Over the past year, the Division of Parks and Trails has been developing a new management plan for Sibley State Park. The plan will set the direction for the state park for the next 15-20 years, including recommendations for managing natural and cultural resources and providing recreational and interpretative opportunities to park visitors.
Sibley State Park's boundary and land base have expanded and its visitor facilities have changed significantly since the last management plan was written.
Draft recommendations include changes to the park's trail network, including consolidation of some trails, addition of new horse trails, and development of a new hiking trail crossing the largely undeveloped western section of the park.
Other recommendations include facilitating the connection of the Glacial Lakes State Trail to and through the park, improvements to the Lake Andrew beach area and its historic resources, addition of camper cabins, and potential campground expansion. Options for managing and restoring the park's oak savanna, forest and prairie ecosystems are important elements of the plan.
At over 2,500 acres, Sibley State Park is one of the largest and most popular parks in west-central Minnesota, with almost 250,000 annual visits. It was established in 1919, but was largely developed in the 1930s by the Veterans Conservation Corps.
Mount Tom, one of the highest points within a 50-mile radius, offers views of a patchwork of forest, farmland, prairie knolls, and lakes. Summer visitors enjoy swimming, boating, and fishing on Lake Andrew. A canoe route invites adventurers to explore the natural shorelines of Henschien and Swan lakes.
The park offers several campgrounds, a modern group center, horseback camps, picnic area, and interpretive programs year-round.
The 30-day public review period for the draft management plan has closed. The Department of Natural Resources will consider the comments from the public as it prepares the final version of the plan. The final version will be adopted once it is signed by the Commissioner of Natural Resources. After it is signed, the plan will be posted on the DNR website and accessible to the public.
There were numerous opportunities for people with an interest in Sibley State Park to be involved during the planning process. An open house was held in October 2011 to begin gathering input from the public about their use of the park and interest in park management issues. A citizen advisory committee (CAC) was established to assist with the development of the management plan. The group met six times over the next 10 months to provide input and help develop recommendations for the management plan. An on-line survey was used to gather visitor input. A final open house was held in November 2012 to review the draft plan and recommendations.
• Intro and Regional (2.4 MB)
• Natural Resources (3.1 MB)
• Cultural and Interpretive (<1 MB)
• Recreation and Visitor Services (1.2 MB)
• Operations and Boundaries (<1 MB)
• Appendices (<1 MB)
If you have questions about the planning process, please contact: