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Roman the Gnome Explores Hayes Lake State Park

Hello everyone, Roman the Gnome here! I recently had the pleasure of visiting Hayes Lake State Park in Roseau County. It was an incredible experience that I will never forget! As a traveler who loves outdoor adventures, Hayes Lake State Park was definitely a hidden gem that I’m happy to have discovered.

One of the first things I noticed about the park was its stunning natural beauty. From the moment I arrived, I was surrounded by lush forests, a calm lake, and wildlife. The park is home to several trails that offer a variety of hiking experiences. Whether you are a seasoned hiker or just starting out, there is a trail for everyone at Hayes Lake State Park!

The Bog Boardwalk
The Bog Boardwalk

My favorite trail was the boardwalk, which winds through the forest and leads to a bog just off the lake. The trail was well-marked and easy to follow. Along the way, I saw several different types of wildlife, including deer and a variety of birds. It was an incredible experience to be so close to nature and to witness it in its purest form!

Fun at the Beach
Fun at the Beach

If you are someone who loves water activities, Hayes Lake State Park is the perfect destination for you! The park has a beach that is ideal for swimming, fishing, and boating. I spent an entire afternoon on the lake, soaking up the sun and enjoying the serene beauty of the water. It was a peaceful experience that allowed me to recharge and relax.

swan Hayes Lake
We spotted a swan while we were canoeing

I couldn’t resist the opportunity to kayak up the river at Hayes Lake State Park! It was an unforgettable experience that I would highly recommend to anyone who visits. Kayaking up the river allows you to see the park from a completely different perspective. As you paddle along, you’ll be surrounded by forests and wildlife, and you’ll have the chance to spot birds and other creatures up close. The water is calm and gentle, making it an ideal experience for kayakers of all skill levels. Whether you want to spend a few hours or a full day on the water, kayaking up the river at Hayes Lake State Park is an adventure that you won’t want to miss! Don’t forget to bring a camera so you can capture the beauty of the park from a unique angle! 

Just outside Hayes Lake is Beltrami Island, which is actually a state forest, not an island. I spent some time driving around and even had time to pick some blueberries for my travels. There are miles of gravel roads with plenty of beautiful pine trees and other plant life. I even saw a bear off in the distance!

It is always nice to know the history of an area that you are visiting. After doing some more research, I discovered that the park was officially established in 1967 and that one of the park’s first priorities was to create a lake for water-based recreation! This was achieved by building a dam on the river, and the lake was named after A.F. Hayes, a local resident who was instrumental in advocating for its creation. The park was dedicated in 1973 and continues to be a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts!

Of course, Hayes Lake also has a campground on the lake plus multiple cabin options. Anyone that has a tent or a camper can reserve a site and camp for the night. The campground is next to the trailhead of the boardwalk. 

Hayes Lake State Park is a must-visit destination for anyone who loves outdoor adventures. Whether you want to hike through the forest, swim in the lake, or simply relax in nature, this park has something for everyone. I highly recommend visiting Hayes Lake State Park and experiencing the beauty of northern Minnesota!

Article Credit: Levi Steinhauer