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“Drive the extra hour to someplace more interesting”

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.
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Drive the extra hour to someplace more interesting”
Reviewed August 8, 2010

This state park doesn't offer nearly as much in the way of scenery or recreation as places just an hour or so further. While it is a fine place to get outside and go for a hike, by heading southeast (Frontenac, Great Bluffs) or North (St. Croix, Wild River, Banning) you will gain alot more in terms of both scenery and interesting areas.

The challenge is that this is one of the only state parks in the surrounding area, so there aren't many alternatives within <60 minutes.

1 Thank Hazelmn
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
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
49 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“Camper Cabin bliss”
Reviewed August 17, 2009

Rented a camper cabin at Lake Maria for $45/night. Kinda pricey for a cabin with no electricity and no running water, but the seclusion and charm made up for the lack of amenities. I always see great wildlife in this park; deer, beaver, owls, loons, frogs... ironically, I've never seen a Blandings Turtle in the park, supposedly a protected refuge for the animals. This park is great because it only offers backpacking camp sites. No RVs, no kids on bikes, no loud campers. The only negative is the occasional sound from the neighboring shooting range. You don't want to hear gunfire, (automatic rifles, none-the-less) when you're trying to enjoy the peace and quiet nature has to offer.

6 Thank Jessica022
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
59 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 144 helpful votes
“Great getaway just outside of metro”
Reviewed July 14, 2009

Lake Maria (pronounced Mar-i-ah) is a great little state park just northwest of the Twin Cities metro. My husband and I wanted to get in a little backpacking/camping prior to a trip to Idaho and this was great practice. Nice hiking trails, beautiful scenery. We reserved a campsite before hand and glad we did. The site was beautiful, over looking a marsh and some small lakes. The campsites come with a picnic table, food/garbage lockbox and fire ring. A pit toilet us a bit away from the campsite. Canoes and row boats are available for rental, at $10 for four hours. We rented the row boat. Lake Maria is pretty small, but it is fun to row around the little island in the middle. By the time we got done with that and hiked to our campsite, we didn't have much time to explore the whole park. There are lots of trails, note some share with horses so watch your step. Also note, deeper into the park the roads are gravel.

Love the seclusion of the park and its campsites. Nice to have a campsite away from RVs and other noisy campers. Went to sleep to the sound of loons calling and cranes swooshing across the lake. It was so beautiful and tranquil. Definitely check out this park. Even though just minutes from the metro, you almost feel like you are in the wilderness.

6 Thank packhawk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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