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Big Island Nature Park

Orono’s Big Island Park
Recreation in Harmony with Nature

© Taken By: Mike Revair


100 Big Island

Located on 56 acres at the eastern section of Lake Minnetonka’s Big Island.


Big Island Nature Park contains 56 acres. The property is well known as the home of the former Big Island Veterans Camp, and has a long history of recreational use dating to the early 1900s, including as an amusement park. Through mutual collaboration between the City of Orono, the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District and other partners, Big Island Nature Park is intended to preserve the unique natural, physical and cultural resources of the site.

Big Island Nature Park is open to the public as a nature preserve. Approximately 75% of the park acreage is protected by a Conservation Easement with the intent to retain the natural character of the property.  Informal hiking trails allow access to beautiful vistas of Lake Minnetonka, and nature lovers will find a wealth of plants, animals and birds that make the island their home. The Park has two docks available, one to accommodate occasional stops by the steamboat Minnehaha, and a second dock for general public use. 

Overnight camping, fires and alcohol are prohibited, and there are no toilet facilities or drinking water available.  Large group activities are limited - permits required.