An Echo Press reader submitted a question regarding what kinds of activities take place at Lake Carlos State Park during the winter.
One thing’s for certain: The park definitely doesn’t go into hibernation.
“The summer is our busiest time of the year,” Lake Carlos State Park Manager Allen Lego admitted. “The winter slows down, just because we don’t have a campground going like we do in the summer. We still allow camping, but not a lot of people winter camp.
“It does pick up when we have snow and are able to have ski trails for snowshoeing,” he added. “We still get people that access the lake and ice fish and we do have four camper cabins that get rented and their use picks up too when people can come ski, fish and snowshoe.”
The camping options for winter enthusiasts include drive-in camping sites at the lower campground near the lake. Only one camping unit is allowed per site in this lower area.
Four year-round camper cabins are available Thursday through Sunday in the upper campground.
One cabin sleeps five people and the other three cabins sleep six each. All cabins come equipped with electricity, heat and a screened porch. Pets are not allowed.
The picnic shelter is partially enclosed during the winter and is heated by a wood stove to function as a warming house. Wood is supplied by the park.
Cross-country skiing is an option in the park, featuring moderate trails on rolling terrain for classical skiing.
There are groomed snowmobile trails that connect to the 500-mile Douglas Area Trail Association trail system.
Snowshoes are available to rent at the park office.
A thermal flip-over style portable fish house is available to rent on Lake Carlos only. Contact the park office for current rates and availability.
“There are locals, but we do get traffic from outside the local area and immediate surrounding area,” Lego said about the typical winter traffic within the park. “It’s kind of a mixture of both.”
Horse trails, showers and the dump station are now closed for the season. All water is shut off in the park with vault toilets remaining available for use throughout the park.
The park entrance is located 10 miles north of Alexandria on State Highway 29, then two miles west on Highway 38.
For more information, visit the websitewww.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/lake_carlos or contact the park at (320) 852-7200 daily between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. or by email email@example.com.