Swimming

It’s hot, the sun is shining, and it’s a beautiful day. Is there any better way to enjoy an unbeatable Minnesota summer than to splash around at the beach? Swimming is a great, low-impact way to exercise your whole body. Better yet, it’s fun for the whole family. Swimming areas in Three Rivers are located near play areas, trails, visitor centers, campgrounds, and more so you can make a day of it.

Swim Pond Passes

Skip the lines and purchase a season wristband onlineA season wristband or $5 daily wristband is required at Lake Minnetonka and Elm Creek swim ponds.

Beach and Swim Pond Information

Swim Ponds

For the perfect mix of a pool and lake, try the swim ponds featuring giant beach umbrellas and filtered, chlorinated water. Swim ponds can be found at Lake Minnetonka Regional Park and Elm Creek Park Reserve.

Swimming Beaches

Swimming beaches are unguarded and free and situated along beautiful Minnesota lakes for scenic views while you make a splash. Hours are 9:00 AM–8:00 PM for all swimming beaches except for Cedar Lake Farm Regional Park, which is 9:00 AM–sunset.

This summer, Three Rivers offers six levels of swimming lessons at Lake Minnetonka Regional Park! 

In Three Rivers, having fun doesn't have to cost a thing. From free parking to free activities to free programs and events, find your adventure!

At Three Rivers, we believe everyone belongs in the parks. The Recreation Pass Plus includes free equipment rentals and recreation passes, and discounts on programs and events. It is available for families and individuals who are experiencing financial difficulty and live in Hennepin County. 

Dogs

Dogs are not allowed to swim in swim ponds or designated swimming areas. Dogs on leashes are allowed to wade and swim in water adjacent to a trail or picnic area. Learn more about bringing your dog to Three Rivers.

Starting April 1, Three Rivers will no longer accept plastic bags in recycling bins.

Beach Accessibility

For people who use wheelchairs, floating beach wheelchairs—designed to allow accessibility to areas otherwise inaccessible—are available to use at no cost at the Lake Minnetonka and Elm Creek swim ponds. They can be used on sand and in the water. 

Beach water quality

In order to ensure a safe swimming experience for park guests, our water quality tolerance standards follow a combination of the MPCA and USEPA standards for primary body contact water. Learn more about Water Resources Management at Three Rivers.

Rules

Children not toilet trained are required to wear swim diapers while in the beach and pond areas.

Other things to do

Boat Launch

Boating

two men fishing in a small motor boat.

Three Rivers offers plenty of boating opportunities with over 30 lakes, rivers and streams. With lake access points and trailer parking sites, it’s easy to get the family out on the water to enjoy the ultimate Minnesota pastime.

Campground

Camping

Camping tent and fire

Fall asleep to the sound of crickets and wake up with the sunrise. Camping is the stuff memories are made of and at Three Rivers, you’ll find all the fun of camping without the long car trip. Campgrounds are located at Baker, Carver, and Cleary Lake

Paddling

Paddling

Three people kayaking on a lake.

Recreate on the water with canoeing, kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding. Get exercise and fresh air while you explore the shorelines and bays where motorized boats can’t go. Need a boat? Three Rivers offers canoe, kayak, rowboat, paddleboat and stand-up paddleboard rentals at several parks.

Picnic Area

Picnic Areas

multi-generational family at a picnic table

Make new memories eating al fresco at a Three Rivers park picnic area in a beautiful, natural setting. All sites have picnic tables, and most sites have other basic amenities including water fountains and permanent grills. Look for a peaceful, serene location or set up just steps from a rip-roaring play area.

Play Area

Play Areas

Colorful play area with slides and climbing strutures

Create new memories at our play areas. Three Rivers has multiple areas designed for varying ages and abilities where toddlers to teens can let their imagination run wild. Monkey business never sounded so fun.

Fishing / Fishing Pier

Fishing

Two people sit on a buckets while ice fishing.

Throw a line for your own catch of the day. In Three Rivers, you might reel in muskie, northern pike, sunfish, bass or even walleye.