The lower campground has electric sites and is situated along Lake Carlos but there is little privacy between sites (126 and 127). We camped with another family so it was nice to have the open space between our sites where the kids could play and run. The boat launch was quite busy and there seemed to be a lot of people not staying in the campground who use the park for the day. The hiking trail along the lake was busy but once we got a little farther out the trails were quiet and peaceful. The highway outside the park was loud at night, it sounded like people were drag racing the Friday and Saturday nights we stayed.
Lots of screaming kids the weekend we were here, but we found the quiet trails. Lower campground offers no privacy, but a newer shower house and views and access to the lake. Upper campground has a handful of sites that are tucked into the woods and are really quite lovely.
Excellent hiking trails away from the lake. Lake Carlos itself is fairly developed and busy with motor boats. The campground was nearly full and clean.
So much fun in the summer! Some great hiking trails, beautiful lake, easy to get to. Love it :)
We stayed in the lower campground, site 89. Nice tree canopy above although the sites themselves don’t have much privacy. This isn’t a quiet campground during the day but campers were very respectful of quiet hours at night. Direct access to the lake from the campground with a sandy beach and plenty of lakeshore for everyone. Many campers brought their boats and kayaks. Short drive to Lake Brophy County Park to ride the mountain bike trails or jump on the Central Lakes Bike trail.
We had fun setting up our campsite!
Leap Day 2/29/20-3/1/20 Frog Pond
We headed to Lake Carlos for their candlelight ski, this was our first visit to this state park. Tent camping wasn’t available and we were able to reserve a camper cabin - Frog Pond. It was a nice change and a warmer option, the cabin is gorgeous! Frog Pond sleeps 6 with heat and electricity. There are 4 cabins that share 2 vault toilets.
It was a beautiful 38 degree Leap Day and we took advantage of it. They offer a large number of ski trails so we xcountry skied before dark. The trails were icy, but still enjoyable. At dark we headed to the candlelight event. It was very busy and a huge turnout. We hiked 1.2 miles and then snowshoed 2.4 miles. There are ponds and bogs that they create snowshoe trails on, so there are even more trails to explore in the winter. It was a beautiful night and we enjoyed the wooded trails and starry skies. We had a fire and enjoyed a normal outdoor cookout before bed.
We did more skiing on Sunday and checked out the 2 campgrounds as they were on the ski route. One campground is on Lake Carlos and very open. Sites have beautiful lake views. You can apparently drive your boat right into a sandy shore and dock it. They also have a swimming beach. The other campground is a bit more wooded and more suited for tents. This campground is near the camper cabins. The trails are very wooded and pretty. We enjoyed skiing the hiking club trail and ended up hitting almost every trail in our stay. I assume this park would be equally beautiful in the summer. What a beautiful state park!
This is a beautiful campground right on the lake. We stayed in the lower campground and had great views of the lake and was able to beach the boat. The lower campground is less private and is busy.
Most spots were shaded by mature shade trees. A nice beach, especially for kids. Technically, no booze it there but if you keep it in concealed and don’t cause a problem, you’re golden.
I am from a suburb of Twin Cities metro area in Minnesota and we wanted to go camping with my in-laws who have horses. We needed a park that was close and had equestrian camping so we decided to go to Lake Carlos State Park.
Lake Carlos State Park is roughly 2.5hours from the Twin Cities and is a beautiful getaway for a weekend trip. You can leave after work on a Friday and still have time to make it to the park, set up and still be able to cook dinner and enjoy a s’more or two.
We booked site H3 in the equestrian campground which was a VERY open site right off the main loop in the equestrian campground. It was very sunny and barely any shade for the horses. The site were in was electric and there were only three non-electric sites in the equestrian campground. The other sites were awesome for shade but were still super open to everyone.
There were great trails for hiking and horseback riding. They also allowed mountain biking on the trails.
The staff at the office were super friendly and they talked to us for about 15 minutes. Their store in the office was pretty great and they had everything from toys for the kids to s’mores stuff and stickers specific to the park. The firewood was pretty fast burning and cost 6$ a bundle so it was pretty spendy since we cook only over the fire.
The main campground was VERY busy and jammed packed. The sites were too close together and open for my comfort.
The beach was very dirty and there were army worms everywhere crawling on everything.
We took a little bike ride to the group camp which was an amazing area with a very nice shelter with electric.
All in all, this is a good park to go to if you are looking for a park close to the twin cities metro area.