Baker Park Reserve
Located on scenic Lake Independence, Baker Park Reserve offers 2,700 acres of natural landscape and accommodations for almost any activity from golfing to camping to cross-country skiing, and so much more. No matter the season, there’s always something fun to do.
No-Wake Restriction on Lake Independence
There is a temporary lake-wide no-wake restriction in effect on Lake Independence due to high water levels. See the City of Medina's website for updates and more information.
Plan Your Visit
For a quick getaway in the woods, hike the 1.1-mile paved loop near Baker Campground. Park near the campground office and head north on the paved trail. Tip: Go in the evening and enjoy sunset views over Lake Independence.
Bring your bike and ride the 12.5 miles of paved trails—including a 6.2-mile loop—over rolling hills and bask in scenic views of the big woods along the trail. Pack a picnic and park at a rest stop along the way for lunch. Want to bring the whole family? Child bike trailers may be rented on weekends and holidays from the Baker Campground office.
Start the day with a hike on the turf trail near Marshview Group Camp. Park at the trailhead on the north side of County Road 24, across from the Near-Wilderness Settlement entrance. Stroll the grassy trail and take in the fall colors of maples and basswood trees. Watch for wildlife like eagles soaring overhead, birds flitting through tree canopies and pond critters in the marsh.
Bring lunch and enjoy a picnic at the family picnic area on the eastern shore of Lake Independence, near the recreation entrance. Enjoy tranquil and colorful autumn views reflected on the lake.
things to do
917 acres of water
Please note: There is a temporary lake-wide no-wake restriction in effect on Lake Independence due to high water levels.
A paved boat launch is available at Lake Independence. An unpaved boat launch is located at Spurzem Lake, and a carry-in access is available at Half Moon Lake. No wake at Half Moon and Spurzem. Gas motors are allowed at Spurzem.
Rent paddleboats, rowboats, canoes and kayaks on Lake Independence, south of the main beach. Call for boat rental hours.
There is more than one way to camp. Baker Park Reserve offers a traditional campground as well as camper cabins and group campsites. The campground offers sites with and without electrical hookups. Five camper cabins sleep 5-6 people; two are accessible for people with disabilities. All camper cabins feature screened-in porches, tables, bunks, electricity and heat. The campground and camper cabins have access to modern restrooms facilities with showers and access to drinking water. There are five group campsites that offer a range of amenities from simple open air to sites with shelter and electricity, water and flush toilets. The Half Moon Group Campsite is available year round. All camping requires reservations.
9.1 miles of trails
Baker offers high-quality trails for skiers of all abilities. Trails are groomed for traditional touring and skate skiing.
A Three Rivers Park District Cross-Country Ski Pass is required for skiers ages 12 and older. Passes may be purchased at the chalet. For more information, call 763.694.7660. Check trail conditions.
12.5 miles of trails
Dogs are allowed on all paved trails with a six-foot, non-retractable leash. During the winter, the multi-use trails provide access for dog sleds and skijor. Owners must pick-up after their dog.
943 acres of water
Write your own fish story from a fishing pier on the south end of the beach on Lake Independence or Half Moon Lake. The pier is wheelchair accessible. In the winter, Independence, Half Moon and Spurzem Lakes provide access for ice fishing. Anglers must have a valid Minnesota fishing license.
Geocaching is a family-friendly, high-tech treasure hunt that combines respect for the environment with a sense of adventure. This activity involves placing or looking for a cache using global positioning system (GPS) equipment. GPS units with pre-loaded geocaches are available to check-out for free at the campground office on a first-come, first-served basis. Units may only be used in the park and must be returned before closing.
18 holes and 9 holes
Baker National is one of the finest public golf courses in the Twin Cities. This facility features a challenging 18-hole championship golf course, a nine-hole executive course, driving range, practice facilities and concessions. Lessons and leagues are available. Designated as a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary from Audubon International. Baker National demonstrates efforts to improve environmental quality, through habitat and water quality management.
