State trails

hiking Hiking

biking Biking

hiking In-line skating

Snowmobiling Snowmobiling

Wheelchair access Wheelchair access
(electric wheelchairs allowed)

Central Lakes Trail Location

Central Lakes State Trail

The Central Lakes State Trail is a 55 mile former railroad route turned paved bike trail that runs through 3 counties and 10 communities. This trail begins in the city of Fergus Falls, and ends in the city of Osakis. Trail users will enjoy the many differing landscape views, ranging from open grassland/prairie, lakes, wetlands, farmland, and forested rolling hills.

Map This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it.

Slide show of photos taken on the Central Lakes State Trail. This slideshow requires the latest version of
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Trail notes

Trail construction

Portions of the Central Lakes State Trail near Fergus Falls will be closed Sept. 8-26, weather permitting, to resurface sections of the trail, address erosion and safety issues and pave a gravel road crossing. View this map This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it. for more details.

(Updated September 4, 2014)

Virtual tours

Take a virtual tour of the Central Lakes State Trail. It's a great tool to help you plan your next trip! Panoramic tour | Snapshot tour

Video about the trail:

Watch Pioneer Public Television's Minnesota's Greatest Parks: West,This link leads to an external site.featuring stories about Central Lakes State Trail. Originally aired May 15, 2014.


Events

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Landscape

The area is historically significant because the Kensington Rune Stone, dated 1362, was found near a small town southwest of Alexandria. An often misunderstood artifact with over 200 medieval runes chiseled in its surface, the Stone suggests Norsemen adventured in the area 130 years before Christopher Columbus.

The region is also known for its unique geographic features around Lake Christina, including the Seven Sisters Prairie on the north side of the lake, which is a group of seven, glacially-produced knolls. Lake Christina is an important stop for many species of waterfowl during migration. For more information on the Central Lakes Trail, visit the Central Lakes Trail Association website.

Primary trail uses

In the summer, the developed trail is popular for hiking, bicycling, and in-line skating. Winter uses offer snowmobiling opportunities.

The Central Lakes State Trail connects to the Lake Wobegon Regional Trail. in Osakis. The Lake Wobegon Trail is a 46 mile, paved trail that leads into the town of St. Joseph, MN.

Permits

You will need a snowmobile state trail sticker for snowmobiling. No fees or passes are required to use the trail.

 

  • Parking
  • Restrooms
  • In the area
  • Etiquette
  • Winter

Parking

Do not leave valuables in your vehicle!

Parking is available at the following trail accesses:

  • In Fergus Falls in DeLagoon City Park.
  • In the cities of Dalton, Ashby, Evansville, Brandon, Garfield.
  • In Alexandria at Big Ole Park.
  • In Nelson.
  • In Osakis by the downtown trailhead (Osakis Information Center).

Restrooms

 Restroom facilities may be available in each of the communities along the trail.

Trail etiquette

Share the trail with others.

  • Stay on the trail.
  • Respect adjoining landowners rights and privacy.
  • Keep right so others can pass.
  • Warn other trail users when passing by giving an audible signal.
  • Obey traffic signs and rules.
  • Keep all pets on leash.
  • Pack out all garbage and litter.
  • Camping and campfires are not permitted on the Central Lakes State Trail.
  • Enjoy the beauty of wild plants and animals, but leave them undisturbed for all to enjoy.
  • Trail users are legally responsible for obeying the rules and regulations provided in Minnesota Rules, 6100.3000.

Winter use

The trail is groomed for winter snowmobile use by the Otter Country Trails Association This link leads to an external site.and Douglas Area Trails Association. This link leads to an external site.Be aware of local speed limit restrictions. There are no stud restrictions on the Central Lakes State Trail.

You will need a snowmobile state trail sticker for snowmobiling. Learn more about snowmobiling in Minnesota and don't miss the interactive snowmobile trails map.