Explore Alexandria

Maplewood State Park

By Jim Umhoefer
10,000-acre Maplewood State Park is blessed with a peaceful natural beauty that encompasses more than 20 lakes interspersed among hilly woodlands, and an extensive trail system. From the crest of Hallaway Hill the view sweeps over a green-blue world of lakes, fields and woods. Boats below on Lake Lida are like water spiders, gliding swiftly across the lake, leaving widening wakes behind them. It’s peaceful and breezy up here, the kind of place that is tailor-made for relaxed trail lunches and lazy afternoons under blue skies and white, puffy clouds. Maplewood State Park is located seven miles east of Pelican Rapids just off the Otter Trail Scenic Byway in Minnesota’s Ottertail County.

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Fall colors bring families for an afternoon hike at Maplewood State Park

Fall colors bring families for an afternoon hike

Equestrians can enjoy more than 20 miles of horse trails at Maplewood State Park

Equestrians can enjoy more than 20 miles of horse trails

Maplewood in the fall is a photographer's paradise

Maplewood in the fall is a photographer’s paradise

Fall splendor on the park's main drive at Maplewood State Park

Fall splendor on the park’s main drive

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Trails
The trail network might be Maplewood’s best asset. 20 miles of horseback riding trails, laid out in loops, ramble through the park. A century or more fades away as you cross ridgelines and amble into valleys that have changed little since pre-settlement times.Hikers are also welcome on the riding paths and on the interpretive loops and connecting trails and with 25 miles of hiking trails there’s room to roam. Take a dip in the lake at the swimming beach after a long hike. The North Country Trail, a 4,600-mile footpath between North Dakota and New York State passes through the park on existing park trails.

Fall colors bring families for an afternoon hike at Maplewood State Park

Fall colors bring families for an afternoon hike

Enjoying a ride through the fall colors at Maplewood State Park

Enjoying a ride through the fall colors

The hills and valleys attract many hikers at Maplewood State Park

The hills and valleys attract many hikers

Camping/Lodging
Maplewood has a total of 71 drive-in campsites and three backpack sites. A group camp area offers room for up to 30 campers. The horse camp area has room for 24. For a less rustic experience, Maplewood offers five camper cabins. Three of these cabins are available year-round (Thursday through Sunday in the winter) and two are open to rent April through October only.
Fishing/Boating
Maplewood State Park counts more than 20 lakes within its boundaries. Two of the lakes, Lida and Beers, have drive-in boat landings. Lake Lida also features a guarded swimming beach and a large picnic area that is spread out across a hilly peninsula. Fishing is popular on many of the park’s lakes. Anglers on Lake Lida try for Walleyes and Northerns, while several of the smaller lakes are favorites for panfish. Ironically, Bass Lake attracts Rainbow Trout fishermen.
Winter

Five miles of groomed cross-country ski trails are a delight to ski. Adventurous skiers can break their own trail on an additional five miles of ungroomed, backcountry trails. Snowshoeing is permitted everywhere but on groomed trails. The park offers a one-half mile groomed snowshoe route. A warming house is available for those venturing out in the cold.
More about skiing at Maplewood State Park

Maplewood's camper cabins are just off the ski trails

Maplewood’s camper cabins are just off the ski trails

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