Photos by Tom Hintgen
Camping is popular at Lake Carlos State Park south of the Otter Tail County line in Douglas County, just like at Glendalough and Maplewood state parks to the north, in Otter Tail County.

By Tom Hintgen

Otter Tail County Correspondent

Many residents of Otter Tail County enjoy visits to Maplewood and Glendalough state parks within the borders of the county. For a change of pace, there’s also the opportunity to visit Lake Carlos State Park in Douglas County, only 11 miles south of Parkers Prairie.

Lake Carlos State Park is located 11 miles south of Parkers Prairie.

Lake Carlos State Park was established in 1937 to provide additional recreation in west central Minnesota. Five buildings were constructed by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in rustic style, among them the mess hall, crafts building and the facility near the public swimming beach.

The lower campground has an excellent view of the north shore of Lake Carlos. The upper campground is located in the northeast corner of the park, near the park office and pioneer group camp.

Hikers can get a glimpse of Tamarack Bog along the trail. Visitors enjoy watching for deer, beaver, loons, herons and other wildlife that inhabit Lake Carlos State, located just off Highway 29 between Parkers Prairie and Alexandria. Other activities at this state park include fishing, boating and horseback riding.

The park phone number is 320-993-3750 and the email is:

You will need a year-round or one-day vehicle permit before you visit a Minnesota state park. Permits can be purchased online or onsite at the state parks.