Maplewood State Park features eight major lakes and many ponds offering swimming, fishing, boating, and general enjoyment. Drive along the scenic route to observe the wildlife; the park is host to 150 bird species and 50 species of mammals. Lake Lida has a sandy beach and large picnic areas for visitors. 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. The park’s maple forest turns brilliant shades of orange, gold, and red in the fall. An extensive trail system attracts hikers, horseback riders, and cross-country skiers to enjoy the varied seasonal trail uses. Photo Credit Josh Benner.
Wildlife: The park drive at dawn and dusk is a great time to see deer. Beaver are active in some lakes and racoons, squirrels, rabbits, and chipmunks 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, and 25 kinds of reptiles and amphibians. The park also hosts sites for colonial nesting birds. Butterflies, dragonflies, kingbirds, swallows, cuckoos, cerulean warblers, and blue-gray gnatcatchers can be seen in the park.
Landscape: Amid the farmlands that surround the park, Maplewood 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, and oak. These same trees provide a stunning display of fall colors each year. In addition, red cedar and tamarack are found in the park.
Geology: Maplewood lies on a series of hills in the Leaf Hills Landscape Region near the eastern edge of the level Red River Valley. These hills, part of the Alexandria Glacial Moraine, were deposited during the last ice age. Relief is abrupt, with changes of about 300 feet in less than a mile. The highest hills in the park approach 1,600 feet. The Lake Lida basin was probably formed when the last glacier retreated 20,000 years ago and left ice stranded in the valley. The ice melted, exposing the basin and allowed the present lake to form.
Maplewood State Park Highlights
- Trails of all types (see below)
- Bird checklist PDF
- Horse Camping
- Campsites in the equestrian campgrounds can be reserved. Some sites are able to accommodate additional campers (up to three). Please contact the park for approval.
- Self Guided – 2.2 miles
- Hiking – 25 miles
- Horse – 20 miles
- Cross Country Skiing – 5 miles groomed classical; 5 miles ungroomed back-country
- Snowmobile – 21 miles groomed
- Snowshoe – 1/2 mile groomed
- Snowshoeing is allowed anywhere in the park except on groomed ski or snowmobile trails.
Only have an hour to visit?
Hike up Hallaway Hill for impressive overlooks that are not to be missed. Find the start of this 1/2 mile, one-way hike at the picnic area. ? Take a scenic 5-mile drive through the park. Experience shady hollows, wooded knolls, and spectacular prairie restoration. Brochures for this Prairie Restoration Auto Tour can be found at the park office. ? Enjoy a picnic lunch at the Josh Hanson (Veterans) Memorial Picnic Shelter, then take a stroll along the beach at South Lida Lake.
History: Human habitation in the area dates back at least 6,000 years. Artifacts found in the park give evidence of both prairie and woodland cultures. Most artifacts, however, indicate that the site was occupied 900 to 1200 years ago and that the residents were primarily hunters during that period. Records of modern habitation began in the mid-1880s when the original land surveys occurred. After the organization of the Lida and Maplewood townships, the area population rose to 1,167 by 1900. The idea of establishing a park in the area goes back to 1923 when it was originally proposed at the legislature. A later study concluded that this hilly, lake-dotted terrain was better suited to recreation than to farming. In 1963 the park became a reality when Maplewood State Park was established by the Minnesota Legislature.
Maplewood State Park Hours
Monday-Thursday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Friday-Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Use the self-registration kiosk at the park office.
Location: Address: 39721 Park Entrance Road, Pelican Rapids, MN, 56572 | Tel: (218) 863-8383 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Maplewood State Park Website | Distance from The Lodge on Lake Detroit • 28 miles
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.
View Detroit Lakes Parks & Trails Guide