Detroit Lakes Parks & Outdoor Guide - The Lodge on Lake Detroit

Detroit Lakes Parks & Trails

The Detroit Lakes area abounds with beautiful parks, lakes, rivers, hiking & biking trails and more . . .

Detroit Lakes, Becker County, and the surrounding area offers so many recreational and outdoor activities that it is difficult to fit them into one visit. With over 400 lakes within a 25-mile radius, and with beautiful rivers and streams (not to mention the Mississippi Headwaters), many parks and trails have been created to provide public access.

Parks, such as the Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge, provide cross-country and snow mobiling trails in the winter– and even more trails for hiking and biking during the spring, summer and fall months.

You can also enjoy the natural beauty from your car. The Lake Country Scenic Byway is an 88-mile corridor that follows Highways 34 and 71. Along its route, the Byway uniquely spans three different types of geographic terrain.

Detroit Lakes City Park • 3 miles

City Park is located by the beach on West Lake Drive in Detroit Lakes. Its pavilion has been a landmark at City Park for decades and can be rented for events. 25 acres are furnished picnic tables and park benches. There are three picnic shelters with grills and electricity, and a bandshell is available to the public. The City Park has a frisbee golf course, a physical fitness course, and several sites with playground equipment. There also is a recreation center, tennis courts, and several bathrooms with one City bathhouse available.

Detroit Lakes City Beach • 3 miles

The City of Detroit Lakes has a mile long sandy beach on the shore of Little Detroit Lake. The beach runs along West Lake Drive with a total of 4.8 acres providing swimming activities for the public with a life guard area. The beach has two boat launching accesses and a fishing and observation pier. Vehicle parking for the City Beach and park areas is available at the Becker County Fairgrounds on the south end of Rossman Avenue. There is also a fishing pier on the City Beach providing fishing access for everyone and it is handicapped accessible.

Lake Country Scenic Byway: Small Towns, Big Attractions • 4.0 miles

The Lake Country Scenic Byway is an 88-mile corridor that follows Highways 34 and 71. Along its route, the Byway uniquely spans three different types of geographic terrain. As you travel from west to east, the terrain changes from glacial lake plains, to hardwood forests, to coniferous forests. Itasca is the northernmost point of interest along the Lake Country Scenic Byway, an 88-mile route connecting the three anchor towns of Detroit Lakes, Park Rapids, and Walker. The byway explores a region of woods, lakes and rivers, meadows and farmland.

The Scenic Byway includes:

  • Highway 34, west to east: Detroit Lakes to Walker
  • Highway 71, north to south: Park Rapids to Itasca State Park
  • Total Length: 88 miles

ExploreMinnesota Website

Dunton Locks County Park • 6.4 miles

LOCATION: 200 East State Street, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501, (218) 846-2612
Located south of Detroit Lakes on Highway 59 and 6, Dunton Locks is next to the DNR Fish Hatchery. Bring a picnic lunch and sit under one of two covered shelters. Fish off the pier; Bike or hike the trails. In the winter the trails are groomed for cross-country skiing. Try a Detroit Lakes classic – a tram ride between Muskrat Lake and Lake Sallie. On weekends through the summer, this tram moves your boat from one lake to the other.

Sucker Creek Preserve • 8 miles

LOCATION: 2050 – 290th Ave, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501, (218) 847-8032
64 Acre parcel of NW Minnesota hardwood forest. Natural contours now restored. Handicapped accessible path leads 1/3 mile through woods and newly seeded prairie to 110-seat amphitheater. Designated trout stream, Sucker Creek, marks south preserve boundary. Outdoor activities include: Hiking Trails, Cross Country Ski Trails, Scenic Byways, Birding & Wildlife Viewing. Free and open to public as the City of Detroit Lakes’ newest park.

Hamden Slough National Wildlife Area • 12 miles

LOCATION: 21212 – 210th Street, Audubon, MN 56511, 218-439-6319
Eastern forest dramatically gives way to the western prairie at Hamden Slough National Wildlife Refuge. Hardwood forests stretching from the Atlantic seaboard rapidly shift to the vast western prairie at this picturesque refuge. Prior to settlement, this diverse vegetation was attractive to wildlife, and the area teemed with waterfowl, upland birds, bison, wolves, and other prairie wildlife. When fully restored, the refuge will provide the largest contiguous block of wetland prairie habitat in the region, encompassing nearly 6,000 acres. This will provide resting and nesting cover for 219 species of migratory and nesting birds. Currently, many species of waterfowl, shorebirds, neotropical migratory songbirds, and birds of prey rely on the shallow water and prairie habitat that has been restored on the refuge.

Smoky Hills State Forrest • 20 miles

Rolling-to-moderately steep slopes characterize this nearly 24,000-acre forest. Smoky Hills offers 30 miles of snowmobile trails and exceptional hunting for deer and grouse. South half of the forest is good for fall foliage viewing. Pick fruit and mushrooms. Located 10 miles west of Park Rapids off Hwy. 34.

Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge • 22 miles

LOCATION: 35704 County Highway 26, Rochert, MN 56578, (218) 847-2641
Tamarac National Refuge 43,000 acres on the Mississippi flyway. Home to bald eagles, trumpeter swans, and countless species of birds and animal life. Picnicking, hiking, boating, cross-country skiing and a beautiful visitor’s center for more information.

Two Inlets State Forrest • 25miles

Over 26,000 acres set in a landscape that’s gently rolling to hilly, with scattered lowlands. Two Inlets Trail provides over 27 miles of snowmobile trail that connects to other area trails. Two Inlets Lake provides good fishing. This state forest is known for excellent hunting of deer, ruffed grouse and small game. Indian Creek Water Impoundment provides habitat for waterfowl. Located about 10 miles north of Park Rapids west of Hwy. 71.

Maplewood State Park • 28 miles

LOCATION: 39721 Park Entrance Road, Pelican Rapids, MN, 56572, (218) 863-8383
The maple forest turns brilliant shades of orange, gold, and red in the fall. Eight major lakes and many ponds offer water lovers places to swim, fish, boat, and simply relax. Lake Lida has a sandy beach and large picnic areas for visitors. Drive along the scenic route to observe the wildlife: the park is host to 150 bird species and 50 species of mammals. The extensive trail system attracts hikers, horseback riders, and cross-country skiers.

Huntersville State Forrest • 40 miles

This 16,448-acre forest has rolling-to-flat land, famed for its jack and Norway pine mixed with aspen, spruce, tamarack and northern hardwoods and clear streams. The major attraction is the beauty of the Shell and Crow Wing Rivers that flow through the forest. The excellent boating and canoeing route traverses 80 miles of river. There are two canoe outfitters in the area. Wilderness campsites occur at three-to seven-mile intervals. Located south of Park Rapids, off Hwy. 87 on CR 25.

White Earth State Forest • 50 miles

160,502 acres of rolling hills and lakes, 4/5th of which is variegated forest and 1/5th is lowland brush and marsh. Almost all of this forest is within the boundaries of the White Earth Indian Reservation. The Shuttlebug Nature Trail is popular for summer hiking. It has 70 miles of marked and groomed snowmobile trails. Located about 20 miles north of Park Rapids on Hwy. 71, then west off Hwy. 113. The White Earth Indian Reservation, holds an annual Powwow; the first one was held in 1862.

Itasca State Park • 53 miles

LOCATION: 36750 Main Park Drive, Park Rapids, MN 56470, (218) 266-2100
The world’s third longest river, The Mississippi, begins here as a small stream in Itasca State Park. Established in 1891, this is Minnesota’s oldest State Park. In this 32,000 acre sanctuary, the Mississippi River begins its journey to the Gulf of Mexico. Points of interest include old growth pine at Preacher’s Grove, Peace Pipe Vista, bison kill site and over 100 lakes. The historic Douglas Lodge includes rental rooms, cabins & the Itasca Suites. Great birding site for Common Loon, Black-backed woodpecker, Alder Flycatcher, Winter Wren and more. Cross-country ski trails.

Tags: Detroit Lakes Parks, Hamden Slough National Wildlife Area, Smoky Hills State Forrest, Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge, Two Inlets State Forrest

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Your Guide to Year-Round Detroit Lakes Recreation & Fun!

With over 400 lakes within a 25-mile radius, Detroit Lakes lives up to its reputation as a great place for year-round outdoor activities. Whether your activity choice is in, on or below the water (or even on land) Detroit Lakes offers a great variety of things to do for your entire family.


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“Perfect spot for Business Meetings with time to Relax, Rejuvenate and Reconnect with your clients. Want a Perfect spot for your next Business Meeting, a Group Meeting and or small conferences with time to Relax, Rejuvenate and Reconnect with your clients. Great hospitality welcomes you to The LODGE on Lake Detroit with friendly customer service, outstanding lodging environment from the comfort of your room to the sounds of the Minnesota Loons on Lake Detroit. A great selection of restaurants and golf courses are just minutes away. Close to the downtown area, great location for fishing, and all seasonal things to do and events for all to enjoy year-around in the Detroit Lakes area.”


“We enjoyed our stay at The Lodge in Detroit Lakes, Mn. The staff was very helpful and very friendly. We stayed in the Resort Room adjoining to the Retreat Room. It was very nice for our family so we could have access to each others room and to have use of a Kitchen. We were celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary and our son was participating in the Pine to Palm Tournament. Nice location to golf course & downtown. The rooms were clean and the amenities of having a dock for our boat and use of paddle boat & Kayakes was especially nice. We enjoyed the complementary breakfast; especially the waffles and pancakes.  The Ice water cooler was very refreshing. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at The Lodge & will be back on any future trips to the Detroit Lakes area.”