By Amy Rea

If you head south from the Cities, about an hour from the metro is Sakatah Lake State Park. It’s right outside of Waterville and about 14 miles from Faribault, making it an easy day trip with plenty of outdoor recreational opportunities.

Located on the shores of Sakatah Lake, the park offers easy access for fishing and boating (but note there’s no swimming beach), including a boat launch area and a fishing pier. There are multiple shady spots for picnicking.

Photo by Amy Rea

There are also multiple trails for different uses. If you want a rough trail to hike along that provides excellent views of the lake, you’re in luck.

Photo by Amy Rea

But there’s a bigger trail system involved here, too.

(credit: Amy Rea)


A three-mile segment of the 39-mile Sakatah Singing Hills State Trail crosses through the park. The trail is paved and fairly level, so easily accessible for people wanting to walk, run, or bike. The park’s portion of the trail is a beautiful, shady stretch that will likely be even more beautiful in the fall–the trail is surrounded by predominantly deciduous trees.

The forest runs along the lake, but on the other side of the trail are a few swatches of prairie lands.

Photo by Amy Rea

The park has extensive camping facilities, including showers and toilets (open to mid-October) and a dump station for RVs.

The park is very peaceful and serene; while hiking or biking through it, you wouldn’t guess there’s a town nearby. But if you need something more than camp food, Waterville has several eateries, just a few minutes away.

What else is happening in our state? Be sure to check out the 10 p.m. Sunday night WCCO newscasts, where you can learn more in the weekly segment, Finding Minnesota.


  1. And more spiders than you will see in any MN state park. Woke up every morning and shook a hundred plus dad long legs off my chair. Plus a couple wolf spiders the size of my fist. The lake is green pretty much all the time, so forget about jumping in. A quiet campground and worth the trip. Don’t forget the bug spray, you’ll need it.