Lake Carlos State Park
2601 County Rd 38 NE
Carlos, MN 56319
About Lake Carlos State Park
Lake Carlos State Park offers a variety of recreational activities, including hiking, canoeing, fishing, kayaking and horseback riding on the ancient glaciers that formed it. The clear, deep Carlos Lake offers visitors spectacular views of the Great Lakes and the San Juan Mountains and is a great opportunity to ride a horse.
Early settlers moved to the area after the Treaty of Traverse des Sioux was signed in 1851.
The treaty opened up a large part of the central Mininas to white settlement and drove the Sioux and other indigenous tribes from their ancestral lands.
After the US-Dakota conflict in 1862, most settlers moved east to the Sauk Centre and St. Cloud, but returned to the area in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Alexander William Kinkaid settled in what would later become the city of Alexandria. During the Great Depression, the state bought the land, which became Lake Carlos State Park in 1937.
The park covers 1,305 hectares and is located on the north side of Lake Carlos, north of the city of Alexandria and south of St. Cloud. The moraine topography of the park is a series of lakes dotted with hills and lakes that wind up and down the hills.
Visitors can hike the wooded ridges of Lake Carlos State Park and along the lakeside and walk along the park's trails.
Retrograde glaciers have covered most of Douglas County with a layer of gravel and sand. The currents contain pebbles and round stones of all sizes, and some drift as far away from the lake as a few miles away.
The retreating glaciers have also left behind huge chunks of broken ice, and when these blocks melt, they form the lake area. Lake Carlos is 150 meters deep in some places, but the outflow in the northeast corner is the source of the Long Prairie River.
Although there are no outcrops in the area, boulders and glacial drifts provide the farmers in this area with granite walls that can be seen on the north and south sides of the lake, as well as on the east and west sides.
The park entrance is located on the north side of Lake Carlos, south of the lake. Visitors often see a variety of birds, such as Great Crested Grebe, Red-legged and Blue-footed Sparrows, as well as many birds of prey. Some live in the park seasonally and some all year round, but the most common bird species, the blue heron, lives near the parking lot.
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Lake Carlos State Park Reviews
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