Established in 1855, Wright County was settled by European frontiersmen, primarily those of German and Swedish blood. These settlers saw the opportunity to live off the fertile lands and abundant woods, consisting of clusters of tall oaks and other trees. St. Michael was established before Albertville and both communities saw increased development when rail lines connecting to St. Cloud were built through the region.
Today, the lakes and farmlands that drew early settlers still remain. The county maintains approximately 2,800 acres of parklands for community use, including forests, lakes, campgrounds and beaches. A visit to the Crow-Hassan Park Reserve provides a glimpse of the landscape in its undeveloped beauty; the reserve is comprised of 2,600 acres along the Crow River, including 600 acres of restored prairie lands. The plant life seemingly offers a new display of color with each season, and deer, fox and coyotes can be spotted while enjoying many miles of walking trails.
Though popular for walking, hiking and photography, the Crow-Hassan reserve also maintains facilities for other activities. Horse trails wind along the east side of the reserve and connect to a well-maintained snowmobile trail. Group campsites are available, including one site specifically for groups with horses. There is also a site designated for off-leash pets, consisting of more than 30 acres for dogs to run and play.
Locals enjoy keeping their culture alive with community events throughout the year. The St. Michael Heritage Days event, for example, provides the opportunity for locals and visitors to celebrate old and new aspects of their culture and history. Held annually in July, Heritage Days activities include food, live music, a classic car show, sports competitions, a bike rodeo and more.