Garvin Park is 13 miles south of Marshall from Highway 23.Garvin Park is located just off US Highway 59 only 1.5 miles north of intersection US 59 and US Highway 14.
Garvin Park offers 52 electrical sites and 8 non-electrical sites. All sites are overnight camping only. We do not offer seasonal sites. There is a 14-day maximum site occupancy rule before you must change sites. Sites are considered occupied ONLY if a registered motor vehicle is parked in the camping pad or tent is occupying the site. A brief overview of the park follows:
- Lower Campground: Sites 1-16 (site#11 is host site). Sites 1-5 are reservable. All sites have electrical only. Please see reservation tab for more information.
- There is a dump station, shower facility, vault toilets, playground and wood shed located in the lower campground.
- Upper Campground: 14 Sites. Sites 26-30 are reservable. All sites have electrical only. Please see reservation tab for more information.
- There is a shower facility, flush toilets, picnic shelter and playground located in the Upper Campground.
- Horse Campground: 22 Sites. Sites 1-5 are reservable. All sites have electrical only. Please see reservation tab for more information. There are 11 paddocks on a first-come first-serve basis along with numerous tie-outs.
- The shower facility and flush toilets are located next to the Horse Campground. There vault toilets located within the campground.
Camping is Good for You
After setting up your tent or moving your belongings into your yurt, you take a deep breath and are overwhelmed by a feeling of happiness. This is not only because you are about to embark on a week-long vacation, but because you are surrounded by trees which give off a high-capacity of oxygen. Your brain functions better with this increased level of oxygen and releases serotonin, which makes you feel happy and lowers your stress level.
Fresh air has other health benefits, such as improving your blood pressure, aiding digestion, and boosting the immune system. Providing your body with these higher levels of oxygen over a series of days increases the effect of these health benefits.
EXERCISE AND SOCIALIZE
Camping provides a great deal of exercise. You walk to different amenities, swim, play sports, hike, fish, etc. These different exercises burn off a greater amount of calories than an office job would. Exercise activates your cardiovascular system and is beneficial to the health of your heart and lungs.
In a society where hard work is idealized, and more time is spent at your place of employment rather than at home, camping provides time away from daily stresses and allows time for you and your family to socialize without distractions. According to The American Journal of Public Health, socializing can delay memory problems and extend your lifespan
Whether you are sleeping outdoors or taking refuge in an RV, just spending down time outside has a huge impact on your health. The sun is not only good for that tan, but it also provides our bodies with Vitamin D. This is essential to our well-being because Vitamin D allows our body to absorb calcium and phosphorous which strengthens our bones and teeth.
REDUCES STRESS & DECREASES ANXIETY / DEPRESSION
Being outdoors and camping allows you to remove yourself from the stresses of your career. Sitting by the pool or in front of a dim campfire are great ways to relieve stress. Although many campsites offer wifi, it is important to allow yourself time away from technology and connectedness (the need to be connected through social media). The decrease in the constant stimulation of technology will encourage a greater psychological and emotional health.
Research has shown that green spaces can decrease depression by up to 71%. Camping allows us to break away from the chaos of life and enjoy the simplicity of nature. Clarity can be developed from the solitude of nature.
Majestic bur oak woodlands dominate the steeply sloping riparian landscape of the Cottonwood River within the 700 acre Garvin Park. A rich variety of wildlife use this park; snow trillium and bloodroot welcome spring along the wooded slopes, followed by the first wave of migrating birds. A healthy array of riparian trees provide welcome share in summer for white tailed deer raise their young along with bluebirds, towhees, and grosbeaks. Fall brings a small splash of color, and migrating hawks that settle in before the next day's flight. The deep ravines give shelter to over-wintering owls and eagles, deer, and wild turkey.
In addition to camping facilities, Garvin Park has five (5) large picnic shelters, and numerous picnic tables spread throughout the park. Four (4) shelters have electricity.
Twin Lakes park has two picnic shelter; one with electricity in the main camping area, and one smaller shelter in the outdoor education area.
Tubing equipment is no longer available, and the hill is not staffed by Lyon County personnel.
Garvin Park is open to public use including the former tubing hill, and many people sled at the park.
Vehicles - including snowmobiles - are not allowed on the hill.
Garvin Park is nearly 800 acres with 15 miles of trails traversing the oak woodlands along the Cottonwood River in Lyon County - 13 miles South of Marshall. Garvin Park is an important site during spring and fall bird migration, and serves as suitable nesting habitat for birds such as Scarlet Tanager, American Redstart, and Wood Duck.Deer are common in the park and you may even see a fawn in early summer.
Garvin Park is listed at a "hotspot" on eBird: eBird Hotspot - Garvin County Park. Please consider contributing your observations.
* the Current Park Checklist is linked below as a .pdf *
This 9-hole course includes the unique characteristics of Garvin Park as it passes through a mix of oak woods, elevation changes, open spaces, and the ever-present SW MN winds. The Main entrance of Garvin Park is located about 2 miles North of the intersection of US Highway 14 and US Highway 59.
The following table includes distances, and par settings for three levels of play. Note also that elevation change is included for fairways from box to target. The total distance of play is about 3,100 feet, while the total walking distance is about 5,100 feet. An overview map can be downloaded from the Attachments link below.
In the 1930s one of the most popular spots in Lyon County was a 27-acre track of woodland along the Cottonwood River. This park became a reality through the efforts of interested people, the Garvin Community Club, and Mr. H.C. Garvin a retired Winona businessman. In his youth, Mr. Garvin, was a station agent at Tracy for the Chicago Northwestern Railroad. He became the chief contributor of money and equipment for the park.
As a result of the depression years, many men were out of work. Mr. Howard Bussard administered federal relief funds to pay a crew of men for the labor needed to create a park. Two log cabins were built, a ball diamond cleared, picnic tables built, fireplaces put in many locations and a swimming pool dredged. Mr. Frank Swain was hired as caretaker. He planted many flower beds and made a rock garden. He kept the park mowed and clean.
On May 30, 1935 a crowd of 5,000 attended the dedication event. The park was visited by hundreds during the next years, but spring floods washed away the bridge and destroyed much of the work done. Funds ran low and soon the area reverted to its wild state.
In November of 1967, after an 18 months process, the Lyon County Board levied local funds to match state and federal grants to enlarge Garvin Park by 490 acres and to develop recreational facilities; essentially establishing the current 750 Garvin Park footprint.
The Lyon County Board of Commissioners and Park and Recreation Board help to communicate local interest in managing the park for regional residents.