This quiet city park is located in town on the lake. Enjoy beautiful sunsets, and family picnics in two spacious park shelters with tables. No reservations are taken for the shelters, it’s on the “first come, first serve basis” Restrooms and water are available. New playground equipment was added in 2002 through the work of many volunteers and donations by many people and organizations, including a DNR grant. A Softball field is adjacent to the park. Take a walk around the Old Mill Pond Boardwalk or rest on the wooden benches along the pond. You may also rest out of the sun in the gazebo and listen to the sounds of nature. The gazebo makes a lovely setting for weddings, birthday parties, etc. A beautiful sundial has been placed near the boardwalk. A rock burm was constructed in the summer of 2004.
The Minnesota Lake Area Garden Club took over the Community Butterfly Garden in the summer of 2003. Until that time long time resident Donna Salic had been in charge of the garden. Community volunteers work together to plant and tend this garden designed with an abundance of floral color and rock formations. Summer and fall wedding have been held near the garden. Bring your picnic baskets and cameras! The garden changes from season to season so come often and enjoy the surroundings.
Several years ago, Dick Sonnek helped to develop a Hosta Garden in the Old Mill Park. The garden had grown into a showplace of many variety of hosta. The garden club added another hosta garden around some of the new sidewalks that were put in place after the new playground equipment was added. Dick has also donated several of his unique iron garden sculptures to the town. These can be found in the gardens and around the boardwalk in the Old Mill Park.
Old Mill Pond
The Old Mill Pond is located in the city park near the lake. It was dredged out and made deeper a few years ago. Each year, the DNR stocks the pond in early summer with game fish. The pond is reserved for children, family, and senior citizen fishing. Wells Concrete Products donated the cement bridge crossing between the pond and the lake. The metal railings and Old Mill form were designed and constructed by local residents. An anonymous donor donated all materials.
Along with the ball diamond for Little League Softball and Baseball, and adult recreational Softball in the city park, Minnesota Lake has a beautiful modern baseball field on the school grounds with adequate bleacher space, an elevated press box and electronic scoreboard. With a lush, finely manicured grass infield, this diamond is a favorite of all visiting teams. In 2001, a joint venture by the Maple River School District, the City of Minnesota Lake, and the Baseball Association new lights were provided for this in field and in 2013 new dugouts were constructed for all teams to enjoy. With American Legion and VFW teams, a registered state amateur team, the Minnesota Lake Royals, and Little League Teams, you can enjoy watching a game of ball on almost any lazy summer evening.
Hunting, Canoeing, Boating, and Skating
During the fall season the lake provides excellent hunting for waterfowl, especially for those after the Canadian Goose. During the late season, northern ducks migrating south often stop to feed on area cornfields and rest on the lake. Within a ten-mile radius of Minnesota Lake are four other wildlife management areas, which include marshland, timber, and upland habitat for a variety of game species such as pheasant, Hungarian partridge and whitetail deer. Each provides excellent sport in season.
The lake also provides recreation for canoeists and boaters interested in observing wildlife. In the winter, it is a giant track for cross country skiers and ice skaters. An adjoining pond in our park also serves as a good place for outdoor skaters.
Two rivers, the Maple and the Cobb, traverse the area. They meander through farmland, timber, and grasslands, offering additional canoeing and sightseeing opportunities.