Originally a land with a river and a lot of woods, Hayes Lake State Park in Minnesota was developed to satisfy a need for more water resources in the area. This isn’t the bad, city type of development; instead, a lake was made that only adds to the land’s natural beauty. This lake, made by damming the river, was heavily promoted by A.F. Hayes and it now bears his name in his honor.
Around Hayes Lake, you may be alone with the loons and moose on some calm mornings. These, however, are far from the park’s only species. There are also black bears, timber wolves, otters, lynx, bobcats, pine martins and fishers present, though some of these are rarely seen. More commonly, you can see deer, foxes, raccoons, minks, and skunks. Many water birds call the shoreline their home. Along with loons, you can see herons, grebes, and other such flying beauties.
In the lake itself, large mouth and northern bass, crappie, and sunfish make a home. This makes fishing an obvious possibility. Since the entire lake is within the park’s borders, only electric motors are allowed. This allows for a quieter, more peaceful experience. Swimmers find Hayes Lake to be a nice place for a dip, and canoeists like to paddle its waters as well.
On land, you’ll find it easy to get a natural snack since blueberries grow wild. Picking the berries is allowed, but the flowers are to be left alone. Orchids and gentians provide visual beauty and interest as well.
Trails abound, and allow for a wide range of activities. Hiking and horseback riding predominate in the warmer months, while snowmobiling and skiing take over in the winter. The trails connect with the Beltrami Island State Forest, allowing visitors to see even more wilderness without having to move their campsites.
With only about 29,000 annual visits, Hayes Lake State Park is the perfect destination for those who want to enjoy the wilderness without the hustle-and-bustle of a crowd of other campers. The area is untamed, pristine, and calm.
To prevent the spread of insect pests in the forests, only approved firewood is allowed and it’s illegal to bring your own from outside. Nearby vendors can supply the approved wood.
There are many types of camping accommodations at Hayes Lake State Park. Drive-in, electric, RV, and even backpacking sites are available. The RV sites can take a vehicle up to 40 feet long. For trailers, measure from the front of the tow vehicle to the rear of the trailer.
The available sanitation varies by season. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, you can use flush toilets, the dump station, and showers. During the off-season, sanitation is limited to the vault toilets that are situated throughout the park. Some, but not all, of these vault toilets are open all year.
Due to the low traffic at the park, there are no set hours for reaching its office. Visitors who want to call are advised to call on the weekend, and leave a message if the phone isn’t answered. The park’s telephone number is 218-425-7504. Its address is 48990 County Road 4, Roseau, MN 56751.
It is possible to rent a Group Camp at Hayes Lake State Park. These campsites can accommodate up to 60 people and have vault toilets. Reserving these camps is done through a different phone number: 1-866-85PARKS. Reservations can be made up to a year in advance.
For those who are looking for a true wilderness area but don’t want to give up every amenity, Hayes Lake State Park in Minnesota is the perfect destination. It has miles of woods and a lake, but flush toilets and showers are right there in the campground area. Best of all, it has the peace and solitude that can only be found in remote areas. When you want to get away without getting lost, come to this park and relax.