Moose Lake State Park best places to hike in Minnesota

One of the best state parks in Minnesota is right off I-35 on the way to the North Shore. Moose Lake State Park in Moose Lake, Minnesota features beautiful hiking trails, woodlands, peaceful lakes and ponds, and the Agate & Geological Center.   

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See my related Minnesota state park series.



Top things to do at Moose Lake State Park in Moose Lake, MN

Moose Lake State Park best places to hike in Minnesota

Here are the top 10 things to do at Moose Lake State Park in Moose Lake, Minnesota.

  1. Hike among towering trees and along meadows, ponds, and Echo Lake at Moose Lake State Park.
  2. Bike the two-mile paved trail that leads to the 60-mile William Munger Bike Trail.
  3. Boat, kayak, canoe, or paddle on Echo Lake in Moose Lake State Park.
  4. Swim at the family-friendly Moose Lake beach.
  5. Check out horseshoes and volleyball equipment at the park office.
  6. Camp in traditional tent and RV sites as well as two walk-in sites.
  7. Fish for largemouth bass, walleyes, panfish, and more.
  8. Look for the resident trumpeter swans as well as white-tailed deer. And maybe even see a moose in the marshy areas.
  9. Picnic along the shores of Echo Lake at Moose Lake State Park.
  10. Hike, snowshoe, back-country ski, and snowmobile in the winter at Moose Lake State Park.

Frequently asked questions about Moose Lake State Park in Moose Lake, Minnesota

Moose Lake State Park best places to hike in Minnesota Echo Lake

Where is Moose Lake State Park located? What is the address for Moose Lake State Park?

Moose Lake State Park best places to hike in Minnesota Echo Lake

Moose Lake State Park is located in northern Minnesota in Moose Lake, Minnesota. On the way to the North Shore, Moose Lake State Park is conveniently right off I-35. The address is 4252 Country Road 137, Moose Lake, MN 55767.

When is Moose Lake State Park open?

Moose Lake State Park is open year-round, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day.

Is Moose Lake State Park free? How much is the admission fee at Moose Lake State Park?

Admission to Moose Lake State Park in Minnesota only costs $7 per vehicle per day ($5 per motorcycle). That includes unlimited visits to all Minnesota state parks on the same day. I highly recommend an annual pass, which gives you entrance to all Minnesota state parks. See the Minnesota DNR website for more information. And it’s highly recommended to pay online ahead of time. Minnesota state parks are no longer accepting cash self-payment envelopes on site.

Admission to every Minnesota state park is free for all Minnesota state tribal members.

You can also visit Moose Lake State Park on any of the four free state park days in Minnesota. See my related post for this year’s free state park days. Note: admission is free; tours are extra.

Does Moose Lake State Park have a lake, river, or waterfall?

Moose Lake State Park best places to hike in Minnesota Echo Lake

Yes. Moose Lake State Park features the 105-acre Echo Lake as well as several ponds. Moosehead Lake and Moose Lake are also located nearby.

Can you fish at Moose Lake State Park in Minnesota?

Moose Lake State Park best places to hike in Minnesota Echo Lake fishing pier

Yes. Anglers catch bass, northerns, and panfish in Echo Lake at Moose Lake State Park. Additionally, nearby Moosehead Lake is where you can cast a line for northerns, walleyes, and largemouth bass. The fishing pier on Echo Lake at Moose Lake State Park is wheelchair-accessible.

Does Moose Lake State Park have a swimming beach?

Moose Lake State Park best places to hike in Minnesota swimming beach

Yes. Moose Lake State Park features a small swimming beach on Echo Lake. You’ll find a picnic area with tables, fire rings, and a playground with a tire swing. You can check out volleyballs and horseshoes seasonally from the park office.

Can you boat at Moose Lake State Park? Does Moose Lake State Park offer a boat ramp?

Yes. You can boat, canoe, kayak, and paddle at Moose Lake State Park. Bring your own boat or rent from the park office seasonally May through October. This lake also features fishing piers and a boat ramp with trailer access.

Does Moose Lake State Park have a campground? Can you camp at Moose Lake State Park?

Yes. You can reserve campsites at Moose Lake State Park in early May through mid-October.