Reserve your tee time online for the Championship Course and Evergreen Course or by calling 763.694.7670.
19.8 miles of trails
The Timber Trail is for turf hiking only and is accessible near the Marshview Group Camp. Hiking is also encouraged on the paved bike trail and turf horse trails. Although these trails are closed in the winter, visitors can enjoy miles of hiking on the winter multi-use trail or on the plowed path at the Baker Campground. GPS units are available to check out for free at the campground office during office hours.
5.2 miles of trails
This winter-only, multi-use trail is open 5:00 AM–10:00 PM as snow conditions permit. A pass is not required. Click below to check trail conditions and learn more about mountain biking in Three Rivers.
Rediscover the natural world and indulge in the simple joys. Baker Near-Wilderness Settlement offers you and your family a unique opportunity to reconnect with the natural world. Cultivate camaraderie with friends and family by staying in one of eight comfortable cabins or meeting in the expansive multipurpose lodge. Site is only accessible during a program or by reservations.
945 acres of water
Baker Park offers numerous lakes for paddling. Rent a canoe, kayak, paddleboat, rowboat or stand-up paddleboard at Baker Campground and explore Lake Independence, or launch your own boat on Independence, Half Moon or Spurzem lakes.
10 AM-8 PM Saturday, Sunday and holidays, Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day
See pricing for watercraft rentals.
Soak in the rays and the gorgeous vista of Lake Independence. Three Rivers offers picnic areas in beautiful, natural settings and Baker has some of the best. A spacious, first-come, first-served family picnic area and four reservation picnic sites are available for your needs.
Remember the fun of playing on a playground? Climbing, sliding, swinging higher and higher. Baker Play Area is just the right size for younger kids. For group reservations, please call 763.559.6700.
The Baker Play Area is being redesigned and will be closed for construction in 2020.
Skijoring & Dog Sledding
Baker sledding hill is groomed and offers lots of space for excitement. Access the hill from the cross-country chalet, where you can warm up with a warm cocoa and snacks. Snowboards, tubes or railed sleds are not permitted.
Baker provides links through the park along the west boundary to state Grants-in-Aid snowmobile trails. Snowmobile trailer parking is available at the Recreation Area. A daily or season trailer parking pass is required.
It’s hot, the sun is shining, and it’s a beautiful day! Baker Park has two swimming beaches on Lake Independence with spectacular views of the lake. The water is regularly monitored to ensure safe water quality. The beaches are unguarded and free. Hours are 9:00 AM-8:00 PM.
Sept. 21 | Crow-Hassan
Celebrate the oldest and largest restored prairie in the Twin Cities! Learn about prairie plants and insects, enjoy a wagon ride, and take a tour of the prairie with the hosts of The Wandering Naturalist podcast.
Sept. 29 | Near-Wilderness Settlement
Bring your friends and family to cook and eat your way from one campfire ring to the next during this wilderness feast.
All Programs and Events
Find an event or program at Baker Park Reserve!
2019/2020 Restroom and Boat Rental Construction
The restroom buildings at Baker Park Reserve Recreation Area are being replaced. Construction will extend through fall 2020 and will impact use of the recreation area, including the use of swim beaches, picnic areas, creative play area, fishing pier, and boat rental. Learn more.
Baker Play Area Closed in 2020
The Baker Play Area will be closed for construction in 2020. A new play area is coming soon!
Baker Master Plan
Three Rivers Park District is beginning the process of creating a new master plan for Baker Park Reserve. The master plan will inform future decisions related to recreation areas, the campground, golf course, trails, and natural resources management. Visit the Master Plan page to learn more.
Volunteers are an important part of the operations at Baker Park Reserve. Learn more about volunteering at Three Rivers.
The Wandering Naturalist
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Lowry Nature Center and the prairie at Crow-Hassan Park Reserve. Learn how Three Rivers has helped paved the way for environmental stewardship over the last 50-plus years.
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