Recreating in the St. Paul District

The St. Paul District operates 49 recreation areas, ranging from public landings along the Mississippi River to lock and dam visitor centers to full-service campgrounds in North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin. These recreation areas are an important component of the region’s tourism industry, and the impact on the local and regional economies is significant. Recent data shows an estimated 8.7 million visitors used district recreational sites each year and spend approximately $239 million, of which $165 million was captured in the local economy, generating $235 million in total sales and supporting an estimated 3,060 jobs.

The St. Paul District recreation and natural resource management program mission is focused on providing quality, public outdoor recreation experiences to serve the needs of present and future generations while being consistent with ecosystem management principles. To learn more about recreational opportunities at Corps of Engineers lakes throughout the nation, visit the 
CorpsLakes website.

As a steward of public lands, the St. Paul District has a special responsibility to assure resource accessibility for today and tomorrow while providing high-quality outdoor recreational opportunities for everyone. The St. Paul District manages approximately 28,500 acres of fee title land above the summer water levels and more than 447,000 water surface acres. From fishing to camping, hiking and boating, the St. Paul District has a wide variety of recreational opportunities available for the public.

 

Recreation News

  • Corps reopens Minneapolis locks to ALL traffic

    ST. PAUL, Minn. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, recently reopened its three Minneapolis locks to commercial traffic and recreation boaters as flows dropped below 40,000 cubic feet per second, or cfs, and 30,000 cfs.
  • Corps of Engineers hopes everyone has a safe holiday, urges water safety

    ST. PAUL, Minn. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, is urging everyone to be safe if they must be on the water during the upcoming holiday week, especially as river and lake levels remain high due to recent rain events.
  • Corps of Engineers hosting Lock and Dam 1 open house during Highland Fest

    ST. PAUL, Minn. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, is hosting an open house at Lock and Dam 1, located near Minnehaha Park in Minneapolis, Saturday, July 19, from 9 a.m. to noon.
  • Corps to host 24th annual fishing derby at Leech Lake

    ST. PAUL, Minn. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, invites everyone 14-years-old and younger to participate in the 24th Annual Kids’ Fishing Derby, July 19. The derby will take place at the Leech Lake Dam and Recreation Area, 1217 Federal Dam Dr. NE, Federal Dam, Minn.
  • Blackhawk Park in De Soto, Wis., closed due to flooding again

    ST. PAUL, Minn. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, is temporarily closing Blackhawk Park, located near De Soto, Wis., starting today, June 23, due to flooding on the entrance road into the park.

Wear It logo

National Safe Boating Council


Firewood Safety


Help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species by following state guidelines when visiting Corps lakes:

North Dakota Game and Fish

MN Department of Natural Resources

WI Department of Natural Resources

Contact Us

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
St. Paul District

1114 South Oak Street
La Crescent, MN 55947
651-290-5894
 Individual offices (click here):

Blackhawk Park
608-648-3314
DeSoto, Wis.
Blackhawk.Park@usace.army.mil

Cross Lake
651-290-5793
Crosslake, Minn.
Cross.Lake@usace.army.mil

Eau Galle
715-778-5562
Spring Valley, Wis.
eau.galle.lake@usace.army.mil

Gull Lake
218-829-3334
Brainerd, Minn.
Gull.Lake@usace.army.mil

Lac qui Parle
320-269-6303
Watson, Minn.
Lac.Qui.Parle@usace.army.mil

Lake Ashtabula
701-845-2970
Valley City, N.D.
Lake.Ashtabula@usace.army.mil

Lake Traverse
320-563-4586
Wheaton, Minn.
Lake.Traverse@usace.army.mil

Lake Winnnibigoshish
218-326-6128
Deer River, Minn.
Lake.Winnibigoshish@usace.army.mil

Leech Lake
218-654-3145
Federal Dam, Minn.
LeechLake@usace.army.mil 

Orwell Lake and Dam
218-736-6463
Fergus Falls, Minn.
Orwell.Lake@usace.army.mil

Pokegama Lake
218-326-6128
Grand Rapids, Minn.
Pokegama.Lake@usace.army.mil

Sandy Lake
218-426-3482
McGregor, Minn.
Sandy.Lake@usace.army.mil 

Make Reservations

You can reserve camp sites and day use facilities at many U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recreation areas nationwide, as well as many other agencies, online by visiting RECREATION.GOV. Reservations may also be made by calling RECREATION.GOV toll free at 1-877-444-6777.
Recreation.gov logo

Tribal Day-Use Pass

  • Tribal members interested in receiving the pass should provide a tribal identification card to staff at St. Paul District recreation sites during normal business hours (Monday-Friday, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm).
  • Park staff will then issue the visitor an annual tribal day use pass. The pass must be signed and displayed when utilizing Corps facilities to be valid. Passes should be displayed in a vehicle or presented to staff for validation.

Park Passport

Web ad for the Park Passport app

Check out the updated ParkPassport app here

Entrance Passes

graphic of various entrance passes
Image designed by the National Park Service

The Golden Age and Golden Access Passports were replaced by the America the Beautiful – the National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands Pass Series. The requirements to obain the passes can be found on the National Park Service webpage).

For more information, call (1-888-275-8747), Ext. 1 (Hours of operation are: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mountain Time).

Water Safety Video

St. Paul District's chief of safety and the Corps water safety mascot, Bobber, take a trip to Eau Galle Recreation Area in Spring Valley, Wis.

Recreating in the St. Paul District