The City of Willmar has over 30 parks spread throughout the community, each with a wide variety of opportunities for residents to participate in. Whether you’re interested in a leisurely walk, bike ride, or just sitting by the side of one of Minnesota’s famed 10,000 lakes, you're sure to find a park to enjoy. Willmar's most notable and Popular Park Destinations serve a wide variety of interests. From Playground Parks to Dog Parks, theres a place for everyone to enjoy leisure time outdoors.
Popular Park Destinations
For information on the programming that takes place in the parks, on the athletic fields or to reserve a park shelter visit the Willmar Community Ed and Rec website or phone (320) 231-8490.
GLACIAL LAKES STATE TRAIL (from MN DNR)
The Glacial Lakes State Trail is located on a former Burlington Northern Railroad grade, and is generally wheelchair accessible. The trail is paved for 22 miles between Willmar, Spicer, New London, Hawick, and the Kandiyohi/Stearns County line. An additional 5 miles from Richmond to Roscoe in Stearns County is also paved. From Willmar to New London there is 10 miles of grass treadway for horseback riding, while the New London to the Kandiyohi/Stearns County line segment has grass shoulders to accommodate this activity.
Primary summer use of the developed trail includes, hiking, bicycling, horseback riding and in-line skating. Within Kandiyohi County, the trail is groomed for winter snowmobile use, and in Stearns County, snowmobile use is allowed on signed sections only, however studded tracks are prohibited on the asphalt surface. The many lakes make this area a popular tourist destination. The towns along the trail provide access points, rest stops and other services to trail users. You will need a horse pass if you will be horseback riding, and for snowmobiling, a snowmobile must be registered or have a snowmobile state trail sticker. No other fees or passes are required to use the trail.
The gently rolling topography of Central Minnesota was created by glaciers retreating 10,000 years ago. The trail cuts across the border between Minnesota's western tallgrass prairie and eastern deciduous forest. Though much of the area has been cultivated, remnants of virgin prairie, wetlands, and scattered woodlots can still be found along the railroad right-of-way. Whitetail deer, numerous small mammals, birds, reptiles and butterflies can be seen along the trail.