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Lake Carlos State Park, Minnesota

4.1
#105 of 142 in Nature in Minnesota
Lake Carlos State Park is a state park about 10 miles north of Alexandria, Minnesota, USA. The park was established in 1937 to provide a public recreational facility in one of Minnesota's summer resort centers, and attracts tourists from Minnesota and bordering states.
Five buildings in the park, constructed by the Works Progress Administration in the Rustic Style, are included within the National Register of Historic Places. These include the Mess Hall and Crafts Building within the group camp area, as well as the water tower, sanitation building, and bath house within the public use area.
The namesake lake, Lake Carlos, was named for the friend of an early settler.
Use our Minnesota road trip planning app to visit Lake Carlos State Park on your trip to Minnesota, and learn what else travelers and our writers recommend seeing nearby.
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Lake Carlos State Park Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
20 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • If in the Alexandria area, it is a nice drive. We went for a hike, it has decent hike trails system. There are campground and a swimming beach. A bit above average of wildlife sightings. The other adv...  more »
  • Hiked the 2.9 hiking club trail on 4/21. The trail is moderate due to the hills and length. There was an area of standing water on the trail near the parking lot. I would start hiking the trial going ...  more »
  • We enjoyed the view, the facilities, hiking trails, eating in Alexandria one evening, and fishing in Lake Carlos.  more »
Google
  • Lake Carlos State Park is skin deep dive into nature, mostly reserved for RV campers, boaters, and cabin camping aficionados. Now don't get me wrong, the park is really nice in general, with modern amenities and friendly staff, but don't come here expecting to immerse yourself in the wild and feel secluded from society: this park is always busy (in the summer). Focusing on the lake that is its namesake, the park has a distinct lack of extensive trails. The trails that are here are enjoyable at best and offer easy to medium difficulty ratings on mostly flat terrain. They are not "destination trails", meaning they do not take the hiker to a scenic goal, but instead offer a look into the woods and the wildlife that lives there, while not inherently bad, leaves the hiker with a distinct "lack of adventure" feeling. That being said, the boat access is nice and the park allows boaters to leave them landed on the beach during their stay, allowing for quick and easy trips out onto Lake Carlos and the whole chain of lakes that make this area famous, which is the real reason anyone comes to camp at this park (and maybe the horse trails).
  • What a great candlelight snowshoeing event they held in Feb. Our family loved it.
  • They had everything plowed out nicely within reason the ranger up front was friendly and helpful as always. Did not see anyone out camping.
  • Really really cool camp ground! The public park was nothing to write home about. The group center was amazing ! Like really amazing!
  • We rented the group area. It has a beautiful cooking center and leisure area. I like that the cabins surround the leisure area in a circle, so that everyone is in one location without any cabin being incredibly secluded. We enjoyed the private lake front. My only negative comment is that the dock isn’t well-made.
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