Parks and Recreation

Three Island Park

Three Island Park was deeded to the County in 1967 from the State of Minnesota.  This day-use facility is located approximately 12 miles north of Bemidji on Three Island Lake and is 2,915 acres in size. 

The scenic Turtle River flows from the mouth of Three Island Lake providing spectacular views, rolling terrain, and a diverse plant ecology.  Located at this confluence is a shelter (no running water or electricity), vault toilet, and picnic area.  It is a major hub to various recreational trails that diverge from it and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as an archeological site.


Over 28 kilometers of cross-country ski trails and 7 miles of snowmobile trails can be found on this tract of land.  Ski-trail grooming and general trail-maintenance is done by the Bemidji Area Cross Country Ski Club (BACCSC) on behalf of Beltrami County through the Minnesota DNR, Grant-In-Aid program.  Snowmobile trails throughout the County are groomed by the North Country Snowmobile Club on behalf of Beltrami County.  They operate under a similar Minnesota DNR, Grant-In-Aid program. A 2.12 mile snow-shoeing trail is also available with access at the shelter house or along Three Island Road.


With an objective of increasing recreational opportunities throughout the year, the NRM Department has opened these trails to a number of other, non-motorized activities during the off-season.  Horseback riding, running, hunter walking, and sightseeing to name a few.

Public boat access to Three Island Lake, complete with dock and parking area is provided via Three Island Road.

Three trailhead locations with gravel parking lots and vault toilets provide quick access to the trail system.  Two of which can be found along Three Island Road, and the other north of County Highway 22 (Island View Road NE).

The Shelter at Three Island Park is available for rent from April 1 to November 30. Shelter Permit.

Additional Information

Forest Health Management in Three Island Park is governed by the April 11, 2011 amendment to the Recreational Facilities Plan and a list of current projects is available for viewing.

Legacy Stands have been identified and designated, with guidelines for their management being adopted by the Beltrami County Board on October 15, 2013.  Within the 104-acre Legacy area at Three Island Park, timber harvesting activities are prohibited.

Species of Special Concern: View the letter to recreational users regarding the Species of Concern Protection Area in Three Island Park. Click here for a map of the Protection Area.

Three Island Ruffed Grouse Management Area

Since 1987 the north portion of Three Island Park has been recognized and managed as a Ruffed Grouse Management Area. The forest management activities in this area have favored not only Ruffed Grouse but also Woodcock, Whitetail Deer and other species which utilize young forest conditions for part of their habitat. The area provides excellent recreational hunting opportunities for these species

Three Island Ruffed Grouse Management Plan
2021 Proposed Timber Harvest
Georeferenced PDF Map

1. The Great Minnesota Ski Pass is required for cross country skiers 16 years and older.  This pass can be purchased from the MNDNR utilizing their Electronic Licensing System. Money generated from this pass is distributed through the Grant-In-Aid program and is used for grooming and trail maintenance.

2. No person shall operate a motor vehicle or snowmobile on trails or roads that are designated non-motorized, including ski, foot, horse, bike, or other accessible trail, unless the trail is also posted open for that particular motorized use.

3. Only portable deer stands are allowed in Three Island Park, no permanent tree stands are permitted.

4. Horses are permitted on all forest roads and trails except where it is posted prohibiting their use.

5. Bicycles are permitted on all trails except where it is posted prohibiting their use.

6. Running/hiking is permitted on all forest roads and trails except where it is posted otherwise.

7. On groomed and tracked cross country ski trails, activities which tend to damage the track or interfere with, and disrupt use by skiers are prohibited. Damage is defined as any non-skiing activity that impacts the groomed track or packed trail (divot, ruts, post holing, etc.) more than normal traditional cross country, or skate skiing.

8. Pets and horses are prohibited on ski trails during the winter skiing season.

9. No person shall allow a dog, cat, or other pet animal, except a service animal, to enter a building.  Pet animals shall be personally attended to at all times and shall be effectively under control.  Pet animals shall not disrupt other persons or deprive them from using an area.

10. Pet waste deposited in mowed or maintained areas must be immediately cleaned up by the pet owner or caretaker and deposited in an appropriate waste container (not vault toilets). 

11. All garbage shall be removed (“Carry-in, Carry-out”) from Beltrami County Recreation Area and disposed of properly.

12. It is unlawful to build or maintain a fire except in a fireplace or a fire ring provided for that purpose. However, portable-gas or liquid-fueled camp stoves or charcoal burners may be used provided they do not create a hazard or danger to the area or to others.