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Nestled in the Alexandria Glacial Moraine Complex, Monson Lake State Park attracts visitors with its untouched nature and plenty of outdoor opportunities. This Minnesota state park is located just outside of Willmar and a bit over an hour from St Cloud. This area of Minnesota has a fascinating topography shaped by glaciers 30,000 years ago. Monson Lake, the main attraction of the state park, was formed by melting ice.
This 364-acre state park might not seem large, but it is a perfect getaway spot for anyone who loves hiking, fishing, and boating. Monson Lake State Park is home to a variety of bird species, so birdwatchers often spend time here during warmer months. When you need an excuse to unplug for a weekend or even longer, book an RV in Kandiyohi County and experience fascinating landscapes in the very heart of Minnesota.
Monson Lake, as well as the adjacent East and West Sunburg Lakes, are excellent fishing destinations. The quality of the water in these lakes is exceptional, allowing many fish species to thrive here. Anglers may catch bluegill, northern pike, walleye, yellow perch, and black crappie. Anglers who go camping at Monson Lake State Park often use the fishing pier that is just a short walk away from the campground. Remember to pack all of your camping gear before heading here because there is no bait shop close to the lake.
Monson Lake State Park has a 1.2-mile trail that will take visitors through the woods near the lake. The trail is not steep and suitable for hikers of all levels. Birdwatchers frequent the trail as well in search of pelicans, yellow warblers, northern cardinals, swamp sparrows, and many more. When you are RV camping at Monson Lake State Park and interested in the history of this place, don’t forget to stop by the Broberg cabin. The state park itself is a memorial to 13 Swedish American pioneers who were tragically killed during the Dakota War of 1862.
Monson Lake State Park has a small campground with 20 drive in-sites. Most of them do not have any hookups, while six feature electric hookups and the campground can accommodate vehicles that are up to 70 feet in length. The Monson Lake State Park campground is located next to the lake, offering visitors an incredible view of the water and the woods. Other facilities include showers, restrooms, and a picnic area. Campers may also use the pier and the boat ramp located within the campground.
This campground is pet-friendly, but owners need to keep a close eye on their pets, making sure they are not bothering other visitors. Considering that there is a limited number of sites for motorhome camping, it is recommended that you contact the campground’s office before your arrival. The staff from Sibley State Park manages Monson Lake State Park in the summer. This campground doesn’t operate during colder months of the year. However, the state park is open for visitors at any time.
St. Cloud is the largest city in the central part of Minnesota and the business center of that region. It was named after a city in France. Mississippi and Sauk Rivers flow through St. Cloud. This city has a gorgeous waterfront, with 30 lake islands that are a favorite among local canoeists. Not to forget that St. Cloud is a college town and has a very youthful vibe. Monson Lake State Park campers could enjoy this place because there is always something going on at St. Cloud. Outdoor concerts and festivals are common in the summer. The city is very pedestrian-friendly, and visitors often go on walking tours to see all the important landmarks in St. Cloud.
One landmark to view is the Stearns History Museum that has a goal of preserving the history of St. Cloud. The building that houses this museum is unusual and surrounded by a large grassy area that even has a skate park. Visitors are encouraged to explore the museum themselves, as well as the grounds around it. Inside, they may see hundreds of documents, photographs, and artifacts that detail the development of St. Cloud through the centuries. Permanent exhibits are centered around St. Cloud’s industry, such as the production of granite.
Visitors who are more into fine arts could make a stop at the St. Cloud River's Edge Convention Center. This large exhibition space features impressive installations. One of them is the Natural Life on the Mississippi. Minnesota’s flora and fauna inspired this piece. You may also tour the Minnesota Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame Museum and see sports memorabilia related to famous baseball players who came from this part of the United States.
St. Cloud has a rich culinary scene, with gorgeous restaurants and grills throughout the downtown area. Local breweries have been a huge hit in recent years, and visitors could try some of the best craft beers Minnesota has to offer right here in St. Cloud.
Should you want to continue exploring this state after your outdoor adventure at Monson Lake State Park, head to St. Cloud, which is just an hour away from Minneapolis.