  • 33 drive-in sites
  • 20 electric campsites
  • 2 walk-in campsites
  • 2 wheelchair campsites
  • RV length limit is 60 feet

How big is Moose Lake State Park in Minnesota?

Moose Lake State Park best places to hike in Minnesota hiking trails

Moose Lake State Park in Minnesota covers 1,143 acres.  

Is Moose Lake State Park buggy? Mosquitos? Ticks?

I hiked Moose Lake State Park in the fall so it wasn’t buggy. However, the Minnesota DNR site says to expect ticks, flies, and mosquitoes. So apply your picaridin and Aunt Fanny’s DEET-free mosquito wipes.

How long and how difficult are the hiking trails at Moose Lake State Park?

Moose Lake State Park best places to hike in Minnesota hiking trails

Moose Lake State Park features 5 miles of hiking trails. The most popular hiking trail loops at Moose Lake State Park range from 0.9-mile to 1.5-mile loops.

One of my favorite fall foliage hikes in Minnesota is at Moose Lake. Walk along towering aspen stands along with other hardwoods and evergreens. You will hear road noise on some parts of the trails due to the proximity of I-35. However, Moose Lake State Park is still a beautiful and peaceful place to hike.

Are hiking poles needed on the trails at Moose Lake State Park?

Moose Lake State Park best places to hike in Minnesota hiking trails

I didn’t require any hiking poles on the trails of Moose Lake State Park. Trails at Moose Lake State Park are gradual rolling hills and flat terrain on pavement, mowed grass, and packed dirt.

Snowshoeing or cross-country skiing trails at Moose Lake State Park?

You can snowshoe or cross-country ski anywhere in Moose Lake State Park in the winter. Additionally, winter hiking along ungroomed trails is also perfect.

Can you snowmobile at Moose Lake State Park?

When snow levels and conditions allow, you can snowmobile on a designated trail in Moose Lake State Park.

What are the best views at Moose Lake State Park?

Moose Lake State Park best places to hike in Minnesota Echo Lake fishing pier

One of the best views at Moose Lake State Park is from the fishing pier on Echo Lake. Additionally, hiking among the scenic and towering stand of aspens offers a great view.

Are there bike trails at Moose Lake State Park?

Yes. Moose Lake State Park features a two-mile bike trail. Additionally, the park is only two miles from the 60-mile Willard Munger Trail that runs all the way to Duluth and to nearby Hinckley.

Does Moose Lake State Park feature equestrian trails?

No. Moose Lake State Park does not have horseback trails.

Does Moose Lake State Park have a visitor center? Modern restrooms?

Yes. Moose Lake State Park features a visitor center and Agate & Geological Center, open seasonally from early May through mid-October. Agate hunting is a big deal in Minnesota. Here at the Agate & Geological Center you can learn more about this gemstone, other rocks, and minerals from the interpretative displays.  

Modern restrooms with flush toilets and showers are available in the campgrounds from early May through mid-October. Vault toilets are available throughout the year.

Is Moose Lake State Park dog-friendly?

Yes. Leashed dogs and pets are welcome on Moose Lake State Park hiking trails. All Minnesota state parks welcome dogs except inside buildings. Leashes must be six feet or less.

Are there bears and moose at Moose Lake State Park?

While it’s possible to see bears at Moose Lake State Park, these sightings are not common. You’re more likely to spot white-tailed deer, trumpeter swans, geese, and ducks. But watch for the ever-elusive moose as well especially in the marshy, boggy areas.

Is firewood available at Moose Lake State Park?

You can purchase certified safe-to-move firewood from a nearby gas station or other vendors.

Why can’t you bring in your own firewood or collect firewood in the park? To protect Minnesota trees, you can only burn certified wood on MN DNR land. Collection is not allowed in state parks and you may not bring firewood from home. This helps prevent spreading harmful insects and diseases.

How far is Moose Lake State Park from the Twin Cities – Minneapolis and St. Paul (MSP) airport?

Moose Lake State Park is located 116 miles from the Minneapolis – St. Paul (MSP) International Airport.

What’s near Moose Lake State Park? Top things to do near Moose Lake State Park?

