Old Mill State Park is rich in history and recreational activities. Long ago, the area, along with much of the northwest corner of the state was underwater. As the lake water receded over the years, it left many leveled areas of land in its wake and formed the river valley. Today, Middle River flows through the center of the state park with areas of the park connected by bridges.
In 1882, the Larson family built a homestead in the area that is now the state park. Mills were built a few years later. The mills had to be rebuilt over the years due to flooding in the area. Owned by several different people over the years, the mills were sold to the state in 1937. The steam engine and mill were later restored and are still run once a year to grind flour.
While Old Mill State Park is open year-round, the campground is closed during the winter season. Water is shut off in the park during the winter months due to freezing temperatures but is turned back on Memorial Weekend. There are 26 campsites in the state park, including ten with electric and water hookups. Reservations can be made online or over the phone.
Upon your arrival at the park, head over to explore the historical site. Trek down the 8 miles of trails in the park to stretch your legs. Walk over Stone Bridge or the suspension bridge, both spanning over Middle River and connecting different areas of the state park. If visiting in the winter months, bring your snowshoes and snowmobiles. Groomed trails are available for winter use.
Old Mill State Park is located just over 10 miles from the small city of Argyle, Minnesota off of 240th Avenue NW. Though you may feel that the park is isolated during your stay, you don’t have far to drive if in need of services or supplies.
There aren’t any notable hazards to be cautious of on your drive to the state park. Camping season is open from May to October, beginning after the snow and ice melt and ending before the frigid winter temperatures set in again.
The park roads are easy to navigate even if in a big rig. The park can accommodate RVs and trailers up to 67 feet in length. The parking pads are gravel and mostly level. Parking areas can be found throughout the park as well if wanting to drive to the sandy beach at the pond or another part of the day use area.
Old Mill State Park provides a peaceful camping experience. Surrounded by the green of lush trees in the spring and summer, colored leaves in the fall, and a blanket of snow in the winter, the park is pretty during any season. With prairies, a river, and trees, the park provides campers with many different terrains to explore.
The campground at the state park is open from May through October and has 26 campsites. Ten of the campsites at the state park have electric and water hookups. The campsites are back-in and can accommodate RVs and travel trailers up to 67 feet in length. Reservations for campsites can be made online or over the phone.
Amenities in the campground include showers, restrooms with flush toilets, and vault toilets. Firewood can be purchased at the state park. Visitors will find that the park and campground are pet-friendly. Remember that your dog must be kept on a leash.
Water hookups, flush toilets, and showers are only available for use in-season. Water is shut off during the winters months and may be shut off prior to the camping season coming to a close. It is restored Memorial Weekend when camping season begins again for the park.
The vault toilets in the campground area are open year-round. The park does not have a dump station. The closest dump station is in the city of Warren which is about a 20-minute drive from the state park.
On warm summer days, head down to the sandy swimming beach at the pond within the park. The pond is fed with fresh water from a well. Swim or bring along your favorite floaty for an afternoon of fun. It is the perfect spot to splash around and cool off on a hot day.
Old Mill State Park has many trails to stretch your legs on. The park has a one mile interactive trail, along with an additional 7 miles of hiking trails. Throughout your hike you’ll encounter prairie, a number of different trees and other types of vegetation, and wildlife.
Bring along your horseshoe set and your volleyball. The state park has horseshoe and volleyball pits available for use. Gather friends, family, or neighboring campers for a game or two. It's the perfect way to spend an afternoon during any season at the park.
The historical site within the state park includes a log cabin and a steam-powered flour mill. The flour mill is operated once each year to grind flour. Learn about the history of the area, from the mills that have been operated to the floods that had caused them to be rebuilt over the course of the area’s history.
There are many different types of wildlife in the state park. It is common to see beaver in the river and pond, as well as jackrabbits and raccoons. Birdwatchers will have ample opportunity to see several of the 100 species of birds that are native to the park.
The winter months at Old Mill State Park offer plenty of outdoor activities. When snow blankets the ground, bring your snowshoes and snowmobiles along for your stay. There is a one and a half mile groomed trail for snowmobiling. Snowshoeing can be done throughout the state park.