Baker Outdoor Learning Center

It’s like getting out of town without actually leaving. Just 20 minutes from downtown Minneapolis is the Baker Outdoor Learning Center. Situated within beautiful Baker Park Reserve, this rustic learning center offers an outdoor experience for groups with a nature education component.

Main Number:

4001 County Road 24
Maple Plain, MN 55359

Scheduled visits only

Road construction on County Road 19 through summer

Improvements will be made along County Road 19 between Main Street in Maple Plain and Highway 55 starting spring 2024. 

During construction, all areas of Baker Park Reserve will remain open, but park guests may need to take alternate routes to the park and should note road and trail closures.

Local access will be maintained to Baker Park Reserve on County Road 19 through April. Starting in early May, portions of County Road 19 near Baker Park Reserve will be closed. Refer to this map of road closures and alternate routes to the park.

  • May 8–August 16: A segment of County Road 19 south of Loretto is expected to be closed, and the Lake Independence Regional Trail will be closed from Loretto south to County Road 11.

The project will resurface the roadway; convert bypass lanes into turn lanes for easier access into Baker Park Reserve; and improve safety, accessibility and storm water management. It is led by Hennepin County in coordination with the City of Loretto. For more information, visit Hennepin County's project page.

Accessibility Improvements

Beginning in late May, work will take place at the Baker Outdoor Learning Center to bring pedestrian access routes into compliance with all applicable accessibility and building codes. The main entrance to the Outdoor Learning Center will be closed for the duration of the project. Please follow on-site signage for access to the Lodge. This project is scheduled to be completed by September 2024.

Baker PDF Maps

Outdoor Learning Center

Find all printable maps of Baker on the Baker Park Reserve page.

About Baker Outdoor Learning Center

About the Space

The Outdoor Learning Center is available for scheduled programs or group reservations only; no walk-ins allowed.

The Outdoor Learning Center features eight cabins, an expansive lodge, a bath house with showers, miles of trails, many natural habitats, a rock climbing wall, nature and outdoor recreation classes, and hands-on activities for all ages. Each cabin has eight bunk beds, a wood stove and a nearby cooking pad with a grill and seating area.

The log lodge features a meeting and activity room that seats up to 120 people lecture-style and up to 80 for meals, a large stone fireplace, wrap-around porch, modern restrooms and an institutional kitchen.

Due to the nature of the programming at the Outdoor Learning Center, dogs are not allowed. View Three Rivers dog policy and FAQs.

Take a Virtual Tour

See a 360º-view of the lodge at Baker Outdoor Learning Center in this short video with audio descriptions, or take a virtual walk through the Outdoor Learning Center to experience its amenities inside and out and learn how it fosters joy in outdoors through hands-on educational experiences.

All Programs & Events

View upcoming programs and events, including opportunities for camping in our rustic log cabins, at Baker Outdoor Learning Center!

Nearly all of our program offerings can be adapted or modified. Please call 763-559-9000 (for relay services dial 711) or email to request specific services or to discuss options.

Reservations & Availability

The Outdoor Learning Center is available for reservation only. Whether you have a school, scout, homeschool, senior center or other group, the Outdoor Learning Center offers a variety of programs that can be tailored for your needs. These include exploring natural or cultural history, improving your team or outdoor life skills, and recreational programs such as canoeing or archery.

If you decide on an overnight stay, your booking reserves the entire site — including the cabins, lodge and outdoor amenities — for your group so you can reconnect with nature and explore the outdoors while having full attention of staff.

Reservation Details

Ready to reserve? Call us at 763-694-7724 or email us.

Groups can reserve the Outdoor Learning Center up to one year in advance.

Rates & Fees

Day-education Rates

Baker Outdoor Learning Center provides educational programming for a wide variety of audiences, whether you're looking for a single program for your group or a full-day field trip for your students. All programming reservations require a minimum of 15 participants, with a maximum of 125 participants.

Programs for Youth or Adult Education Groups

  • 1.5–2 hours: $7.50/participant  
  • 3-4 hours: $11.50/participant  

School Field Trips

For third-graders and older

  • 3-4 hours: $11.50/participant  
  • 4-5 hours: $13.50/participant  
  • 5.5+ hours: $15.50/participant 

Each field trip learning group must have a minimum of one chaperone, but no more than three chaperones; there is no charge for leaders or other adult chaperones.

Overnight Rates

Spend the night in the cabins at Baker Outdoor Learning Center for a unique outdoor experience! Overnight bookings are available for educational groups, including scouts, homeschool or youth development groups that want to include multiple programs during their stay, as well as for family or friend groups that want to experience at least one scheduled education program.

Maximum capacity: 72 people

Lodging Fees 

  • Sundays–Thursdays: $15 plus tax/participant/night (Nightly minimum: $300)
  • Fridays, Saturdays and holidays:
    • One night: $25 plus tax/person (Nightly minimum: $500)
    • Two nights: $19 plus tax/person/night (Nightly minimum: $380)

All overnight groups must pay the 7.525% Minnesota Lodging Tax, regardless of tax-exempt status.

Additionally, all overnight groups are required to schedule at least one of our staff-led programs as part of their reservation.

Program Fees

  • $5.50/participant/program (Program minimum: $82.50)

Food Options for Overnight Stays

Prepare your own

  • Campfire cooking: Use our cooking equipment and campfire supplies to make meals with food that you supply.
  • Kitchen cooking: Use our kitchen and kitchen supplies to make meals with food that you supply.

Prepared meals

  • On-site meals (only available for weekday school reservations): $5/person/meal. We provide and serve prepared food.
  • Catered meals: Choose one of Three Rivers' approved caterers for your meals.

Lodge-Only Rates & Fees

Our lodge can be rented for events like birthday parties, business meetings and family gatherings. Because the Outdoor Learning Center focuses on educational programs, weekend rentals are limited to the weekends between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day. Weekday rentals are available anytime during the year. Please call 763-694-7724 or email for more information and availability.

Financial Assistance and Accessibility

Scholarships are available for program fees. Recreation Pass Plus program discounts apply, and financial assistance is also available for qualified groups. Call 763-559-6700 or review our fee assistance information online.

Three Rivers is committed to providing inclusive and accessible opportunities for people of all abilities. We will do our best to adapt programs to fit your needs by offering qualified assistants, sign language interpretations and more. Please indicate any special needs when making reservations, or call 763-559-6700 (voice) or 711 (Relay Service) with questions. Learn more about accessibility at Three Rivers.

The Outdoor Learning Center offers a variety of nature-oriented party themes such as: archery, canoeing, rock climbing, and more. 

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