This park offers gorgeous green spaces, beautifully landscaped gardens, a gazebo for special events, a fishing dock and fabulous views of Fountain Lake. Fountain Lake Park has been transformed into the heart of the community and plays host to some of the city’s most popular events, including the weekly music showcase, “Thursdays on Fountain.”
One of Albert Lea’s newest outdoor additions, the splash pad was created through fundraising of a group of local residents. At the corner of Fountain Street and Broadway, it is one of the best spots to cool off during the warmer months for children and adults alike.
Bask in the beautiful architecture, take in live music or a show on stage, or grab a cup of coffee or craft beer and relax with friends. Downtown Albert Lea is home to charming stores and restaurants, from elegant fine dining to classic dive bars. The city boasts one of the largest intact historic districts in Minnesota.
The largest of Albert Lea’s parks, Edgewater Park has an abundance of green space and overlooks Edgewater Bay of Fountain Lake. It has two pavilions and a cottage available for use, all with fireplaces. It also has a public boat landing, a band shell, horseshoe courts, play apparatus, a baseball/softball diamond and a volleyball net.
The Fountains & The Mermaid
During the warmer months in Albert Lea, three fountains in Fountain Lake flow and are lit at night, creating a favorite spot for photographers. Nearby, don’t miss the nod to the city’s Danish heritage, a loose replica of Copenhagen’s Little Mermaid, made famous by Hans Christian Andersen, and perched on a small rock offshore.
Freeborn County Historical Museum Village
Expanded in 2013, the Freeborn County Historical Museum features professionally designed exhibits that define the history of the county, including memorabilia from Marion Ross, who played Mrs. C on “Happy Days,” and musician Eddie Cochran, who were both Albert Lea natives. Outdoors is a historical village that features 18 buildings, including a country school, church, general store, barbershop, train depot and more.
Fountain Lake Running Path
Albert Lea’s 5-mile walking and running path around Fountain Lake was named the Blue Zones Walkway in 2011, in honor of Blue Zones’ founder Dan Buettner, who brought the AARP/Blue Zones Vitality Project to town in 2009. The route is made up of sidewalks and trails that loop around Fountain Lake, going through neighborhoods, parks, downtown and past the local hospital.
Bancroft Bay Park
A natural park with limited development, Bancroft Bay Park includes two picnic shelters, picnic tables, fire rings, restrooms and hiking trails. It is also home to two disc golf courses.
The Blazing Star State Trail is 6 1/2 miles of paved, multi-use trail that begins in Frank Hall Park in Albert Lea. This park is also known for birdwatching – especially during the spring; you cannot miss the American White Pelicans.
Myre-Big Island State Park
Just outside of Albert Lea, this park spans 1,578 acres with 8 miles of shoreline on Albert Lea Lake. The park draws thousands of waterfowl during migration. Oak savanna and prairie landscapes, including wetlands, dominate most of the park, while the 116-acre Big Island is covered with maple/basswood forest. This park is one of the most visited state parks in southern Minnesota and features camping, hiking, canoeing and biking opportunities.