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Renovated historic lodge opens at Camden State Park

LYND — Since the old Camden State Park caretaker’s residence is on the National Registry of Historic Places and has to be maintained anyway, current park caretakers decided to renovate it into a cabin to rent out to visitors.

“We have to maintain the building by law so we decided to repurpose it into a guest house/lodge,” said Bill Dinesen, Camden park manager.

Renovation has breathed new life into a Great Depression-era structure at Camden State Park near Marshall. Visitors are invited to view the new Redwood Lodge at the official opening from 1-3 p.m. Saturday. The date is also one of four state park open house days in 2020 when visitors can enter state parks without a vehicle permit for the day.

Friends of Camden member Lori Timmerman said she was able to get a “sneak peek” at the lodge and said she was “impressed.”

The lodge used to be an actual house so it has a “full kitchen,” said Dinesen. It is outfitted with the normal kitchen items including a microwave, toaster, Crock-Pot, silverware and dishes.

“All you have to do is bring food and bedding and stay there,” he said.

Located along the Redwood River, the renovated lodge is now an accommodation for park visitors who prefer a splash of history with their overnight accommodations, according to a news release from the DNR. In keeping with the building’s historic ambiance, there is no television, internet access, or cell phone reception at the lodge.

There is a trout stream nearby, trails for snowmobiling and cross country skiing and in the summer people can swim, hike and there is a bike lane that goes to the town of Lynd.

“In the backyard is a fire ring, a table, and a pedestal grill is on the edge of the patio,” he said. “There is patio furniture donated by the Friends of Camden.”

People can bring their own entertainment, and there will be board games, a cribbage board and dice on hand in the lodge, Dinesen said.

The DNR began renovating the building in 2017 for lodging purposes, with extensive improvements to the building’s plumbing, electrical systems, flooring, bedrooms and bathroom. Furniture was added to the rooms, with log bed frames, tables and chairs made in central Minnesota. One of the three bedrooms is accessible for people with mobility disabilities.

The park has used the building for a wide variety of purposes since World War I veterans built the structure in 1934, a project of the national Veteran’s Conservation Corps. For several decades prior to 2005, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources used the building as a residence for park caretakers.

The renovation was funded through the Parks and Trails Legacy Fund. The lodge, which sleeps eight, will be available for overnight guests beginning Sunday and costs $230 per night. To make a lodging reservation, go to mndnr.gov/reservations, or call 866-857-2757.

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