There are more than 20 parks located in the city of Big Lake, consisting of a total of more than 320 acres. The parks vary in size and type, including community and neighborhood parks as well as natural areas. Park facilities and amenities include tennis courts, ball fields, swimming beaches, fishing piers, picnic areas, ice skating rinks, play equipment, walking trails and more.
Big Lake Lion’s Park is located in Big Lake Township and has recently been expanded, with the addition of 2.95 acres adjacent to the park along the Elk River. The park has added a walking trail to the park facilities, which also includes a playground area, baseball diamond, park pavilions and canoe launch.
Located 10 miles north of Big Lake, the Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge encompasses 30,700 acres of oak savanna, prairie opening, and wetland habitats and is home to an astounding array of wildlife. The refuge provides a variety of opportunities for experiencing nature. The Prairie’s Edge Wildlife Drive, a 7.3 mile auto tour route, is open from mid April through October. Two scenic trails offer over nine miles of hiking. Small game, waterfowl and big game hunting and fishing are available during the state seasons. The refuge is open seven days a week during daylight hours free of charge. The refuge offers a variety of events and programs throughout the year. Visitor information leaflets, which include a map of the refuge, may be picked up at information kiosks at refuge entry points on Co.Rd 9 and Co.Rd. 55. For more information, call 763.389.3323 or log on to the refuge web site at
Located at 12969 Fremont Ave., Zimmerman, Sand Dunes State Forest consists of oak forest and prairie and 2700 acres of pine plantation. It provides beautiful areas for outdoor recreation such as horseback riding, snowmobiling, hunting/shooting, swimming, camping, hiking and cross country skiing. Facilities include Lake Ann Campground and beach, picnic areas and more.