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Park History


The pioneer village of Spruce Hill was vacated in the early twentieth century. The property sat undisturbed in the ownership of a former resident until Douglas County acquired it in 1979. Remnants of the early village are evident today only as depressions in the ground and old building foundation pieces. The remains of an earthen dam constructed to power a sawmill are still visible in the landscape.

hand sketch by Ada A. Johnson of Spruce Hill Village before 1890 - click on the picture for a larger view and use your browser's Back button to return

Our 2nd largest park at almost 97 acres, Spruce Hill serves as a gathering spot for residents of this rural township. It is used by groups for day outings, scout troops for 1 or 2 day overnights, and local softball teams for games and practice. There are 4 miles of easy cross country ski trails and the DATA snowmobile trail crosses the park. The woodlands are at their most accessible in the winter season.

Spruce Hill Park contains some unusual forest types for Douglas County. The lowland brush area bordering Spruce Creek is populated with spruce, birch, aspen, and the not often seen tamarack. Tamarack is the only native conifer in Minnesota that sheds its needles every year. A trip through the park in late fall will yield the sight of hundreds of golden needled tamaracks in the process of regeneration. Bird watchers take note that the Great Gray Owl is known to frequent tamarack swamps.