Moosehead Lake in Moose Lake Minnesota near Moose Lake State Park fishing pier

Moose Lake State Park is located in Moose Lake, Minnesota. Here are the top things to do near Moose Lake State Park in Minnesota.  

  • The charming town of Moose Lake is located just a couple of miles west of Moose Lake State Park. Make a stop at the Fires of 1918 Museum to learn about the tragic wildfire that destroyed 250,000 acres and claimed hundreds of lives. Or fish more on the Moosehead Lake fishing pier (pictured).
  • The Gafvert Campground and day-use area in Nemadji State Forest is located 18 miles east of Moose Lake State Park.
  • Hinckley’s Grand Casino and the Hinckley Fire Museum is only 33 miles south of Moose Lake State Park. And we always love to stop at Tobey’s Restaurant and Bakery. You must try their ginormous and decadent cinnamon rolls.  
  • Plan to hike all 66 Minnesota state parks? Then I recommend Banning State Park. One of my favorite places to hike, Banning is only 20 miles north of Moose Lake State Park. Drive a few more miles north of Banning and you’ll find Jay Cooke State Park – which features a scenic swing bridge and beautiful cascades. You can also enjoy exploring Minnesota’s largest state park south of Moose Lake State Park. The scenic St. Croix State Park featuring a fire tower, hiking trails, and two rivers popular with kayakers is 48 miles from Moose Lake State Park.

When was Moose Lake State Park in Minnesota established?

Moose Lake State Park was established in 1971.

How did Moose Lake State Park get its name?

Moose Lake State Park is named after the nearby town of the same name.

Does Moose Lake State Park host deer hunts? Is Moose Lake State Park closed during deer season?

No. Moose Lake State Park does not typically host deer hunts during deer hunting season. However, it’s always a good idea to check. For a complete list of which Minnesota state parks are closed or limited to the public during deer season, see my post: Hiker safety: MN state parks that host deer hunts.

Hiking safety tip during deer season: Wear bright orange when hiking during deer season. I typically avoid hiking at all even if the state park is partially open to non-hunters.

A list of the best Minnesota state parks

Moose Lake State Park best places to hike in Minnesota hiking trails

All Minnesota state parks are the best in my opinion. You can read reviews of each one to create your own list of top-ranked Minnesota state parks: Take the Minnesota state park challenge


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Twin Cities-based blogger sharing memorable emptynester, solo, family and girlfriend-getaway adventures, as well as my day hiking adventures (including all 66 Minnesota state parks), latest book reviews, and updates on my quest for the best adult mac and cheese. Also two WIPs: historical fiction and psychological thriller

34 comments

  1. Thanks for all of these tips on visiting beautiful Moose Lake State Park! I love all of the options of things to do here and your post makes it much easier to plan our trip.

  2. When I saw your post about Moose Lake State Park the first thing I went looking for was to see if there were moose there! But even without moose sightings, it looks like there is a lot to see and do. We would certainly plan to visit the charming town of Moose Lake while in this area. Another great park to visit one day.

    1. Seeing a moose in the wild is something I hope to see one day from a safe distance. Although no moose sightings for me at Moose Lake, I did enjoy my beautiful hike.

  3. This is incredible! Fall was the perfect time to explore, the foliage made the park look absolutely enchanting. I’d love to wander here but would need to visit that fishing pier first to photograph, truly lovely.

  4. Wow, Moose Lake State Park seems to have everything! I can’t imagine how beautiful a hike must be during peak fall, thanks for sharing!

  5. I love to snowshoe and it can be difficult to find good trails. Looks like I need to take a winter trip to Moose Lake State Park 🙂

    1. I hope you get the opportunity to visit Minnesota. Moose Lake State Park is a very peaceful and beautiful place to relax and recharge.

  6. Moose Lake State Park looks like such a beautiful area to explore! The lake looks so peaceful and a great place to relax. I especially love the view of the fishing pier on Echo Lake – how picturesque! Thanks for the great guide!

  7. What a beautiful part of the world, I’d love to go kayaking here – it looks wonderful! Such a comprehensive guide for everything you need to know and great that they do some free admission days too!

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