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Spanning over 1,900 acres, Glendalough State Park is a charming area that once served as a resort for the Cowles Media Company who owned the local newspaper. It was a popular site for many historical political figures to visit, such as former U.S. president Dwight Eisenhower and Walter Mondale. It was named after a monastery in Glendalough, Ireland.
This state park is situated next to Minnesota State Highway 78, making it very accessible for those who wish to tour the area with their motorhome. Glendalough State Park is a quick drive away from cities such as Alexandria and Fergus Falls.
You will find plenty of outdoor activities to try out while in the state park. Thanks to the park’s location next to Annie Battle Lake, it’s a great place to go fishing or swimming. For those who like to fish, the lake is known for its abundance of panfish and offers a few boat ramps nearby. The local park office also has fishing kits for rent if you didn’t bring your own equipment.
Another activity to try out while here is birdwatching. Glendalough State Park is home to over 150 species of birds, many of them warblers. Here you will also find orchard orioles and Eastern bluebirds flying around. This park has a helpful bird checklist you can use to mark down any you might see during your visit.
Lace-up your hiking boots and go hiking throughout the park. Some trails of note include the Beaver Pond Trail, which runs about 1.4 miles, and its paved bike trail. During the winter, these trails are opened for skiing and snowshoeing.
Book an RV in Glendalough State Park so that you are able to stay at its campground. The motorhome sites here are extremely limited, which might make it difficult for you to reserve a spot. If this is the case, you’ll find plenty of other RV campgrounds nearby, like Sunset Beach Resort and Woodland Beach Resort and Campground.
The campground at this state park offers firewood, public phones, a dump station, toilets, and showers. Pets are allowed, but there are a few rules you’ll need to follow if you decide to bring them along. The campground is also ADA-accessible.
In addition to its many amenities, this campground offers some unique sites. Besides the surrounding forest, you’ll find a small gift shop where you’ll be able to buy local souvenirs. There’s also a historic lodge nearby which was built in 1905 and serves as a museum telling of the park’s history.
If you’d like to take a day exploring the surrounding area with your camper, you’ll find a few places to do so. A short drive away in Battle Lake is the Prospect House and Civil War Museum. This museum is situated inside an old home and tells the story of James Allison "Cap" Colehour during his time enlisted in the military. The home is filled with exhibits that tell of his life and of Minnesota during the Civil War. When you’re done exploring the structure, you could also step outside and wander through its massive grounds which are filled with ancient trees and flourishing flower gardens.
There’s also the Legacy of the Lakes Museum. Located in Alexandria, the museum celebrates the history of the surrounding waterways and the traditions they have created. You’ll be able to view vintage boats, including revolutionary fiberglass models. In addition to this, there are exhibits which explore how fishing has changed and how people once dressed up to enjoy a day out at the lake. There is also a large garden surrounding the museum which is filled with nautical-inspired designs and plenty of native plants. The museum also hosts various events throughout the year, like a boat show and yoga in the gardens.
Take a quick hour’s drive over to Detroit Lakes with your travel trailer to experience Detroit Lake. The lake is home to a massive beach which makes it a very popular destination for fishing and swimming. In addition to this, the lake is also located near a few major festivals held throughout the year, such as the city’s Independence Day celebration.
Should you need to visit a gas station, there are a few located near the state park, which are about ten minutes away. You’ll also find a handful of restaurants close by, many of which serve comfort food. You might also discover a few out-of-the-way eateries which sell local specialties like hotdish and blueberry muffins.