State Park Information
Lake Carlos State Park
  4 Stars (4 Ratings)
  2601 County Road 38 NE
      Carlos, Minnesota 56319
  United States
  (320) 852-7200
  Unknown
Description

Sculpted by ancient glaciers, Lake Carlos State Park contains a tamarack bog, marshes, woodland ponds, and lakes.

A variety of recreational activities revolve around the lake. Clear and deep, Lake Carlos offers visitors a perfect setting for swimming, fishing, boating, camping, hiking and horseback riding. In the winter, ski from the tamarack bog to a maple-basswood forest.

Wildlife
One third of Minnesota's 80 mammals and over 150 species of birds inhabit the park seasonally or year around. Visitors often see beaver, deer, loons, grebes, ducks and heron.

History
Early settlers drifted into the area after the signing of the Traverse des Sioux treaty in 1851. This treaty opened much of central Minnesota to white settlement. Alexander and William Kinkaid settled at the junction between Lake Agnes and Lake Winona, the area that was to become the town of Alexandria. During the U.S./Dakota War of 1862, most of the settlers moved east to Sauk Centre and St. Cloud, but returned to the area later that year. During the Great Depression, the state purchased the land that became Lake Carlos State Park in 1937.

Geology
Receding glaciers left most of Douglas County blanketed with layers of gravel and sand. This 'drift'contains pebbles and round stones of all sizes. Retreating glaciers also left huge chunks of broken ice. When these blocks melted, they formed the area's lakes. Lake Carlos is 150 feet deep in places. The outlet at the northeast corner is the source of the Long Prairie River. Although no rock outcrops occur in this area, boulders taken from glacial drift supplied farmers in the area with building blocks for the foundations and walls of their homes and barns. This granite masonry can also be seen in the park's beach house and pump station.

Landscape
The park's 1,231 acres lie within a hardwood transition zone between the prairies to the southwest and the coniferous forest to the northeast. The park's glacial moraine topography is dotted with woodland ponds, marshes, wet meadows, and lakes cradled among the hills. Visitors can hike or ski from a tamarack bog to a maple-basswood stand, or from open grassland to forested ridges...all within minutes.

Park Stats
Campgrounds: 5 Campsites: 135
Photos: 32 Reviews: 4
Views: 613 Likes: 0
   

   Amenities
  No information available.

   Documents & Files
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   Lake Carlos State Park Reviews


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Tim T.
4 Star Rating4.0 out of 5 stars
  Great Park right on a lake
Reviewed on September 12th, 2020
Great Park right on a nice lake, swimming, fishing & boat rental near by. Campground by the lake is very compact no privacy, but its right on the lake. Carlos Creek Winery & Brewery is near by nice place to go to with a group.
Unknown
5 Star Rating5.0 out of 5 stars
Reviewed on June 19th, 2020
This is a very nice park with a nice lake, clean restrooms/showers, nice separate swimming beach, boat launch, and fish cleaning facilities tucked away from any campsites. This park is also pet friendly. We have been visiting this park for many years and will continue for many more.
Unknown
4 Star Rating4.0 out of 5 stars
  Nice place to stay
Reviewed on June 19th, 2020
This is a very clean, well thought out campground. Sites down near the water are VERY close together, but yes, you do have a view of the lake. The upper campground sites are spaced farther apart and it's quieter. Close to Alexandria if it's a rainy day or you've just had enough water/sun!! Very nice campground.
Unknown
4 Star Rating4.0 out of 5 stars
  1st time with camper, great set up
Reviewed on June 19th, 2020
We are new travel trailer owners and found that the campground was laid out nicely and easy to access. The other campers respected quiet time. You can pull a boat right up to the beach and the lower campground sites were really easy to navigate a camper into. Bathhouses were clean, beach was clean, kayak rental and kids programs were fun. A very good set up.
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