Visit Alexandria

Lake Carlos State Park

This 1,214-acre park lies within the scenic Leaf Hills Region, a transition zone between the prairies to the southwest and the coniferous forests to the northeast. The lakes area around Alexandria is a favorite with campers and boaters during the warm months. Lake Carlos State Park is located 10 miles north of Alexandria off the Glacial Ridge Trail Scenic Byway in Minnesota’s Douglas County.

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Early Spring on the Prairie Pothole Trail at Lake Carlos State Park

Early Spring on the Prairie Pothole Trail

Moss on the forest floor at Lake Carlos State Park

Moss on the forest floor

Winter hiking near Hidden Lake at Lake Carlos State Park

Winter hiking near Hidden Lake

The lakes and rolling terrain of Lake Carlos State Park were born from the last glacial period and the mammoth ice block that melted to form Lake Carlos left a deep, clean lake 150 feet deep in places and noted for its abundance of fish.

 

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Trails
With more than 14 miles of hiking trails, you can explore stands of hardwood trees one minute, then cross a grassy meadow to a woodland pond or marsh the next.  It is this combination of grassland, wetland, and wooded ridge that makes the park a treat for hikers. However, nine miles of horse trails attract equestrians, too.

Early Spring on the Prairie Pothole Trail at Lake Carlos State Park

Early Spring on the Prairie Pothole Trail

Camping/Lodging
Lake Carlos State Park offers a total of 121 sites split between a lower area on the lake and a wooded and more secluded upper campground. Horse camp has room for about 30 people and two group camps accommodate a total of about 85. The Hidden Lake Group Center has room for 60. For those looking for a less rustic lodging experience, the park has four year-round camper cabins.
Winter

Six miles of groomed, moderate cross-country ski trails are a treat on a winter day, especially when you warm up by the wood stove in the ski shelter. Snowshoeing is allowed everywhere but on groomed trails.
More about skiing at Lake Carlos State Park

Lake Carlos State Park grooms six miles of ski trails

Lake Carlos State Park grooms six miles of ski trails

A winter walk around Lake Carlos at Lake Carlos State Park

A winter walk around Lake Carlos

Snowshoeing through the lower campground near Lake Carlos

Snowshoeing through the lower campground near Lake Carlos

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