Visit Fergus Falls

Glacial Lakes State Park

By Jim Umhoefer
Glacial Lakes State Park is not ‘on the way’ to another destination, so people who come here want to stay a while. Several spring-fed lakes surrounded by rare virgin prairie and a virgin oak forest reward visitors with a glimpse of what this part of Minnesota looked like before settlement. Signalness Lake, also called Mountain Lake, at 56 acres the park’s largest, is tucked in a rectangular valley rimmed by high hills. The last glacier formed the hills, lakes, ponds and marshes in this nearly 2,500-acre park as it receded some 11,000 years ago. Glacial Lakes State Park is located 5 miles south of Starbuck just off the Glacial Ridge Trails Scenic Byway in Minnesota’s Pope County.

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The park road connects to the 5-mile Starbuck Trail at Glacial Lakes State Park

The park road connects to the 5-mile Starbuck Trail

View of Mountain Lake at Glacial Lakes State Park

View of Mountain Lake

Rolling hills at Galcial Lakes State Park

Rolling hills at Galcial Lakes State Park

Boat dock on Mountain Lake at Glacial Lakes State Park

Boat dock on Mountain Lake

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Trails
Some 16 miles of hiking trails wait to be explored at Glacial Lakes State Park and take you around Mountain Lake on the northwestern edge of the park to Kettle and Baby Lake on the southeastern end. The High Peak Trail starts at the group campsite and works its way to a 1,325-foot scenic overlook. Most trails are shared with equestrians, which have 11 miles of trail to ride on. A 5-mile paved bike trail connects the park to nearby Starbuck.

Hiking trail to one of the overlooks at Glacial Lakes State Park

Hiking trail to one of the overlooks

The Starbuck Trail connects the park to town

The Starbuck Trail connects the park to town

Camping
Campers can choose from 37 regular campsites split up between two clusters. The lower campground is near the Lake and Oakridge campground sits on a plateau surrounded by oak trees. For a little more of a challenge, hike out to one of four backpack sites. For a less rustic experience, you can rent a camper cabin. There are two seasonal cabins and four year-round cabins. A group camp area has room for groups up to 50 and the special horse camp has four sites with room for trailers and horses.

Camper cabin tucked in the woods at Glacial Lakes State Park

Camper cabin tucked in the woods

View of the dock with camper cabins in the background at Glacial Lakes State Park

View of the dock with camper cabins in the background

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Glacial Lakes State Park offers boat rentals

Glacial Lakes State Park offers boat rentals

A leisurely boat ride on Mountain Lake at Glacial Lakes State Park

A leisurely boat ride on Mountain Lake

Blackeye Susan is one of many native wildflowers found at Glacial Lakes State Park

Blackeye Susan is one of many native wildflowers found at Glacial Lakes State Park

Winter
Skiing, hiking and snowshoeing are allowed throughout the park, but there are no groomed trails.
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