Myre-Big Island State Park, Albert Lea

4.0
#54 of 84 in Nature in Minnesota
Myre-Big Island State Park is a state park of Minnesota, USA, just outside the city of Albert Lea. It has an area of 1578acre. The park protects 8mi of shoreline on Albert Lea Lake. The nucleus of the park is Big Island, a 117acre island attached to the mainland by a causeway. In turn a causeway connects Big Island to Little Island. The park was formerly named Helmer Myre State Park after former Minnesota State Senator Helmer Myre.Natural historyThe park is situated on the Bemis Moraine, which marks the southern extent of a glacial lobe during the Wisconsin glaciation 10,000 years ago. As the glacier retreated, the moraine caused the meltwater to back up behind it. Albert Lea Lake was created as a moraine-dammed lake and today covers 2600acre. The park also contains an esker, a sinuous ridge of sand and gravel dropped by a stream running under the glacier.The mainland is primarily vegetated in oak savanna with several wetlands. Restoration ecology projects, including controlled burning and water retention strategies, are ongoing to maintain and improve these habitats. Big Island, protected from the wildfires that suppressed tree growth in the savannas and prairie of southern Minnesota, bears a closed forest savanna which looks like an old growth hardwood forest. It comprises maple, basswood, elm, green ash, ironwood, and red oak, with willows along the lakeshore. Albert Lea Lake is highly eutrophic. Moraine dammed lakes typically fill in, but this process has been exacerbated by agricultural runoff.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
48 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • August 12, 2017
    We are camping in a motor home and found the sites relatively level with nice amount of trees and space between each. Nice trail around island where we saw lots of deer. It's very quiet, lots of beaut...  more »
  • July 19, 2017
    I love visiting Myre-Big Island. The park is very clean and well maintained. The trails are very pretty. It's a quiet peaceful park!  more »
  • June 16, 2017
    We went to visit my parents, who were camp hosts. The trails and campsites were very well maintained despite the lack of State funding.  more »
Google
  • July 5, 2017
    We had #9 campsite on the Big Island and enjoyed the wildlife (we saw many deer) and privacy of the site. The site had a great canopy to keep us cool and good proximity to the bathrooms (no electricity though). It's a great park for bikes, but with the dogs, we enjoyed the trails on the island which were tree covered. The only reason i didn't give it a 5- bathrooms are a bit more dated that most of the state parks we've been to and have 2 showers for the ladies.
  • June 26, 2017
    We went for a short walk around the Big Island and drove around to Little Island. The park seems very nice with at least three types of terrain to hike: forest, marsh, and prairie. The trail was pretty easy and had some nice views of the woods and lake. We were surprised there were no mosquitos, too! We'll be back to see more of this park!
  • July 9, 2017
    Friendly staff. Nice trails. Camping sites are a little crowded. Not enough showers.
  • July 1, 2017
    Nice sites but they confiscated my firewood even though it was in a sealed container and stored at their office.
  • May 21, 2017
    Whether you're camping in a tent, rv, or trailer they've got you covered. The boat launch needs some work as the bottom of the ramp has buckled up and could cause some problems if you have a boat on a trailer. Really this was the only negative. All the staff are just sweet as could be. Morgan was even excited to see the pics and vids that we took. Lol. This really is a beautiful park.

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