Location: Baudette, Minnesota
Webpage: Minnesota State Park
General Description: Zippel Bay State Park is a 3000 acre park on the shores of Lake of the Woods. During the summer the park offers a long sandy beach perfect for swimming, hiking trails along the beach and in the pine/spruce and aspen/birch forests of northern Minnesota. Being one the largest lakes, outside the Great Lakes, in the United States, the Lake of the Woods does have small daily tides. Depending upon the weather you can experience the crash of three foot waves as storms roll in off the lake to utterly calm waters on a clear day. There are 6 miles of hiking trails in total, some of which are along the sandy beach to the outlet of Zippel Bay and others through the forests along the lake shore. A primitive campground is also available along with a marina for fishing on the lake. The park was named for William Zippel, one of the first white settlers in 1887. By 1909, a small fishing village had grown up at the site where Zippel and his sons ran a fishing enterprise catching sturgeon and eventually Walleye.
1) Zippel Bay State Park is a great place for primitive camping or boating on the Lake of the Woods. It would also be a great place to swim with the miles of sandy beaches on the lakeshore. There is a park office at the entrance to the park where you can purchase either a daily or annual pass. It is also a great place to obtain information about the hiking trails.
2) We enjoyed two of their shorter trails of about a mile each. The first traveled along the shoreline for a half mile before heading into the woods along the shore to cut over to the mouth of Zippel Bay where you can see the Coast Guard light.
3) The other trail was located at the marina and cut through a mature stand of aspen before opening up with a nice view of Zippel Bay. Both trails were level and easy to hike, except for the sand along the beach.