fishing dock in lake

Lake Shetek State Park


Older man fishing on pier at sunset
Peggy Hubley/P&TC photo contest

About the park

Some say this place is a sleeping giant of the state park system. Located along the shores of the largest lake in southwestern Minnesota, the park offers a rewarding lakeshore experience.

The park sits within the traditional homelands of the Dakota people. It was established in 1929 as just 10 acres with a 25-foot monument to white settlers killed in the US-Dakota War of 1862. In 1937, the legislature re-established the state park after a WPA camp developed it into a recreation destination. The park has exceptional Rustic Style split stone construction from that era. (see timeline of park history)

Today, a mix of old-growth forest, restored prairie and several lakes and wetlands provide a pleasant variety. Visitors can rent canoes and kayaks from the park as well as fishing equipment. A modern campground was built in 2013 and the old campground redesigned for more privacy between sites.

Our Work by the Numbers


undertaken by P&TC
for this park


of invaluable
land saved


most recent project
was secured

$1.85 million

of land at time
of acquisition

Park Map Showing Project Sites

Project Stories

Boy Scout camp secured at auction


ACRES: 24.5

LOCATION: Peninsula along eastern shore of Lake Shetek

VALUE: $1.85 million

In fall 2020, the Boy Scouts of America Sioux Council announced they were auctioning off their nearly 25-acre camp located on a forested peninsula of Lake Shetek.

This land represented the last large-tract of tree-covered shoreline along popular Lake Shetek. It also happened to be located within the boundaries of Lake Shetek State Park. Unfortunately however, the MnDNR was not in a position to compete at the auction. Meanwhile, developers understood this was prime real estate with zoning allowing for the property to be divided into five private estates.

Parks & Trails Council contemplated the importance of this land to the park and arrived at the live auction on Oct. 24 ready to compete. With the resolve of knowing that future generations relied on our success, we emerged as the successful bidder. This parcel, with its old-growth forest, sandy beach and lakeviews is now protected for Lake Shetek State Park.

The sale was finalized, after a lengthy due diligence period, on Oct. 31, 2022. P&TC will hold the land in trust for the park until the MnDNR is ready to acquire it. It could be a number of years before this happens. In the meantime, P&TC will ensure the land remains protected as a natural place. See the FAQs below for more details.

Related Posts

Nov. 1, 2022 – Parks & Trails Council assumes official ownership of former Boy Scout Camp along Lake Shetek

Jan. 22, 2021 – Saving a rare forested peninsula for Lake Shetek State Park


Grow the Land Fund Campaign

Our Land Fund is now stretched to its limit as we’ve worked overtime to save valuable parcels for several parks and trails. Join with others supporters in keeping this fund working for Minnesota’s parks and trails.

Land Projects at Other Parks or Trails

Tour more of the land projects we’ve undertaken for parks and trails.

Related Projects