Big Stone Lake State Park

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Fall Colors

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Can't Wait for Walleye

(Minnesota Conservation Volunteer article)

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Big Stone Lake State Park

Big Stone Lake is 26 miles long and is located on the South Dakota-Minnesota border. The lake is the source of the Minnesota River and attracts anglers who catch walleye, northerns and bluegills. The northern section of the park, called the Bonanza Area, provides a picnic area, boat launch and a primitive group camp for guests. The area also includes the Bonanza Education Center which provides a place to discover the past and ways to preserve it. The southern section of the park, called the Meadowbrook Area, contains a campground, swimming beach and hiking trails.

Tell me more about this park's wildlife, history, geology and landscape.

Park Notes

Be fascinated. Check out the naturalist programs and other activities scheduled at the park.

Top Reasons to Visit Big Stone Lake This Summer

Check out these insider secrets from park staff:

  1. It's quiet: Fewer visitors means fewer neighbors in the campground, fewer dogs barking, fewer generators running, and fewer cars driving past your tent. You can hear the birds, the breeze, and the sounds from across the lake.
  2. Great fishing: We're known for walleyes, northern pike, and crappie. The lake is shallow, so shore fishing is as good as boat fishing.
  3. Lakeside campsites: Many sites are right on the lake - you can cast your line and start catching fish right from your campsite.
  4. Fewer mosquitoes: We can't guarantee that every day will be bug-free, but if the wind is coming off the lake it tends to blow the mosquitoes right out of the campground.
  5. You'll have the time and solitude to enjoy the little things:
  • Walking by a lovely trickling stream...
  • Picking raspberries, gooseberries, mulberries, and elderberries on a sunny summer day...
  • Hiking along a grassy trail through a field of wildflowers...
  • Watching all the birds - on the lakeshore, along the trails, or right from your campsite...
  • Looking up at night and seeing thousands of stars, undimmed by city lights and filling the sky.

Virtual Tour:

Take a virtual tour. It's a great tool to help you plan your next trip to the park! Panoramic tour | Snapshot tour

Gift Cards:

Purchase a Minnesota State Parks Gift Card.

Don't move firewood!

Burning non-local firewood can spread invasive species, and it's against Minnesota state law. Learn more. Always buy your firewood at the park, or from an approved local vendor. Find firewood vendors for Big Stone Lake State Park.


Bird Checklist This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it. at Big Stone Lake State Park.

Park Highlights

tree Lakeside Campsites

tree Fishing

tree Bird Watching

tree Native Prairie/Oak Savanna in Scientific and Natural Area

tree Wildflowers Spring/Summer


Best time to contact the park:

Memorial Day - Labor Day: Friday afternoons, Saturdays and Sundays. All other times, please contact Lac qui Parle State Park.


35889 Meadowbrook State Park Road
Ortonville, MN 56278

tel: 320-839-3663

fax: 320-839-3676


Getting There

From Ortonville, go 7 miles northwest on Hwy. 7. Follow signs to park.