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Lake Maria State Park

Lake Maria State Park

Just northwest of Monticello is lake Maria State Park, home to the Blandings turtle and one of the few remaining stands of the "Big Woods," a maple, oak and basswood forest that once covered part of southern Minnesota. Like Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge, lake Maria is a bit off the Great River Road proper, but is a perfect side trip for hikers, backpackers, horseback riders, and cross-country skiers who enjoy the challenge of the rolling terrain. Backpack sites, located on remote lakes and ponds throughout the park, are just two miles from the trailhead parking lot.

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