McLeod County Regional Park Review- Swan Lake Park

I had the idea to do this a few months ago but thought it to daunting- review all the county parks in our area (including the Twin Cities metro). Now I am wondering why I balked- I don’t exactly need to do it all in one summer. I have my whole life! Yesterday I posted about Piepenburg yet again. Today we went someplace new. This is Swan Lake Regional Park in Silver Lake, about 8 miles from our house in Hutchinson.

Don’t try finding it by the sign- just look for a park. Although it looks as though the park isn’t well taken care of by the overgrowth covering the sign, looks can be deceiving. The park was well manicured and was very clean sans one lonely beer can.

There is a water source which Andrew had fun trying to pump, but he was disappointed when I told him he couldn’t drink it. There are also bathrooms and a nice big shelter.

There is no beach (water looked too green anyway) but apparently there is fishing.

The pier is across the road from the shelter. If anything, it’s a nice escape away from the rest of the family say if you were having a reunion or other get together. A nice place to watch the sunset.

There is plenty of shade around the park but also lots of wide open space if you crave full sun.

This would be a great place for a kickball tournament!

Something tells me this is what Canada looks like. I bet there are lots of deer back in there!

Personally, I think the park would be perfect for a family event such as a reunion. Although there is no playground equipment beyond 1 train “rocker” and a swing set, so if small kids were going to be present, you would need to bring your own fun.

Silver Lake is a small town but I did notice this sign behind the restaurant we ate at. I couldn’t find a website online, but I will definitely check and see if this is indeed a business still in operation. My husband and I have been wanting to bike the Luce Line Trail and it would be easier out this way where it is paved.

I decided to eat here even though I have driven by here several, several times and passed on the experience. From the west, the sign says the name of the place is The Gallery . . .

From the east, it says the name is Molly’s.

The city of Silver Lake website says it is indeed called Molly’s. Either way, my husband missed out on 1919 Root Beer on tap (and the city of Silver Lake needs a new website).¬† Once inside Molly’s I was pleasantly surprised. I am a sucker for that roadside dive, Americana-filled burger joint and this place had a lot of that.

This is the type of restaurant I scout for when I am in towns just like this- towns with populations less than a thousand. Sometimes I get lucky and sometimes  they are terrible but you should have seen the looks on our faces when the waitress served up this fruit plate and we all gazed upon yellow watermelon for the first time!

Just look at this stuff! I would be surprised to get this at a restaurant in the cities but at a little roadside place in the middle of nowhere? I was shocked.

To be honest, I didn’t even know yellow watermelon existed. It is much sweeter than regular watermelon which I don’t normally care for. This was delicious!

And because I am German I had to order the kraut burger. It was delicious too. I will definitely go back to Molly’s.

So my goal is to review all the regional parks in my area starting with the closest ones first and working my way out. If there happens to be a roadside dive in the area I will review that too. Here’s to a happy summer!


  1. Lois Deragon
    Posted July 16, 2010 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    Great photos. Collinwood Park between Dassel and Cokato was one of our favorites mostly because it has a zipcord. Not sure if Andrew is big enough for that yet – but you and Josh are!

  2. Posted July 16, 2010 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    We’ve been to Collinwood a few times but I’ve never seen the zipcord. Where is that hidden?