Free to Enter, Full of Adventure

Winter is a beautiful time to be outside in Minnesota! To play in the parks, explore new trails, go sledding with friends, and discover everything the great outdoors has to offer. And the best part? It’s all free! 

At Three Rivers, having fun in the Twin Cities doesn't have to cost a thing. Free to park, free to enter, free to play. Find your adventure!

Free Parking

Parking at Three Rivers parks and trails is free for personal vehicles. If you are coming with a group by bus or passenger van, reservations are required and may include fees.

free things to do

Bike Trail

Biking

three women bike over a bridge while smiling.

Biking in Three Rivers is a great way to get the whole family outside. Whether you’re the casual rider or a cyclist in training, you’ll appreciate more than 240 miles of off-roadway bike/hike trails that wind through woodlands and grasslands and rim the shorelines of lakes and ponds at our parks.

Dog Trails - On Leash

Dog Trails

A white french bulldog wearing a pink vest walks an a paved path in the snow.

Three Rivers offers abundant scenery for you and your dog to enjoy year round, with paved, turf, regional and skijoring/dog sledding trails that are dog-friendly. Dogs must be on a six-foot non-retractable leash unless in a designated dog off-leash area. Owners must pick-up after their dogs.

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.

Geocaching

Geocaching

Two girls using a GPS unit

Geocaching is a family-friendly, high-tech treasure hunt that combines respect for the environment with a sense of adventure.

Hiking

Hiking

a green sign that says hiking trail pointing toward a trail.

One of the best ways to explore year-round is to head out for a hike on the extensive trail system in Three Rivers. Trails wind through the woodland, grassland and wetland habitats of many species of wildlife. You’ll be amazed at what you might see along the way.

History Education

History Exploration

a yellow brick farmhouse with a memorial boulder in front of it.

Have you ever wondered what life was like for the people who lived here before us? Step back in time and discover their stories through the historic sites of the Grimm Farm, Noerenberg Gardens, the Historic Pierre Bottineau House, and The Landing. Evidence within the parks tells how people have lived, worked and played here for over 12,000 years.

Nature Education

Nature Education

Two boys build a fire in the winter.

If you want to get up close and personal or learn a little more, try visiting one of our nature centers. At Eastman, Lowry, or Richardson Nature Centers, you can hike the trails, interact with seasonal exhibits, observe up close the unique characteristics of different wildlife species, conduct your own science experiment and meet a live animal. 

Mountain Bike Trail

Mountain Biking

A mountain biker follows an orange sign with an arrow on a snowy trail.

If you’re looking for your own adventure, give mountain biking a try in Three Rivers. There are designated mountain bike trails at Elm Creek, Lake Rebecca, and Murphy-Hanrehan parks and other paved bike/hike trails of varying terrain and difficulty for mountain bikers of any skill level.

Sledding

Sledding

girl sledding on her stomach with her arms extended like an airplane

It’s easy to feel like a kid again in Three Rivers, where you'll find some of the best sledding hills in town. Just bundle up and grab a sled for hours of exhilarating fun.

Snowshoeing

Snowshoeing

four people snowshoeing on a sunny day.

Three Rivers offers trails of varying difficulty for snowshoers of all skill levels. It’s a great way for the entire family to take in the scenes of a Minnesota winter.

upcoming free events

Nov. 24-Dec. 17 | Eastman
Stop in and vote for your favorite photo in the Your Shot: Amateur Photo Contest! 

Dec. 22, Jan. 26, Feb. 23 | French
Explore the park during these designated calmer times. Snowshoes, cross-country skis and sleds can be reserved. Noise-cancelling headphones and sensory objects will be available. 

Ongoing | Richardson & Coon Rapids Dam
Explore nature through hands-on activities! Topics include reptiles, survival skills, animal tracks and more.

Programs and Events

Four adults snowshoe across an open area.

Rental Equipment Under $5

No gear? No problem! Three Rivers offers a variety of free and low-cost rental equipment, including:

  • GPS units for geocaching: Free
  • Nature exploration kits: Free 
  • Sit-ski cross-country skis: Free
  • Snowshoes: $5/day
  • Sleds: $1/day

See where to rent equipment

*Prices do not include sales tax. 

We believe everyone belongs in the parks. To make outdoor opportunities available to all, Three Rivers offers several fee assistance options to help when financial limitations occur.