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Moose Lake State Park

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Park Info

Moose Lake State Park is located in Moose Lake, MN. This park has rolling hills surrounded by fields, trees, ponds, and fishing lakes, making it popular with the outdoorsy types. It has two lakes for kayaking, canoeing, and fishing; hiking trails; and in the winter, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing. There is a park office and interpretive exhibit available, as well as equipment rentals, picnic area, playground, volleyball, horseshoes, fishing pier, and swimming beach. It is also a smaller park located two miles or so out of town, so trips to town for supplies won’t take long.

There are five miles of hiking trails, with 1/3 of a mile being wheelchair accessible. The trails wind through the beautiful nature and around the ponds. When it comes to skiing and snowshoeing, there are no groomed trails, so if backcountry skiing is your jam, this may be your place.

If you’re looking to camp here, there is a variety of sites to choose from, including drive-in, electric, walk-in, group camp, and two wheelchair accessible sites. The website says there are accessible modern toilets and showers here, as well as vaulted toilets. I haven’t used them myself, so I’d assume they are similar to the ones we’ve seen in the past.

All of this info came from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources website, so credit where credit is due. Click here to view the original source.

Accessibility of Facility

Parking is paved in the main lot by the park office/visitor center. There are handicapped spots available. It is a well-maintained lot with sidewalks.

Bathrooms are located in the park office/visitor center. They are modern with a wheelchair accessible stall with grab bars. There are no door buttons and if I remember correctly, they open outward.

Getting to the trail should have been fairly easy, however, since I am directionally challenged and struggle with maps, it took me a minute. The trail I took is just off the parking lot (not the park office like I thought) and was clearly marked with a map when I got there.

Trail Info

The Wildlife Pond Loop is 1.40 miles and has approximately 55 feet of elevation. It took me about 40 minutes to complete it, which is about right for my current pace. You will start right off the parking lot and cross the highway to get to the portion that loops around the pond. It is a grass and dirt type trail with roots and rocks to remind you to pick up your feet better (*cough* looking at you, self). There is beach rock in areas, as well as an uneven bridge crossing, so if you aren’t steady on your feet this might not be the one for you. The hills vary in intensity, but none of them are horrible. I did get short of breath, but it wasn’t anything a little break couldn’t cure. There weren’t any coughing episodes, so that is a win right there. I read in the reviews that if you start counterclockwise it would mostly be down hill and thought I took that advice, until I realized I went to the left. I was so proud of myself too…

There was a rest area at the halfway point in a nice shelter. I didn’t use it, but I appreciated it for sure. I really liked how this trail was surrounded by so many different trees and was quiet. The leaves are just starting to change, and this will be a spectacular view when that fully happens. It was nice to not see many people until near the end of the loop where the hiking club portion of the trail started. Even so, I only saw a few couples. You can hear road traffic, but it isn’t loud by any means.

I saw wildlife this time! I startled a couple of deer and a red squirrel (it wasn’t an asshole…in case you were wondering) while minding my own and enjoying the trail. It was cool to see them that close and not have to worry about them jumping out in front of my car. The pond was at the end (for me) and I was excited when I finally saw it. It is a nice place to stop and enjoy the view for a moment. There is also a clearing in the first half of the trail (if you go left) that would make a cool snack stop if you’re doing the longer portion that connects to this one.

This is a beautiful area that I will definitely go back to in the future. I would classify this as easy on the rating scale. I did have shortness of breath and worked up a bit of a sweat, but it wasn’t super strenuous or draining. Yesterday, I was having issues with my breathing and some pain, but I woke up in the morning feeling a bit better thanks to not taking my OxyMask off in my sleep and yoga class the night before (shout out to yoga class). These factors likely did affect my endurance because my fatigue levels have been frustratingly high lately, but my rating would not change. That being said, I was also fueled by my breakfast shake, sparkling caffeine water, and half of a crispy bar. I have been doing well not eating that type of stuff since it doesn’t help my body, but let’s face it, some mornings caffeine and a crispy bar are needed. You know?

Let me know if you check it out. I’d like to hear your thoughts.

Do you see Currently Unnamed CardyBear? See if you can spot him and put FOUND in the comments.

Be safe out there! REMEMBER YOUR MAPS AND PASSPORT STAMPS!! Seeyalaterbye <3

Also, if you feel called to help a sista out with her travels, check this out!

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