Lake Maria State Park Snapshot Tour

Welcome to the Lake Maria State Park virtual tour! In this journey you'll check out a few of our favorite campsites and trails, and enjoy the shores of Lake Maria, Putnam Lake and Bjorkland Lake. Anderson Hill offers a wide view of the Big Woods, and exhibits inside the shingled Interpretive Center also offer a resting spot for your hike. We hope it prompts you to visit the park in person sometime soon.


Photo of the wooden fishing pier extending out into Lake Maria.
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Maria Lake Fishing Pier

The wooden fishing pier extends out into Lake Maria, with a picnic table at the end for anglers to relax between casts.  Keep a look out for the Blandings turtle, a threatened species that makes its home in the park.


Photo of the park's boat ramp on the eastern shoreline of Lake Maria.
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Maria Lake Boat Ramp

Boats are tied to the two docks that extend from the boat ramp on Lake Maria while canoes sit in the rack situated on shore. Located on the east side of Lake Maria, this boat ramp is a drive-in facility perfect for those looking for a quiet day on the water.


Photo of picnic tables in the wooded picnic area.
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Maria Lake Picnic Area

Picnic tables and fire grills dot the heavily wooded picnic area beside Lake Maria. From here, visitors can access the fishing pier and hiking trails, with the Lake Maria boat access just a short distance away.


Photo of a park visitor observing park wildlife from an observation deck.
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Wildlife Observation

A visitor to the park stands on the wildlife observation deck and looks out over a small lake in the northern part of the park. The park is home to a great diversity of wildlife, with over 200 species of birds passing through each year, and land mammals ranging from woodchucks to white-tailed deer roaming the forests.


Photo of a shaded campsite along the Big Wood's Loop trail.
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Camp Site B-5

A rustic campsite in the midst of the woods includes a picnic table and fire ring with grill. This campsite is located in the northern part of the park along the Big Woods Loop trail and a short ways away from one of the park's camper cabins.


Photo of a rustic camber cabin, available for lodging year-round.
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Camper Cabin

A camper cabin sits in the middle of the forest, not far from a vault toilet. The park has three camper cabins that are located a half mile to a mile away from the parking lot; all are available year-round. The cabins have no electricity, but are heated by woodstove in the winter.


Photo of the interior of a camper cabin, showing bunks and a table.
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Camper Cabin Interior

Inside the camper cabin, a picnic table rests below the window and next to a single-over-double bunk bed. Each of the park's three camper cabins can accommodate up to six people.


Photo of a wide open spot amidst the forest houses the Oak Hill Group Camp.
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Oak Hill Group Camp

A wide open spot in the middle of the forest houses the Oak Hill Group Camp, with picnic tables and fire rings dotting the area. The rustic camp can accommodate up to fifty people.


Photo of a grassy bank leads up to a clear and still Putnam Lake.
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Putnam Lake

A grassy bank leads up to a clear and still Putnam Lake, rimmed by forest on all sides. The lake is located in the northeast corner of the park and provides a scenic spot for campers and hikers to take in the natural beauty of the park.


Photo of a tent, picnic table and fire ring with grill sitting in the middle of this wooded campsite beside Putnam Lake.
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Putnam Lake Campsite

A tent, picnic table and fire ring with grill sit in the middle of this wooded campsite beside Putnam Lake. The campsite is hike-in and located about three-quarters of a mile from the parking lot.


Photo overlooking a section of prairie that melds into the Big Woods from Anderson Hill Overlook.
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Anderson Hill Overlook

Anderson Hill overlooks a section of prairie that melds into the Big Woods. Lake Maria State Park has one of the last remnants of the big woods that used to cover much of Minnesota. These forests consisted of maple, basswood, white and red elm, red oak, tamarack and red cedar, and were so thick that sunlight could not pierce through. Today, developments have eradicated much of the previous forest. Small sections—like the one found in Lake Maria State Park—are all that remain.


Photo of the shingled Trail Center with a patio and picnic table for visitors to rest before heading out on one of the park's many trails.
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Trail – Interpretive Center

Outside the shingled trail center is a patio and picnic table where visitors rest before heading out on one of the park's many trails. The center is located southwest of the park entrance and sits at the head of the interpretive trail while providing access to Bjorkland Lake Trail and Big Woods Loop.


Photo of the Trail Center, which includes a wood stove, picnic tables and restrooms.
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Trail Center Interior

Artwork is displayed on the walls of the trail center, which includes a woodstove, picnic tables and restrooms. The trail center has interpretive displays and may be reserved for group meetings by calling the park.


Photo of the partially shaded equestrian area.
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Equestrian Area

A tie post and picnic tables are positioned in the partially shaded equestrian area. Lake Maria State Park has six miles of horse trails that wind through the remnants of the Big Woods forest that used to cover much of Minnesota.


Photo of water grasses growing along the edge of calm Bjorkland Lake.
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Bjorkland Lake

Water grasses grow along the edge of the still and calm Bjorkland Lake, located in the western part of the park, south of Lake Maria. The park lakes provide excellent habitat for wildlife, with about 205 species of birds—either resident or migrating—and many mammals and fish living in and near the water.


Photo of canoe access and picnic site along Lake Bjorkland.
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Bjorkland Canoe Access

Canoes are stacked on the shore next to the Bjorkland Lake canoe access dock. The canoe access is walk-in only, and is located about a half mile from the parking lot. There is a small picnic area and observation deck for canoeists and hikers to relax at while enjoying the beautiful Bjorkland Lake.


Photo of a fire ring with grill and picnic table at this partially-shaded campsite.
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Bjorkland Lake Campsite B-8

A fire ring with grill and picnic table sit in the middle of this partially-shaded campsite next to Bjorkland Lake. This campsite is hike-in only and is located over a half mile from the parking lot.


Photo of the hike-in campsite, B-12, located about a half mile away from the parking lot.
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Bjorkland Lake Campsite B-12

A packed-earth campsite near Bjorkland Lake is surrounded by forest and contains a fire pit and picnic table. There is only tent camping available in Lake Maria State Park. This spot is a hike-in campsite, located about a half mile away from the parking lot.


Photo of the densely wooded section of the Big Woods Loop trail.
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Big Woods Loop

A falling tree is propped up by others in a densely wooded section of the Big Woods Loop Trail. The trail encircles the northern half of the park, starting near the park office and traveling by Putnam Lake, Anderson Hill and the Trail Center.  Most of the trail is open to both hikers and horseback riders.


Virtual Tours

Lake Maria State Park home page

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This program is made possible by funds from the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment.