Lake Hanska Park

Maintenance Work at County Parks

  • Mound Creek Park October 5th – 8th.  Park will be open, but use cation and watch for maintenance crews
  • Prescribe Burns will be conducted between October 19th – October 23rd.
  • Lake Hanska Park October 26th – 29th. Park will be open, but use cation and watch for maintenance crews

Guidance for Brown County Parks during the COVID-19 Outbreak

In response to Governor Walz’s Stay Safe Minnesota Order, the Brown County Parks Department has made changes in regards to park services:

  • Lake Hanska, Lost Dog and Fox, Mound Creek, and Treml County Parks are currently open
  • Lake Hanska campsites and camping grounds will be open effective 6-1-2020.
  • Potable water and a sewage dump station is available at the campground. Picnic shelters are able to be reserved effective 6-1-2020.

Unless noticed, parks will remain open for hiking, fishing, and other leisure activities, but the Parks Department advises caution during the COVID-19 outbreak. The Brown County Parks Department is committed to the health, safety and welfare of the public along with providing the community with the services they need during this difficult time. In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Brown County is following CDC, MDH, and local Public Health guidance for recommendations aimed at reducing the spread of infectious disease, such as hand hygiene, hand washing and sanitizing, covering the nose and mouth with tissue or flexed elbow when coughing or sneezing, social distancing, and staying home when sick. The COVID-19 outbreak presents challenges to all of us as we work to build a safe community. Working together, we can keep moving forward while doing our best to reduce risks of the spread of the a safe community.  Working together, we can keep moving forward while doing our best to reduce risks of the spread of the disease.

lakehanska311Historic Lake Hanska County Park offers a quiet rural park close to a wide variety of activities. Shaded, level campsites with electric hookups are part of this Brown County Park located 17 miles southwest of New Ulm. The campground also includes a large tent camping area, clean restrooms with showers, sanitary dump and firewood for sale.

Lake Hanska County Park has a variety of historic highlights including a log cabin built in the 1850’s, an old fort site, and interpretive signage. There is also a DNR public lake access and fishing pier, playground, hiking and cross country skiing trails, sand swimming beach and a variety of picnic areas. Three picnic shelters can be reserved, at a nominal fee, for family or large group gatherings. The park is located a short driving distance from a variety of regional celebrations.

Archaeologists have determined from their excavations that pre-historic hunting people occupied this place from about 500 B.C. to 1000 A.D.. Agricultural tribes occupied the area from this time until the first contact with Europeans.

In the late 1850’s, after the Dakota Indians had been moved to reservations, Norwegian immigrants moved to the area. After the US-Dakota War in 1862, the highest hill in the park proved to be an ideal place for a fort to help protect settlers. Soldiers of the Ninth Minnesota Regiment were stationed here for many months.

Ole Synsteby purchased land here in 1879. He planted many of the unusual trees which still grow in the park. The land stayed in the Synsteby family until it formed the nucleus of the park. In 1900, Synsteby opened the Fort Hanska Amusement Park., which was a popular recreational park for 25 years. The present park was dedicated on June 25, 1978. Ole Synsteby opened the Fort Hanska Amusement Park below the fort site, near the shore of the lake, in about 1900. It was a popular recreational place for over 25 years. A great many people combined their efforts to create this park, which was dedicated on Sunday, June 25, 1978.

A lake restoration project was completed in 2000 to improve fish and wildlife habitat, and recreational use of Lake Hanska. The lake dredging project removed 4,816,375 cubic yards of lake sediment from the lake area southwest and immediately northwest of the park, deepening most of this area to an average 12' water depth.

A channel constructed in 1988 connecting Lake Hanska and the basin adjacent to the campground allows boat access to the camping area. A variable crest dam was installed at the Lake Hanska outlet to allow controlled partial drawdowns of the lake level to promote emergent vegetation along the shoreline in the upper 1500 acres of the lake, which improves waterfowl habitat and water clarity.

The Omsrud-Torgrimson log cabin was the first log cabin built in this area. The cabin was built around 1857 by the Omsrud/Thordson and Torgrimson families, immigrants from Valdres, Norway. The Thordson's occupied it until 1953. In 1986, Omsrud (Thordson) -Torgrimson descendants moved the cabin to this site. The cabin stands as a memorial to all Norwegian pioneers who were the first Euopeans to permanently settle this part of Brown County.

Several kiosks throughout the park provide additional historic and present day information for park visitors.

Contact County Parks

For Picnic Shelter Reservations:

Call: (507) 233-6640

For Camping Reservations at Lake Hanska County Park:

(507) 439-6411



Data Practices:

Salary Compliance Notice:

Performance Measure Report:


Office Hours: 8am to 4:30pm (most offices)

Main Office Phone: 507-233-6600

Courthouse Address:
14 S State St
New Ulm, MN 56073

Individual Office Hours may vary.


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