Sandy Lake Dam Construction Complete

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, announces all major components of the Sandy Lake Dam Rehabilitation project are now complete.

Sandy Lake Dam is located near McGregor, Minnesota.

The Sandy Lake Dam Rehabilitation started in February 2021 and consisted of a series of upgrades to the existing dam structure including replacement of a deteriorated bulkhead wall in the lock chamber, replacement of six main water control gates installation of a new slide gate in the log sluice chamber; removal and replacement of the 130-year-old timber upstream apron (upgraded to concrete); and updated electrical service.

Additional rehabilitation project work includes clean-up and grounds restoration expected for Spring 2023.

The Sandy Lake Recreation Area will reopen for public camping on May 1, 2023, following a two-year closure due to rehabilitation construction on the Sandy Lake Dam. Reservations are now accepted and are required to camp. Reservations can be made up to six months in advance, up to the same day of, your planned arrival by going online to or calling 1-877-444-6777.


The recreation area includes access to the north campground boat landing, visitors center, and fishing areas. An automated fee machine has been installed by the park office for purchasing boat launch, dump station and the Interagency suite of passes, for use at the Sandy Lake Recreation Area. The fee machine accepts credit cards only. The Corps of Engineers will no longer accept cash or checks. This system provides a quick, easy, and hygienic way to pay use fees at the site. Transactions usually take less than 30 seconds to complete, and visitors should place receipts or passes in a visible manner on their vehicle dash.

The Corps of Engineers is the nation’s leading federal providers of outdoor recreation. The St. Paul District operates 49 recreation areas, ranging from public boat landings along the Mississippi River to visitor centers at our locks and dams to full-service campgrounds. We also lease 45 recreation areas to other public entities to manage.

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