Hubbard County Deep Lake Park

Hubbard County Deep Lake Park featured image

Many families have made precious memories in the Northwoods of Minnesota, with favorite gems being visited year after year. The secluded wilderness, vibrant tree colors, and feeling of peace driving north is unmatched. Tucked among the woods northeast of Park Rapids is a former ski area that, beginning in the 1950s, was once a beloved destination for nearby residents and city folk alike. Val Chatel used to be a public ski lodge and a year-round playground rising hundreds of feet above Deep Lake. Mature white pines rimmed the long narrow valley and visitors would soak up the enchanting scenery of the wilderness. While the ski hill has since closed, the legacy of Val Chatel remains.

In partnership with Hubbard County and with help from a private donor, Trust for Public Land is preserving its 350 acres and continuing the spirit of warm friendship and thoughtfulness in the hearts of visitors for years to come. The protected area will become Hubbard County Deep Lake Park—a county park and natural area, reviving a favorite spot for families looking to connect with the splendor of the Northwoods. Once open, visitors will enjoy camp sites, picnic areas, and mountain bike trails—an especially great need near Lake Itasca where popular camp sites fill up quickly in the warm summer months. Hikers will enjoy the extended trail access as this parcel will be a connector to the National North Country Trail a mile to the north and the State Itasca Heartland Connector Trail several miles to the west. In the winter, visitors can spend the day snow shoeing or cross-country skiing. With this preservation, Hubbard County Deep Lake Park will continue to be cherished by every visitor by providing the perfect backdrop for family memories in the Northwoods.