Bertram Chain of Lakes Regional Park is quickly becoming a top winter destination in Wright County. Location is key, and this wonderful park is located on the southwest side of Monticello and a little more than a mile off I-94. With easy access, the park provides 1,200 acres of land to explore and enjoy, and that is just the beginning.
What can you do at Bertram? For starters, enjoy the many miles of trails. Bertram is unique because it offers so many different types of trail opportunities in the winter. That starts with cross country skiing. In 2021 the Parks & Recreation Department completed the connection around the park's north side, providing just over 8.2 kilometers of groomed cross country skiing trails. When conditions are favorable, the trails accommodate multi-use, with one track set for classic skiing and the other portion of the trail equipped with a skate deck for skate skiing.
For thrill-seekers, there are 14 miles of singletrack mountain bike trails maintained throughout the winter. We are fortunate to have great partners in Minnesota Off-Road Cyclists, who pack and groom the singletrack for fat-tire riding. You can check trail conditions on the BCOL Singletrack Facebook page and remember, if the trails are soft, stay off.
What about going off-trail? If we get this question, we know it's someone who snowshoes. The answer is yes, you can. You can make many friends at Bertram by taking your snowshoes on the singletrack trail. If you choose to do this, be sure to walk in the opposite direction of bike traffic so you can see oncoming riders. The snowshoes assist in packing the bike trails, so we encourage helping out the bikers while you enjoy your snowshoe experience. If you want a little more adventure, there are portions of the park that you wouldn't explore except in the winter months. Snowshoes are designed to go off-trail and we encourage you to do so. All we ask is that you be respectful of the wildlife and your natural surroundings. If you choose to walk along the groomed trails, abide by the same rules for hikers, stay to the far side and walk single file, so you don't damage the groomed trails.
If you are thinking, “All of this sounds great, but what about a place to stay?” Bertram has you covered. In July 2021, Wright County Parks and Recreation opened its third county-operated campground at Bertram Park and one of the highlights is the inclusion of camper cabins. The six camper cabins are heated and cooled, making them available for rental year-round. The small cabins consist of a twin-over-full-size bunk and a twin-over-twin-size bunk that can sleep up to five people. The large cabins have two twin-over-full-size bunks and a mini-refrigerator. They can sleep up to six people. There is no running water in the cabins, but a bathroom and shower are located no more than 400 feet away at the campground office. The ski trails run directly behind the cabins, so you can ski in and ski out of your cabin. Bring a headlamp and enjoy a late-night adventure through the park. Fees for the camper cabins can be found on our website. Reservations for the cabins can be made no more than 120 days in advance.
Looking ahead, Wright County Parks & Recreation is planning to have cross country skis and snowshoes available to rent at Bertram Park next winter. We are also looking at additional program opportunities. If you are not a big fan of outdoor winter activities and more interested in summer outdoor activities, be sure to check out Bertram. We will have kayaks and stand-up paddleboards available to rent this summer. We are planning some exciting programs for the summer months in the park, and the campgrounds will be operating in full force after opening late last summer. The camping season will start April 29 and go through MEA weekend in October at Bertram. Reservations for all campgrounds will open at 8 a.m. Monday, March 7. You can make your reservation quickly, safely and easily online, as well as by calling the Parks & Recreation main office at (763) 682-7693, the Bertram Information Center at (763) 295-0409, or in person at the Parks & Recreation office (3500 Braddock Ave. NE, Buffalo). If you don't have an account with us, we encourage you to create one. Once an account is created, you can reserve facilities and register for programs with us.
For up-to-date information on the parks, please visit our website or follow us on Facebook. We hope you will choose to "Explore the Opportunities" with us at Wright County Parks & Recreation and Bertram Chain of Lakes Regional Park and see one of the most beautiful hidden gems in Minnesota.