County Parks

Early Martin County was home to Native American Dakotah, Otoe and Iowa tribes as well as fur traders, soldiers, hunters and voyagers. In 1856 the first white settlers came to Martin County. The land on which our parks are located is rich with many stories and legends about these early peoples and how they lived and hunted.

In 1971, with funds from the Land and Water Conservation fund of the U.S. Dept. of Interior, the State of Minnesota (the State Grant program) and Martin County, the county park system was put in place. The first four parks purchased were Perch Lake Park near Truman, Cedar Lake Park near Trimont, Bright Lake Park near Ceylon and Timberlane Park on South Silver and Iowa Lakes. Wolter Park was given to the county by the Holy Family Catholic Church.

Initially these parks were to be developed and maintained by community and service groups close to the respective parks, with local plans complementary to the county park plan. The original federal, state and county money could only be used for land acquisition and not development. In 1975, concerns about vandalism and disrepair in the parks led to a park maintenance program and a county park board.

There are over 230 acres of County park land in Martin County. Each park has its own unique characteristics. There are well-developed parks: Perch Lake Park and Cedar Hanson Park; small parks: Klessig Park and Wolter Park; and parks which are natural and primitive: Bright Lake Park and Timberlane Park. All of the parks are adjacent to a lake.

Martin County invites you to visit our beautiful local parks. Whichever park you prefer, enjoy your visit and respect what the county maintains for all its residents.

Other areas to use and enjoy in the county are the DNR Wildlife Management Areas (WMA). Many of these areas have never been plowed and also have not been used as pasture for many years. They have remnants of native prairies as part of their ecology. There is also oak savannah and calcareous fen in the county.

"Take only pictures, leave only footprints."

Follow all park rules posted at the parks.

Camp site reservations are not accepted. All sites are on a first come first serve basis.

Shelter houses can be reserved for special occasions by calling the Martin County Auditor/Treasurer’s office at (507) 238-3211.