Garden Island State Recreation Area 


Remote and virtually undeveloped, Garden Island State Recreation Area is the northernmost unit of the Minnesota State Park system. Part of its attraction is the challenge of getting there—as you leave the south shore of Lake of the Woods, the island is 19 miles away and not yet visible on the horizon. But once you arrive, the island itself will charm you. Its quiet beaches beckon you to stroll along the retreating waves.

Birds scamper at the water’s edge and dart above you in the air. Fishing boats come into dock for shore lunches, with visitors from near and far enjoying a midday break at the picnic tables. Or you may want to take a bit more time and explore the woods and marshes of the island’s interior. Winter offers opportunities too—and snowmobiling across Lake of the Woods may feel like your first Arctic adventure.


Park permits: $35 annual, $26 second vehicle, $12 handicapped, or $7 daily. Camping fees are separate.

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