Myre-Big Island State Park, Albert Lea
Categories: State Parks, Nature & Parks
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.Put Myre-Big Island State Park and other Albert Lea attractions into our Albert Lea itinerary maker, and watch your holiday take shape.
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On a lazy mid October day I used TA and stumpbled on this scenic, fun park and scenic campground. Great hosts and full power for hookups.
Stayed two nights at BP1. The hike in is about a mile long half of which was on a paved trail. It had some ups and downs but wasn't particularly strenuous. We had to pack water in. There were spigots ... read more »
I can't write the best review of the park due to the fact that I camped there right after all of the rain MN has gotten. As a result, their facilities (toilets and showers) were closed, the trails wer... read more »
A great combination of Nature and modern amenities. It was mostly full, but the campground did not feel crowded. It had easy access to water, modern restrooms and showers. The White Fox Campground is well-maintained. The neighboring campers were all friendly and there seemed to be an unspoken rule of quiet at night. It was fourth of July weekend and it was quiet by 10:30pm. Wood for fire can only be purchased at check-in; outside firewood is not allowed. Although there were plenty of campers when we went hiking we did not encounter any other humans. There are many hiking and biking trails and plenty of maps on the way. It's easy to find your way through the trails. It was a great find and I'd definitely return for more camping and hiking.
We stayed at the little island group site, which was awesome. It was like havign a camp to yourself. The big islang portion is a great place to get some hiking in, with paths scattered all about. The big island area can be a bit buggy, mosquitoes love the shaded area under the trees there. The Little island gorup campsite is nice, a light crossbreeze keeps the mosquitoes down and there is a boat launch right near the parking lot by the site. PLENTY of room for a large gorup, can't wait to get there next year.
The older lady at the front desk is so sweet and reminds me of my grandma. She has the warmest and most straight forward greetings. Very cozy feeling here. Clean bathrooms and showers. The guy officer kinda dickish but he just doing his job.. so many deer and wildlife to see and experience it's amazing. Wonderful place to stay...
We really enjoyed the park and the campgrounds. The trails are well taken care of, and there is a lot of natural beauty to take in while there. The camp spaces are large enough and spaced out well. I love the mature trees that help shade the spots from the heat (which we did not have in this trip, unfortunately). Everything was very clean, but the shower rooms are a bit dated. Each campsite does come with a picnic bench and fire pit with grill attached. I point this out because not every campground had the grill feature and we use that a lot when we camp. Also, the campers around us were very respectful and the area was very peaceful. Yes, kids rode bikes around, but that's what they should be doing. What makes this park so spacial, other than the natural beauty, is the staff. They were very friendly, very helpful, and we can't say enough about them. Thank you for making our stay that much better.
While Myre Big Island might not have some of the amazing scenery of the more popular state parks, it is a gem in the rough with many great amenities to enjoy. The staff are pleasant and helpful and there is much to enjoy while staying here or just passing through. There are many miles of hiking trails, and with close access to the nearby city, you have anything you may need easily accessible as well.
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