... Nothing even nibbled.

Visited July 2012
1 Thank M P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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