Lake Maria State Park

Monticello, Minnesota 55362

Lake Maria State Park

Lake Maria State Park Professional Review and Guide

"Fourteen miles of hiking trails exist in this beautiful wooded forest dotted with marshes and lakes--and it’s all situated in a place where you’d never expect to find such seclusion. The park’s wide, winding trails take you over rolling hills, between marshes and ponds full of wildlife, and end at a campsite of your choice.

There are several loops in this park, some of them shared with horseback riders. All trails are easy and the loops fairly short for whole-family enjoyment, but there’s much more to do than hike here. Besides camping, fishing, hiking, and horseback riding, there are annual programs such as maple syrup making, bird hikes, bluebird workshops, and candlelight skiing. Because the park is popular, Lake Maria State Park cabins are booked well ahead of the approaching season, so plan ahead."

More Lake Maria State Park Professional Reviews and Guides

"The trail starts at the western end of the visitor center. This path passes south through a rolling forest of oaks and maples. You immediately get the sense that Lake Maria is a special park. After 0.3 mile, when you come to a trail intersection, continue straight ahead."

"Just a few miles west of Monticello. A hilly hike through the big Woods, complete with marshes and forest ponds. Special attractions: Bird watching and spring flowers. The park has a 14-mile network of trails packed together in the eastern half, while the western half of the park’s acreage is mostly marsh. Only a few state parks cater to hike-in campers—Lake Maria is one of them.

Although, any one of the seventeen campsites will give you a sense of remoteness, the true wilderness experience of the far north might not be attainable here; at the very least, you will be given a chance to camp away from civilization. The park also has a camper’s cabin that can be rented out, for those seeking a little more comfort."

Lake Maria State Park Reviews

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This park was a pleasant surprise. It’s fairly small, but very well kept and appears to have nice facilities (we didn’t see all the buildings – but those we did see appeared quite nice). The trails are nicely wooded and have a mixture of narrow and wide winding trails. The only drawback we found was the limited number of trails due to the small area of the state park. Also, there were a number of stagnant ponds that created some great breeding grounds for mosquitoes – so make sure and pack the bug spray.
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This is a great park for 'backcountry hiking'. The past two times we've visited, we've rented one of the small, rustic log cabins that they have, during the winter months. They're great!! It's like being one yours own secluded pond in the middle of nowhere with nothing but a (very nice) outhouse, a nice wood burning stove and large relatively comfty beds. I highly recommend renting one for a weekend or even a night as a great get away and for so cheap! (only ~$30 or so a night.) the perfect peace of bliss for a couple who might want to spend some time quality alone.
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This is a great park, with good trails for beginners. It is the first place I took my daughter hiking. The trails are easy, but long enough to give you the flavor of what brings us to the outdoors. The camping sites are close enough, that we beginners who don't pack right, or forget something, can easily hike the mile or so back to the car--learning a lesson but not losing the joy of hiking.
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what can i say, this trail was ment for those who like to camp with out a whole lot of walking. the camp sites are really nice and very close to the parking lot. all trails are well marked, you can even navigate in the dark with no lighting at all. the trails are nice and easy, a few hills but nothing too crazy. it is a beautiful hike through some of the most amazing hardwood trees!

Lake Maria State Park Photos

Trail Information

Nearby City
Trail Type
Easy to Moderate
Skill Level
2.5 hours
May 1 through November 1
1,050 feet
Trailhead Elevation
1,050 feet
Top Elevation
Lake Maria State Park, Monticello, MN; (763) 878-2325; Department of Natural Resources, St. Paul, MN; (651) 296- 6157 or (888) 646-6367 (only in MN);
Local Contacts
USGS Silver Creek
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Oct 2018