Famous for its Wonderful Autumn Colors
Amid the farmlands that surround the park, Maplewood State Park in Otter Tail County sits on a series of high tree-covered hills that provide visitors with striking vistas of small, clear lakes nestled in deep valleys. The park is located in a transition area between the western prairies and the eastern forests and contains plants and animals found in both landscapes.
The park is known for its hardwood trees including sugar maple, basswood, American elm and oak. These same trees provide a stunning display of reds, oranges and gold colors each fall. In addition, red cedar and tamarack are found in the park. Wildflower lovers will find flowers and grasses representative of both the prairies and forests. Spring through fall, the park is “dressed” with displays of trillium, hepatica, bloodroot, yellow lady’s slipper, wild onion, prairie rose, and showy milkweed.
Among its 9,250 acres, Maplewood also boasts eight major lakes and many ponds that offer water lovers places to swim, fish, boat, and simply relax. You can even rent a boat, canoe or kayak from the park office.
Maplewood State Park was created in 1963.
The park drive at dawn and dusk is a great time to see deer. Bald Eagles and Loons love living here. Beaver are active in some lakes and raccoons, squirrels, rabbits, chipmunks and turtles can be seen frequently. As a result of the varied landscape in the park, 150 bird species breed here, along with 50 species of mammals. If you like to geocache you can check out a GPS unit from the park office near the main entrance.
Camping / Hiking / Horseback Trails
Maplewood’s extensive trail system attracts hikers, horseback riders, snowmobile and cross-country skiers. Campsites in the equestrian campgrounds can be reserved. There is plenty to see with nearly 30 miles of hiking trails.
Wildlife observation and bird-watching opportunities abound. Hallaway Hill is a fantastic place to get a view of the surrounding areas. Wildflowers cover the hill in spring and the fall colors are fantastic.
South Lake Lida boarders the park to the west and is one of the most popular destinations for swimmers and anglers alike.
If you are after something else, you may wish to wet a line in Bass Lake which despite it’s name is managed for Rainbow Trout.
Beers Lake is well known for Muskellunge and even has a fishing pier for those without a boat.
Grass Lake, adjacent to the main campground, is a panfish angler favorite. Explore the trails around the lake.
A Minnesota state park permit is required for each vehicle. You can buy them upon entry.
There are no restaurant facilities at the park. Bring your own food and grill on your camp stove or cook over a campfire.
Otter Tail County is also home to Glendalough State Park.