Spend the day at an area park or beach
The lakes area offers numerous parks and beaches to spend time outdoors on spring, summer and fall days.
Rocky Dock Park, Pine Mountain Lake: Go through town on Highway 87. The park offers a swimming beach, playground equipment, portable bathrooms.
Trailside Park, Highway 87 along Paul Bunyan Trail: The park offers picnic pavilions, restrooms and parking lot, and water fountain.
City Playground Park: First Avenue next to Backus Area Head Start Building. Park on First Avenue and enter through pedestrian gate. The park features playground equipment.
Pelican Lake Beach: From County Road 4, turn onto County Road 118. Find a sandy beach, swimming and picnic tables.
Breezy Point City Park: This park is at Breezy Point City Hall and features a softball field, playground, pavilion, basketball, volleyball and restrooms.
Breezy Point Neighbor-hood Park: A public swimming beach on Breezy Point Boulevard and Sand Beach Drive. No lifeguard is on duty; there’s a satellite restroom.
Big Island on Whitefish Lake: Find primitive campsites, hiking trails and swimming beach.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Recreation Area: On County Road 66, the park offers shaded picnic area, grills, shelter, camping, canoe launch, boat launches, swimming areas, playground and fishing.
Crosslake City Park: This 37-acre tract is in the South Bay area and offers a walking trail and picnic area. Parking is available, as well as a paved path paralleling County Road 66.
Crosslake Recreational Park and Community Center: On Daggett Pine Road off of County Road 66, featuring a picnic shelter, playground, indoor gym and tennis courts.
Uppgaard Wildlife Management Area: Off County Road 16 in Ideal Township, this area offers hiking trails.
EAST GULL LAKE
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: On County Road 125 (Gull Lake Dam Road), find lake camping, picnic area and pavilion, playground, fishing piers, swimming beach (no lifeguard on duty), boat launch and interpretive sites. A small fee is required.
Emily City Park: On County Road 1, find picnic tables, pavilion and playground.
Emily Ballpark: Go left at the stoplights in downtown Emily and find the diamond field.
Hackensack City Park: In downtown Hackensack, this park offers a playground, restrooms and beach on Birch Lake.
Lakeside City Park: Find a fishing pier, bathrooms, playground equipment, swimming beach, boat ramp, tennis courts, horseshoe pits, fire grill and pavilion all along Birch Lake, just west of Highway 371.
Ballpark: This is on Lake Avenue near the water tower and offers a portable bathroom, drinking water and dugouts.
Fritz Loven Park: On Ridge Road, this park features picnic areas with grills, pavilion (can be reserved), hiking trails, trout fishing stream, swing set and slide and restrooms.
Merrifield Lions Park: On County Road 3, this park offers a baseball diamond, sheltered picnic area, playground and volleyball court.
North Long Lake: On Highway 371, find swimming, a boat launch and picnic tables seven miles south of Nisswa. No lifeguard is on duty.
Nisswa City Park: Next to the Nisswa Community Center, find a baseball field, playground, basketball courts, soccer field, picnic tables, pavilions and restrooms.
Sibley Lake Park: On Sibley Street and Pequot Boulevard, find a picnic shelter, picnic tables, swingset, playground equipment and a fishing pier accessed by a stairway leading down to the lake. A boat launch is on Grove Street.
Trailside Park: This park in the center of town includes the Paul Bunyan Trail, a band shelter, picnic shelter, Dru’s Garden, Veterans Memorial and Paul Bunyan footprints.
Trailside North Park: This mini park off County Road 112 in the Trailside Estates subdivision includes playground equipment, swings, benches, picnic table, barbecue grill, gazebo and bike racks.
Bobber Park: This themed park is under the bobber water tower and includes Paul Bunyan’s ox, Babe the Blue Ox, and Paul Bunyan’s chair.
Gildner Park: At the intersection of Pillsbury and South Oak streets, the park maintains a wooded and rustic character. It includes picnic tables, barbecue grill, benches and playground equipment built of wood to resemble a fort.
Historic Fire Tower: Located off County Road 11 east of Pequot Lakes, follow a walking trail through the woods and climb the tower. There’s also a picnic area and barbecue stand in the parking lot area.
Mayo Lake Nature Preserve: This rustic 68-acre park is located near Mayo Lake in Loon Lake Township and Pequot Lakes.
Pine River Dam Park: On Barclay Avenue, the park includes the Lions picnic shelter, a log pavilion, picnic tables, fishing pier and swimming beach at the dam.
Liberty Park: It’s next to the Pine River American Legion Club on Highway 371 and features a playground, volleyball courts and picnic table.
Forbes Park: Over the Pine River bridge and left on Highway 84, find camping spaces (no hook-ups) and flush toilets, picnic shelter and restrooms. The Forbes Park Building is available for rent. There’s running water and fire rings.
Softball park: Find Shamp’s Field on Highway 1, east of town, featuring a concessions building, picnic table, bleachers and dugouts.
Crosby Memorial Park: On Serpent Lake on Second Street Southwest in Crosby, find camping, a swimming beach (some hours with lifeguard), playground, picnic pavilion, grills, band shelter, softball field, boat landing, basketball and volleyball court.
Deerwood City Park: On Fourth Street, the park includes a playground and picnic tables.
George H. Crosby Park: On Main Street near the library in Crosby, find a picnic area and one covered pavilion.
Ironton Park: Behind Wells Fargo Bank there’s a playground.
Northeast Park: On Eighth Street Northeast next to the Hallett Community Center in Crosby there’s a softball field.
Yawkee Park: North of Crosby on Highway 6, this primitive park features swimming in Yawkee Pit.