Lake Louise State Park is a wilderness wonderland with over 1,100 acres of fun activities just waiting for you to enjoy. Just north of the Iowa border and south of Rochester in LeRoy, Minnesota you will find a 25-acre lake full of fish, miles of walking, biking, and equestrian trails, and camping for everyone. Toss your stuff in the RV and head on over to Lake Louise but don’t forget the fishing poles because the lake is known for its plentiful fish, whether you like to fish for bass, catfish, or panfish.
With a peaceful oak savanna, wetlands, fields of wildflowers, and grasslands, the area around the lake is full of wild critters that you will likely see during your stay. The lake is not the only body of water in the park, though. The Little Iowa River, Upper Iowa River, and several streams provide ample opportunities for wading, swimming, fishing, or even a float trip.
Lake Louise State Park has been known as a recreational area since it was donated by the Hambrecht family in the late 1800s when their grist mill was abandoned with the construction of the railroad. When it was first donated, it was named Wildwood Park and the pond there was named after a member of the Hambrecht family, Louise. The name stuck and when the city donated Wildwood Park to the state of Minnesota, they named it Lake Louise State Park.
This historic state park is just two miles from the town of LeRoy where you can stock up on food, ice, and other needs while filling up the tank on your rig before getting settled at the campground. The roads from highway 56 to the park are a bit curvy so be sure to slow down and watch out for low hanging branches if you are driving a big rig. Driving slow will also provide you many opportunities to spot some of the local wildlife such as white-tail deer, red foxes, raccoons, and over 141 species of birds.
The park itself has plenty of room for recreational vehicles like campervans and RVs but some of the campsites are not made with large rigs in mind. In particular, the equestrian campground has a loop that is reported to be difficult to maneuver in a large vehicle with a trailer. However, the roads throughout the park are level and well-maintained with plenty of clearance for your biggest RVs. You may have trouble parking your rig by the picnic areas though, so it is best to leave your rig at the campsite and walk or bike around the park.
Louise State Park Campground has 11 electric and nine non-electric campsites available from Memorial Day weekend until Labor Day. Each site provides a picnic table, tent pad, fire ring, and parking area. There is a restroom nearby with running water and flush toilets and a shower house with hot water. Also, an RV dump station is available nearby. The length limit is 45 feet from the front of the vehicle to the rear of the vehicle being towed or the front of the RV or motorhome to the back. Pets are allowed as long as they are kept on a leash.
The equestrian campground has six campsites with drinking water, vault toilets, and a day use horse parking and tie area. It is also close to the shower house and restrooms with running water and the main parking lot. Each site has a fire ring, picnic table, and tent pad as well. Pets are allowed as long as they are kept on a leash.
There are two group campgrounds; one that accommodates up to 30 people and the other is for up to 50 people. Both sites have fire rings, picnic tables, and vault toilets with drinking water close by. Pets are allowed as long as they are kept on a leash.
The Shooting Star State Trail has almost 20 miles of paved path from LeRoy to Rose Creek. Parallel to highway 56, the trail is also known as the Wildflower and Historic Route Scenic Byway. With a plethora of vibrantly colored wildflowers and grasses and tallgrass prairies, you will need to take plenty of pics to share on Facebook. The trail also has several interpretive areas like the Mower County Scenic Area, Rustic Retreat Wildlife Management Area, and the Taopi Prairie Interpretive Area. There are three other trails as well; the Lake View Trail is a two-mile loop, Wildwood Loop is a one-mile loop, and the Woodcock Loop is a two-mile loop.
Lake Louise is 25 acres of clean and clear water with a soft gravel bottom and plenty of space for the whole family. The beach has picnic tables, BBQ grills, shelters, and lots of room to explore. There are also restrooms with flush toilets and running water and a large parking lot with plenty of room for the rig. You may also enjoy swimming in the Upper Iowa or Little Iowa River where you can also float down the current on a raft. However, there is no lifeguard so swim at your own risk.
The state of Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has a park program for kids and their families that teach fishing, camping, paddling, biking, and archery. These are designed for families that are wanting to try any of these activities for the first time. You will get hands-on instruction from experienced crewmembers and they even provide all the gear you will need! Also, the program is free so you can try all of them if you like.
One thing Minnesota has plenty of in the winter and that is snow, which means plenty of skiing and snowshoeing in winter. At Lake Louise, the Shooting Star State Trail has been reputed to be one of the best in the Midwest with a plethora of ups and downs, winding paths, and forested winter wonderland. There are other trails in the park that you can enjoy as well such as the Woodcock Loop, which is two miles and winds through the woods amid views of the Little Iowa River or the Lake View Trail that is two miles and starts at the campground parking lot.
The park is equine friendly, and not only do they have a special camping section for RVers with horses, but they also have almost 10 miles of equestrian trails to explore. Most of the trails are surfaced with natural vegetation so they are easy on the hooves as well as on your feet. During the off-season, you and your horse will typically have the trails to yourself and you can enjoy the peaceful path through the oaks and prairies.
Lake Louise is fun all year long and if you are looking for a place to snowmobile, this is your spot. The local snowmobile club keeps the 9.6 miles of trail groomed as it connects to the Grant-In-Aid trail network in Southeastern Minnesota. Pack up the RV, hook up the snowmobile trailer, and head to Lake Louise State Park where you can enjoy the gorgeous scenery without all the summer crowds. You may even be able to see some of the winter wildlife as you zip through the woods.