Carver Park Reserve
Situated on the western edge of the Twin Cities, Carver Park Reserve is home to Lowry Nature Center, Grimm Farm Historic Site and King Waterbird Sanctuary. Here, you may spot trumpeter swans, osprey, mink, white-tailed deer, barred owls and a variety of waterfowl and songbirds. Explore year-round activities that take advantage of winding trails, rolling wooded terrain and interconnected lakes and marshes.
Plan Your Visit
For a unique experience, visit the Grimm Farm Historic Site. Explore the grounds and learn about the significant role the Grimm Family played in the Minnesota’s agriculture and dairy farming history. Want an in-depth account of the Grimm Family? Visit the Three Rivers Blog and read A Grimm Dairy Tale.
Spend a couple of hours exploring Lowry Nature Center, celebrating 50 years as nature’s classroom in 2019. While at Lowry, there is plenty to explore both inside and out. Keep an eye out for osprey nesting in the park, or stop by the raptor mew and learn about other birds of prey in the area. Explore and play on your own or check out the program offerings happening many weekend days throughout the year.
Bring your bike for a full day of adventure at Carver Park Reserve! Nine miles of trail will take you through much of the park where you can enjoy multiple vistas and wildlife viewing points. Stop by the Grimm Farm and Lowry Nature Center to explore and learn about the significant cultural and natural significance of the area.
The paved trail in Carver Park Reserve also connects with the Lake Minnetonka LRT Regional Trail, where you can ride the 15 mile trail to Hopkins and enjoy beautiful views of Lake Minnetonka along the way.
Make a weekend of it and stay in one of the bike-in campsites available at Lake Auburn Campground for just $10 per tent.
things to do
Range & Walking Course
Keep those skills sharp at the Carver Park archery range. Targets at multiple distances and an elevated platform provide plenty of opportunities to work on your shot, and the walk-through course will have you primed for the season. An annual or daily pass is required for individuals 16 and older.
9.1 miles of trails
A well-maintained, paved trail creates a loop on both the eastern and western sections of the park, with a connecting link in the central part of the park. The trail travels through the park's big woods and along the many marshes. The trail connects to Lowry Nature Center, Lake Auburn Campground and the Lake Minnetonka LRT Regional Trail.
11.3 miles of trails
An extensive network of trails groomed for skate and classic skiing winds through the western portion of the park, passing scenic overlooks along the way. One trail leads to Lowry Nature Center. Skiers ages 12 and older must have a Three Rivers Park District daily or annual cross-country ski pass. Classic and skate ski equipment rentals are available on Tuesday and Thursday through Sunday, when conditions permit. Don't forget to check the trail conditions before you head out.
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.
25.7 miles of trails
A well-maintained paved trail runs along both the eastern and western sections of the park. A centrally located link takes you to a variety of scenic overlooks. Wildlife in Carver Park Reserve may be spotted along the turf trails, as well as over 1,700 feet of floating boardwalk that take you through marsh and tamarack swamps.
Within Carver Park Reserve, you’ll find the Grimm Farm Historic Site, often called the birthplace of the Dairy Belt. The farmhouse area serves as an educational facility where guests have the opportunity to experience Minnesota’s agricultural heritage and explore the relationship between food, land and people. Open seasonally.
9.2 miles of trails, open
Extensive horse trails take riders past many of the lakes and marshes in the western portion of the park. Limited trailer parking is available off of Grimm Road. Horse trails are not open during the winter. An annual or daily pass is required for each rider age 16 or older. Three Rivers Park District does not rent horses.
The first public nature center built in the Twin Cities, Lowry Nature Center is a beautiful, prairie-style building nestled in the middle of Carver Park Reserve. Inside, view seasonal interpretive displays, visit our live animals, observe birds in our wildlife viewing area, or just relax near the fireplace or on the deck.
704 acres of water
Carver Park Reserve has access to three lakes: Zumbra, Steiger and Auburn. Launch your own boat on all three, or rent a canoe, kayak or rowboat at Lake Auburn Campground. Steiger Lake has a no-wake restriction.
Through Labor Day:
10 AM-8 PM, Thursday–Sunday
Rentals available for groups Monday-Wednesday upon request. Call 763.694.2012 to make arrangements.
10 AM–5 PM, Saturday & Sunday
Grab a bite and some rays at one of the first-come, first-served picnic areas found is the north-western portion of the park reserve. The Springview Picnic Area is also available for group reservations.
Sept. 21 | Crow-Hassan
Celebrate the oldest and largest restored prairie in the Twin Cities! Meet at the Riverbend Group Camp to 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. 22 | French & Lowry
Explore the play areas, buildings and trails at French Regional Park and Lowry Nature Center during these designated calmer times. Noise-cancelling headphones and sensory objects will be available.
All Programs and Events
View upcoming programs and events at Carver!
Construction Begins On Carver Singletrack Trail
Construction is underway on the new Carver Singletrack Trail. The trail is anticipated to open in late spring or early summer of 2020. Learn more about the project.
Volunteers are an important part of the operations at Carver Park Reserve. Put your talent, passion, and energy to use in the parks by volunteering.
Funding to purchase a portion of the land for this park was provided by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund.
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.
The Three Rivers Blog
Friday is National Read a Book Day. To help you prepare, Mary Magers, bookseller at Minneapolis independent bookstore Magers & Quinn, agreed to share some of her favorite books about the natural world. From pollinators to weather to winter survival and more, read on to find your next page-turner.
Believe it or not, fall bird migration is already starting! From ospreys to owls to waterfowl, read all about what birds pass through our area of Minnesota and where in Three Rivers you can expect to see them.
By: Andrea Breitung
Saturday is National S'mores Day! Read on to find fun takes on the classic camping dessert, alternatives for dietary restrictions and ways to celebrate with Three Rivers.