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Parks and Trails Council of Minnesota

Lake Louise State Park

By Jim Umhoefer
As Minnesota’s southernmost state park, Lake Louise is an attractive introduction to the recreational pleasures of the state. Families will find a peaceful lake setting for picnicking, swimming or hiking. Lake Louise State Park is located 1.5 miles north of LeRoy just off the Bluff Country Scenic Byway in Minnesota’s Mower County.

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Formerly known as Wildwood Park, Lake Louise became a state park in 1962

Formerly known as Wildwood Park, Lake Louise became a state park in 1962

The historic dam once powered a grist mill at Lake Louise State Park

The historic dam once powered a grist mill

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Trails
A small bridge just beyond the lakefront provides access to most of the park’s trail system. Weekends draw the most people to the park, but you can lose the crowds by exploring the 11 miles of foot trails. Horseback riders can ride through the park on 10 miles of trails.
The paved Shooting Star Trail cuts through the park and connects nearby LeRoy with Rose Creek and beyond to the northwest. Highlights along this trail include remnant prairie and a trail shelter built to resemble a Norwegian church.
Camping
The semi-modern campground has 11 campsites. Two group camps accommodate a total of 80.
Park History
The town of LeRoy was platted in 1853 and a dam was built to contain the Upper Iowa River and power a gristmill. When the Hambrecht family homesteaded near here, the land supported a mixture of hardwood timber and lush prairie. But, when the railroad didn’t come through LeRoy, the town relocated 2 miles south to meet up with the railroad and the Helmbrechts donated their parcel of land to the city and it became Wildwood Park. In 1962 the city of LeRoy donated Wildwood Park to the state of Minnesota and Lake Louise State Park, named after a Helmbrecht family member, was born.
Winter
Lake Louise is a prime spot for winter solitude and wildlife photography. The park has become a traditional wintering area for white-tailed deer. Bring your snowshoes and explore. Local volunteers sometimes groom ski trails.

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