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.

Main Number:

2309 County Road 19
Maple Plain, MN 55359

5 AM–10 PM

No-wake restriction in effect on Lake Independence

There is currently a no-wake restriction in effect on Lake Independence due to water levels.

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.

Baker PDF Maps

Invasive Species Work

Emerald ash borer, a serious invasive pest that kills ash trees, has been found in this park. We are actively monitoring and managing this situation by removing and replacing infected trees. There will be significant tree removal in this park and you may see signs about the work we're doing. Learn more about the emerald ash borer and our management of the invasive species.

Things To Do

Bike Trail


Biker on paved trail

12.5 miles of trails

Enjoy the rolling hills and the scenic views along the trails at Baker Park Reserve. Bikes and child trailers may be rented from the campground office or online when the campground office is open.

Boat Launch


Boating on lake

917 acres of water

A paved boat launch is available at Lake Independence. There is currently a no-wake restriction in effect on 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.

For kayaking, canoeing and other non-motorized boating, see our paddling page.



Camp fire and tent

203 campsites

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 five-six 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.

Reserve a campsite.

Cross-Country Skiing

Cross-country Skiing

Skiers climbing hill

9.1 miles of trails

Baker offers high-quality trails for skiers of all abilities. Trails are groomed for traditional touring and skate skiing.


Classic and skate ski equipment rentals are available to reserve online up to seven days in advance, when conditions permit. Reserve equipment can be picked up from the Baker Winter Trailhead (Baker Clubhouse).

A Three Rivers Park District Cross-Country Ski Pass is required for skiers ages 12 and older. Check trail conditions.

Dog Trails - On Leash

Dog Trails

A man smiles as he walks two dogs on leashes down a paved trail.

12.5 miles of trails

Dogs are allowed on paved and turf trails except where otherwise noted. Dogs must be kept on 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.

Fishing / Fishing Pier


Children on dock

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.



GPS units on table

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. 



Golfer by red barn

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.



Man walking on wooded trail

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.

Please note: In winter, hiking on cross-country ski trails is not permitted.

Horse Trails

Horseback Riding

Rider on horse

9 miles of trails

Baker offers scenic mowed trails for horseback riders, and trailer parking is available off of Homestead Trail. Trails are closed during the winter season. Check the Horseback Riding page for trail status updates. Three Rivers Park District does not rent horses.

Mountain Bike Trail

Mountain Biking

Person riding fat bike on snowy trail

5.2 miles of trails

This winter-only, multi-use trail is open 5 AM–10 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.

Nature Education

Nature Education

a log cabin at the baker near-wilderness settlement in the fall

Rediscover the natural world and indulge in the simple joys. Baker Outdoor Learning Center 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.



Children in a canoe

945 acres of water

Baker Park offers numerous lakes for paddling. Rent a canoe, kayak, paddleboat or stand-up paddleboard at Baker Campground and explore Lake Independence, or launch your own boat on Independence, Half Moon or Spurzem lakes.

Watercraft rentals are available from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day every year. Boats can be reserved online up to seven days in advance or in person. Reserving online is encouraged to ensure availability. Reserve a boat online.

Picnic Area

Picnic Areas

Man grilling food

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.

Play Area

Play Areas

A new net feature at the Baker Play Area in Baker Park Reserve.


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.

Skijoring and Dog Sledding

Skijoring & Dog Sledding

Skijourer with dog

5.2 miles of trails

Skijoring is permitted on the multi-use trail and does not require a ski pass. Access the trail off of Homestead Trail.



Child on sled

Baker sledding hill is groomed and offers lots of space for excitement. Access the hill from the Baker Winter Trailhead. Snowboards, tubes or railed sleds are not permitted.

Snowmobile Trail


Snowmobilers on wooded trail

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.



Children snowshoeing in the woods

6.3 miles of trails

Opportunities abound for snowshoeing at Baker! Rent snowshoes online and hit the designated trails at the cross-country ski chalet. For the 2021-21 season, snowshoes must reserved in advance. Or those looking to venture on their own can travel along the multi-use trail or go off trail at Baker Campground.

Please note: Snowshoeing is not permitted on cross-country ski trails unless otherwise noted.



Children swimming in lake


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. They are open from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, 9 AM–8 PM daily.

Upcoming Events

Log Rolling

June–August | Multiple Locations
Log rolling is rooted in the history of the Midwest's logging era. Watch a demonstration and give it a try!

All Programs & Events

Find an event or program at Baker Park Reserve!

With more than 200 sites to choose from, you may have trouble picking your favorite spot. Camper cabins and sites with or without electrical hookups are available with shower and restroom facilities nearby. 

Natural Resources

Three Rivers takes great care to preserve the natural beauty of this park through the efforts of the Natural Resources division. Trumpeter swans, once endangered, can be seen at Baker Park Reserve today because of these efforts.


Volunteers are an important part of the operations at Baker Park Reserve. Learn more about volunteering at Three Rivers.

Trails That Connect

The Wandering Naturalist

Episodes 207–209: Return of Fading Butterflies

Summer is peak butterfly season, and this month Angela and Brandon are taking a closer look at these colorful creatures. Hear from a state pollinator coordinator on how butterflies are doing in Minnesota, learn why army bases are uniquely suited for managing habitat for butterflies and find out what goes into preparing to reintroduce a rare or endangered butterfly. 

Related Blog Posts

January 08, 2024

Park enthusiast and artist Brittany Johnson turned photos of French Regional Park into felted landscape art, documenting the seasons and sights of the park in 2023. Learn more about her artistic process and how nature inspires her.

In Review: Our Big Year of Birds in Numbers

By: Sam Safran & Steven Hogg & John Moriarty

May 23, 2023

Learn about the number of birds and types of birds observed during our 2022 Big Year of Birds! Our natural resources experts dive into the data logged by park visitors.

May 02, 2023

Learn how outdoor recreation has helped nurture healing in victims of gun violence in this Q&A with Farji Shaheer, founder and director of Three Rivers’ partner organization Innovative SOULutions.


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