William O'Brien State Park Snapshot Tour

Welcome to the William O'Brien State Park virtual tour! In this journey you'll peek inside the Visitor Center, meander along the hiking trail through a savanna landscape, and check out the swimming beach at Lake Alice. We hope it prompts you to visit the park in person sometime soon.


Photo of trees and water on the Riverside Trail at William O'Brien State Park.
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Riverside Trail

Take a nice jaunt along this mile and a half loop that takes you by the St. Croix River and Lake Alice. As you walk along, learn more about this floodplain area by reading the twelve interpretive signs along the way.


Photo of the William O'Brien State Park office.
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Park Office

Stop at the park office for vehicle permits, camping and park information.


Photo of the interior of the gift shop at William O'Brien State Park.
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Gift Shop

Inside the park office is a variety of shirts, books, and camping merchandise to help you remember your trip to William O'Brien State Park.


Photo of the exterior of William O'Brien State Park's visitor center under a bright blue sky.
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Visitor Center

Restrooms, displays, and information can be found at the visitor center. Check the bulletin boards for programs and activities going on in the park.


Photo of some of the exhibits inside the visitor center display room at William O'Brien State Park.
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Visitor Center Display Room

Through interactive displays, learn about the animals and landscapes that make up William O'Brien State Park.


Photo of a camper cabin at William O'Brien State Park.
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Camper Cabins

William O'Brien has three year-round cabins and one seasonal cabin. Each sleeps five or six people and has a table and bench seating inside. Outside you have your fire ring and picnic table. The cabins are a great way to get away without having to pitch your own tent!


Photo of fall colors at William O'Brien State Park's Hardwood Hills Trail.
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Hardwood Hills Trail

Along the edge of this trail, look for the many different kinds of ferns. Listen for the song of the Ovenbird as it goes "teacher-teacher-teacher" in the woods.


Photo of a couple resting on a bench near the Rolling Hills Trail.
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Rolling Hills Trail

The savanna landscape is a mixture of prairie grasses and oak.
 


Photo of one of the trail shelters along the Prairie Trail.
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Prairie Trail

Need a break? As you walk along the trail, you will find several trail shelters. With a picnic table, vault toilet and a fire ring, they make a nice spot for a lunch or break.


Photo of a family at a picnic table in the prairie overlook.
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Prairie Overlook

This trail will take you to a spectacular view of the St. Croix River Valley. It is a bit of an uphill climb, but definitely worth the view!


Photo of a bench at the edge of William O'Brien State Park's beaver lodge trail.
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Beaver Lodge Trail

Shhhhh... Walk quietly up to the wetland pond, and if it is early evening or morning, you may see the industrious beaver at work. Sit on the bench, read the sign about beavers, and watch the lodge. You never know what you may see.


Photo of a few of the benches at the edge of the Lake Alice beach.
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Lake Alice

This lake was named after Alice O'Brien who donated the first 180 acres of the park in memory of her father, William. It is spring-fed on the north end of the lake, so it stays beautiful all summer long.


Photo of a man fishing off the end of the fishing pier at William O'Brien State Park.
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Fishing Pier

Stop at the park office and borrow some fishing gear! You don't even need a fishing license to fish in Minnesota State Parks. Fish for white bass, panfish, small and large-mouth bass and see what you can catch.


Photo of the William O'Brien State Park picnic area with a blanket of fallen leaves on the ground.
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Picnic Area

Bring the charcoal and the food, and we will provide the rest. The Picnic Area has picnic tables, fire rings, grills, water, restrooms and more! It is close to the swimming beach and the fishing pier, so come and make a day of it.


Photo of several tents set up at the group campground.
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Group Campground

Too many people to fit on one campsite? You may want to try one of our four group campsites. These large areas can accommodate from 35 to 50 people. There are picnic tables, fire rings, water and vault toilets located at these sites.


Photo of a family relaxing near their camper in one of William O'Brien State Park's campsites.
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Campgrounds

We have two campgrounds in the park, the Riverway Campground and the Savanna Campground. Half of the sites have electricity, and all have picnic tables and fire rings.


Virtual Tours

William O'Brien State Park home page

Legacy Amendment logo

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