Hot Info

***We are currently not accepting campsite reservations at Big Sandy Lake Dam and Recreation Area due to ongoing construction activities. While camping is temporarily closed, the recreation area remains accessible via the south entrance. The north entrance is closed until construction is complete. ***

While camping at Big Sandy Lake Dam is temporarily closed, there are additional camping opportunities available at our five other U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Headwaters dams and recreation areas during the 2022 season including: Leech Lake, Winnibigoshish, Pokegama, Cross Lake, and Gull Lake. 



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Check out the updated ParkPassport app here

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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

Federal Recreation Passes

Golden Age and Golden Access Passports

The Golden Age and Golden Access Passports have been replaced by the America the Beautiful – the National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands Passes. The requirements to obain the new Senior and Access passes remain the same (Senior: U.S. citizen 62 years old or older - Access: U.S. citizen legally blind or permanently disabled).

For more information, call (1-888-275-8747), Ext. 3 (Hours of operation are: 8:00 am to 4:00 pm Mountain time) or go to

The existing Golden Age and Golden Access Passports are still valid and do not need to be replaced.

Due to the way the legislation was written, the Corps of Engineers is not authorized to issue the new passes, however, the Corps will honor them. These passes are available at many of the federal recreation areas administered by the National Park Service; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; U.S. Forest Service; Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Reclamation.

These passes are good for life and entitle the bearer to a reduction in fees at federally-operated, recreation facilities.

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. 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.

It is the mission of the recreation and natural resource management program of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to provide 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 stewards of public lands, the St. Paul District has a special responsibility to assure resource accessibility for today and tomorrow and provide high quality outdoor recreational opportunities for all. The St. Paul District manages approximately 28,546 acres of fee title lands above the summer water levels and 447,187 water surface acres. The district has a wide variety of recreational opportunities available for the public.

Many of our recreational site pages include our brochures. These are in pdf format, you must have the free 
Adobe Acobat Reader to view.

Recreation News

Contact Us

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

1114 South Oak Street
La Crescent, MN 55947

Blackhawk Park
DeSoto, Wis.

Cross Lake
Crosslake, Minn.

Eau Galle
Spring Valley, Wis.

Gull Lake
Brainerd, Minn.

Lac qui Parle
Watson, Minn.

Lake Ashtabula
Valley City, N.D.

Lake Traverse
Wheaton, Minn.

Lake Winnnibigoshish
Deer River, Minn.

Leech Lake
Federal Dam, Minn. 

Orwell Lake and Dam
Fergus Falls, Minn.

Pokegama Lake
Grand Rapids, Minn.

Sandy Lake
McGregor, Minn. 

Make Reservations

Untitled Document 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.

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