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8583 Interlachen Road
Lake Shore, MN 56468



M-F 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Fritz Loven Park
7877 Ridge Road, Lake Shore, MN 56468

 Trail Map | Reserve the Pavillion | Park Rules | View Long Range Plan | Park and Rec

Visit our breathtaking 80 acre park which includes a playground, picnic shelters, a hiking / snowshoe / cross country ski trail and stoney brook.

To find Fritz Loven Park: From Highway 371 in Nisswa, go west on County Road 77 through Lake Shore to Cass County Road 78 at Bar Harbor. Go right on Cass County Road 78 and then right on Ridge Road.

Fritz Loven – Nature abounds year-round

For those who love nature, including tall trees, a babbling brook and wildlife, Fritz Loven Park in Lake Shore is a must-see. Whether you’re looking for solitude or a great place for a family picnic, this 80-acre park offers something for everyone, including scenic Stony Brook, a picnic pavilion with electrical outlets, a playground, restrooms, and trails for hiking, snowshoeing and cross country skiing.

The park is named after Fritz Loven, who often said that after he died it was his wish that his property go to the city of Lake Shore. He felt it was the best way to be sure the land would remain a natural place for people to enjoy as he had.

Fritz Loven was born in 1894 in Minneapolis and settled on the 80 acres in Lake Shore in 1932. He was a lifelong bachelor known as the “lovable hermit” of Upper Gull. In the 43 years he lived there he had no electricity, running water, telephone, gas or a car. To get around he either arrived by foot, snowshoes or boat. He was a regular at the Bar Harbor Supper Club.

Loven normally planted 400 trees by hand each year. The property is resplendent with conifers — balsam, fir, black and white spruce, white and virgin Norway pines. He loved having people around enjoying his property and welcomed fishermen, picnickers and campers. (Camping is no longer allowed.)

In October 1975, Loven died of a heart attack. His wish came true when in 1976 his sister, Ruthy Loven Buch, offered the entire 80 acres to the city for $18,000, an excellent buy even in the 1970s.

There were two stipulations. One was that she be assured something would be put on the property in memory of Loven, such as a plaque. The second was for the city to take care of all paper work in transferring the property.

The city honored both requests. Lake Shore, through a special grant, bought the property and designated it Fritz Loven Park. Funding for acquisition began in 1977 and the deed was recorded in 1978.

To make the purchase possible, the city was awarded a $10,000 federal grant through the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act Program, administered by the Bureau of Outdoor Recreation, U.S. Department of Interior. This was matched by the Minnesota Office of Local and Urban Affairs and the city of Lake Shore as the local unit of government. It allowed for acquisition and minimal development.

In 2003, the Lake Shore City Council placed the park in the Minnesota Land Trust, which insures that future councils cannot sell or develop the park.

Through the years there has been some trail and stream bank clearing, a picnic pavilion was constructed as well as lookout sites, an outhouse with a pump-out holding tank and a playground. There are also trails for walking, snowshoeing and cross country skiing.

Several years ago, members of the Lake Shore Environmental Committee, along with the DNR and Corps of Engineers staff, did a shoreline restoration project along the banks of Stony Brook that runs through the park. Stony Brook is a state designated trout stream. With its beautiful setting, Fritz Loven Park is a destination for many family reunions and outdoor weddings. The area is blessed that this lover of nature was willing to leave a legacy that can be enjoyed by many generations to come.

To find Fritz Loven Park: From Highway 371 in Nisswa, go west on County Road 77 through Lake Shore to Cass County Road 78 at Bar Harbor. Go right on Cass County Road 78 and then right on Ridge Road.

Thank you to Pine and Lakes for this article. Please click here to see the actual Pine and Lakes newspaper article.

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