You must be signed in to save park lists.
Your Park Lists
add New List
Add Photo
You must be signed in to add photos.
state route ranger badge

Minnesota State Parks

responsive menu icon
USA Parks
Heartland Region
Glacial Lakes State Park
Common Loon ©
Campfire and Hotdogs ©
Roasting hot dogs over an open fire.
Availability Search
25022 County Road 41
Starbuck, Minnesota   56381

Phone: 320-239-2860
Toll Free: 888-646-6367
Reservations: 866-857-2757
Email: park email button icon
Stand on top of the scenic glacial hills and experience the vast, open prairie which once dominated Minnesota. Wildflowers and prairie grasses blanket the landscape from spring through fall. Swim, fish or boat (electric motors only) in the fresh, clear waters of 56-acre Mountain Lake. A shady, spacious campground is available; horseback riders and backpack campers can camp at the trail center and at remote sites. Canoe rental available. A picnic area deck overlooks Mountain Lake.
Nature of the Area
The park is located at a crossroads or transition zone between the original prairie land to the west and the central hardwood forests to the east. Only about 1/10 of 1 percent of the original Minnesota prairie remains. The park preserves a portion of rare native prairie including a wide variety of grasses and forbs such as the big and little bluestem grass, Indian grass, prairie clover, pasque flowers, coneflowers, and goldenrods. Common prairie shrubs include wolfberry and rose. Check at the park office to see what wildflowers might be in bloom during your visit. Enjoy the clear and clean 56-acre Mountain Lake that has its entire watershed inside the park.

Glacial Lakes State Park is located in western Minnesota in a geological area commonly known as the Leaf Hills. This region, a 10- to 19-mile-wide band of glacial hills unlike any other in the state, extends from Detroit Lakes to Willmar. As glacial ice advanced southward, hills and bluffs were sheared off down to the bedrock. When the ice retreated, it deposited the rocks, gravel and dirt once suspended within it.

Many species of prairie and woodland birds make their home at Glacial Lakes. Take the Prairie-Woodland Interpretive Trail or visit marshland areas to see a variety of bird and mammal life. Squirrels, deer, beaver, wood ducks, raccoons, pileated woodpeckers and occasionally coyotes can be seen.
History of the Area
Glacial Lakes was established as a state park in 1963 to preserve the rolling prairies of the area, the comparatively pristine condition of the land and its rich prairie flora. The park preserves a special kind of landform and was an important addition to the Minnesota state park system.

1. Glacial Lakes State Park offers a designated swimming beach on Signalness Lake.
2. No lifeguards are present, so swim at your own risk.
3. Swimming is allowed during park hours from 8 am to 10 pm.
4. The sandy beach area provides easy access for swimmers of all ages and abilities.
5. There's also an option to rent paddleboards or canoes for water-based fun beyond just swimming in the lake.

The park offers a variety of boating options for visitors. Non-motorized boats such as canoes, kayaks and paddleboards are allowed on Signalness Lake, providing an opportunity to explore the water in a peaceful setting. A boat ramp is available for easy access to the lake. Additionally, rowboat rentals are offered within the park allowing guests without their own equipment to enjoy time out on the water too.
The park offers abundant fishing opportunities in Signalness Lake, teeming with species like largemouth bass and bluegill. Other fish include black crappie, northern pike and yellow perch. Anglers can enjoy shore or boat fishing options within the park's boundaries.

Glacial Lakes State Park offers picnic tables, fire rings and grills. There's also a shelter available for larger gatherings.
Biking enthusiasts can explore the park's multi-use trails, suitable for all skill levels. Be aware of hikers and horseback riders sharing these paths.

The terrain varies from flat prairies to challenging hills, offering a diverse biking experience. Always wear protective gear due to uneven surfaces.

Mountain bikers should note that some areas are steep and rocky - caution is advised when navigating such sections.

During winter months, fat tire bikes offer an exciting way to traverse snowy landscapes but be mindful of icy patches.

Remember: no off-trail biking allowed in order protect natural habitats within this beautiful area.

Please respect trail closures during wet conditions as riding on muddy tracks can cause damage.

Always carry water with you; dehydration poses serious risks even in cooler weather or over short distances.

The park offers diverse birding opportunities with over 200 species recorded. It's a hotspot for migratory birds. Birdwatchers can spot waterfowl, songbirds, and raptors in various habitats including prairie and hardwood forest areas. The park also provides guided bird walks during the summer season.

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
write a review
Share On

Nearby Hotels

From the town of Starbuck, go 3 miles south on Highway 29, then 2 miles south on County Road 41.

state route ranger badge

Minnesota State Parks