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Glendalough, the "glen between two lakes", began as a 30-acre property between Annie Battle Lake and Lake Blanche. The Beaver Pond Interpretive Hiking Trail traverses this oldest part of Glendalough, passing through a mix of woods, wetlands, and meadows while pausing to interpret natural and historic features along the way.
Nestled in the transition zone between prairie and hardwood forest, Glendalough offers a true respite from civilization. Crystal clear Annie Battle Lake is a 335-acre, non-motorized "Heritage Fishery" that provides a tranquil fishing experience second to none. Special regulations sustain a steady supply of large sunfish, crappie, and the occasional walleye for the frying pan, and large bass for the camera. Near the pristine shores of this lake are a cart-in campground and canoe-in campsites, all free from the traffic and noise of traditional drive-in camping.
Annie Battle Lake can also be the starting point for an exploration of the park by canoe or kayak on the connecting creeks. A paved bike trail loop and numerous hiking trails meander along five lakes, through rich woods, and blooming prairies. Wildlife abounds year-round, and there are many observation decks along the trails. Trails are groomed in winter for skiing and snowshoeing. Picnicking and swimming is available on two sandy lakes.
Free from the traffic of drive-in camping, the cart-in campground offers 22 tent sites and 4 camping cabins. 3 canoe-in sites and 2 group camps are also available. All sites are near a scenic "heritage fishing" lake. The restroom/shower building is open 5/7-10/9. Picnic area has a shelter, swimming beach, and fishing pier. 9 miles of hiking trails, including 2 nature trails roam the park. Trail center and historic lodge are open year-round. Park rents boats, canoes, kayaks, skis, and snowshoes.
The 3.3-mile Annie Battle Lake Trail begins and ends at the trail center, but can also be accessed by short spurs from the campground or picnic area. The trail is mostly level throughout, with a surface that varies from hard-packed gravel to grass. Follow the trail as it loops through a hardwood forest around pristine Annie Battle Lake, which has no motorized boat traffic. The trail crosses two creeks and passes by the historic Glendalough Lodge. You may see deer, turkey, bald eagles, loons and other wildlife.
Glendalough Lodge, built in 1905, is the historic heart of Glendalough. When not rented for private use, the lodge is open daily to interpret Glendalough's history as a hunting camp and game farm. Both the lodge and neighboring trail center are available for day-use rentals.
The lodge played host to American presidents and powerful executives in its heyday as a private retreat for the Minneapolis Tribune. Interior displays and a history video detail the years before Glendalough became a park. If the lodge is closed, an outdoor kiosk provides a look at Glendalough's past.
• Swim, canoe, kayak or cast a line for legendary pan fish on clear Annie Battle Lake. Borrow a fishing kit from the park office. • Bike the paved Glendalough Trail loop or hike the scenic Beaver Pond Interpretive Trail. • Visit the historic Glendalough Lodge for displays that share the park’s fascinating history. • Discover visitor favorites like the creative geocache and eagle nest. Check out a GPS or birding kit at the park office.