Glacial Lakes State Trail

The Glacial Lakes State Trail is located on a former Burlington Northern railroad grade, and is generally level and wheelchair accessible. The trail is paved for 22 miles between Willmar, Spicer, New London, Hawick, and the Kandiyohi/Stearns County line, and a five mile stretch from Richmond to Roscoe is also paved.

The many lakes make this area a popular tourist destination. The towns along the trail provide access points, rest stops, and other services to trail users.

Glacial Lakes State Trail location

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

 

Photos taken on the Glacial Lakes State Trail

Minnesota State Parks and Trails on Facebook Minnesota State Parks Twitter feed    Share your own trail photos!

Landscape

The gently rolling topography of central Minnesota was created by glaciers retreating 10,000 years ago. The trail cuts across the border between Minnesota's western tallgrass prairie and eastern deciduous forest. Though much of the area has been cultivated, remnants of virgin prairie, wetlands, and scattered woodlots can still be found along the railroad right-of-way. Whitetail deer, numerous small mammals, birds, reptiles, and butterflies can be seen along the trail.


Events

There are currently no event listings.

Find more events.

Primary trail uses

In the summer, the developed trail is popular for hiking, bicycling, horseback riding, and in-line skating. Winter uses include snowmobiling and cross-country skiing.

Horseback riders will enjoy the ten mile stretch of parallel grass treadway from Willmar to New London. From New London to the Kandiyohi/Stearns County line there are grass shoulders for horseback riding.

The Glacial Lakes State Trail connects to Sibley State Park via three miles of paved shoulder along County Road 148. The trail also connects with many miles of groomed snowmobile trails in the Kandiyohi County grant-in-aid trail system.

Permits

You will need a horse pass if you will be horseback riding and a ski pass for cross-country skiing. No other 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:

  • Willmar: Take Highway 12 east to County Road 9. Turn north (left) and go two miles to the parking lot on west (left) at the Civic Center.
  • Spicer: At the junction of Highway 23 and County Road 10. Parking lot is west off 23.
  • East Nest Lake Public Water Access: Two miles north of Spicer on Highway 23 and 1/2 mile west on the Township Road.
  • New London: Off Highway 23. Follow Highway 9 north to the public water access parking lot on the east (right).
  • Hawick: North side of town, at the intersection of Highway 23 and County Road 2.

Restrooms

Restroom facilities are provided along the trail at these points:

Trail etiquette

All users must yield to horses. Stop and dismount if requested.

  • Stay on the trail.
  • Keep to the right.
  • All pets must be on a leash.
  • Clean up all pet waste.
  • Obey traffic signs and rules.
  • Respect private property adjacent to the trail.
  • Camping and campfires are not permitted on the Glacial Lakes State Trail.
  • Enjoy the beauty of wild plants and animals, but leave them undisturbed for all to enjoy.
  • Minnesota Rules, 6100.3000 apply on the Glacial Lakes State Trail.

Winter use

The trail is groomed for winter snowmobile use within Kandiyohi County. In Stearns County, snowmobile use is allowed on signed sections only. Studded snowmobile tracks are prohibited on the asphalt trail surfaces in both counties.

You will need a ski pass if you will be cross-country skiing.