Glendalough State Park, Battle Lake

#42 of 141 in Nature in Minnesota
Must see · State Park · Park
Glendalough State Park is a state park of Minnesota, USA, in Otter Tail County near Battle Lake close to Minnesota State Highway 78. It is named after Glendalough in Ireland. The park was once used as a resort and game farm by the owners of Cowles Media Company, owner of what is today the Star Tribune newspaper. The park contains 1931acre on land and 1000acre on the water. Cowles Media Company transferred title to Glendalough to the Nature Conservancy in 1990, and the Nature Conservancy transferred title to the State of Minnesota in 1992. Glendalough was officially declared a state park with a celebration on Earth Day, April 22, 1992.HistoryIn 1903, Ezra G. Valentine developed that land into a summer retreat called Valentine's Camp. In 1905 the park was left to Valentine's children, John Alden and Miss Blanche, who later sold the land to Fred A. Everts. Everts sold the Valentine camp to F.E. Murphy who owned and operated the Minneapolis Tribune. Murphy renamed the land Glendalough, after a monastery in Ireland. With the depression in the 1930s and land becoming available for purchase, Murphy expanded the camp and started a game farm. In 1941, Glendalough, along with the Minneapolis Tribune, was purchased by Cowles Media Company, which was partially owned by John Cowles, Sr. Glendalough Game Farm hosted important individuals such as President Dwight D. Eisenhower, President Richard Nixon and Vice President Walter Mondale during its time. In 1990, the land was donated to The Nature Conservancy by Cowles Media Company, and in 1992 the title was transferred to the State of Minnesota. Glendalough State Park celebrated its creation on Earth Day, April 22, 1992.
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Glendalough State Park reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
64 reviews
  • The bike around the lakes in the park was beautiful, with fall colors near or at peak. Absolutely must see the beach at the old lodge. Sugar sand and crystal clear water.  more »
  • One of our favorite state parks for families/kids (the other is Glacial Lakes). The campground is clean, quiet, family friendly, and beautiful. It is a cart in campground, so you will have to cart.....  more »
  • Nice park for swimming, biking and camping. There are no sites for trailers or RVs. There is a cart in campground with 4 cabins and 20 some tent sites. It's nice to not have vehicles passing your site all day and evening but it's a bit more work setting up and tearing down. They have showers and flush toilets. That being said, the cart in camp sites were not the best camping we have experienced because it was noisy and had no air movement through it. I think the tree canopy traps sound and the lay of the land alows it to carry a long way. Also the sites are not very private. It works though if you bring ear plugs. We have also stayed in the yurts. We tried them in the fall. They are interesting, but be prepared for a long hike to get there. They are also in direct sun most of the day so it was very hot inside even with daytime temps in the low 70's.We were too hot all night so I can't imagine what summer is like. In the end, we love this park for day trips to swim, kayak and use the bike trail into Battle Lake.
  • Beautiful park with lots of fun things to do. Great location for individuals, couples, families, or even parties. Beautiful lake that is so clear and clean. There is a river that connects the lakes, and a hiking trail along the river. Great area for biking, hiking, camping, fishing, swimming, and so much more.

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