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.
As ice recedes from lakes in Three Rivers Park District, Water Resources staff anticipate that several shallow lakes will have experienced fish die-offs over the winter.
The extensive snow depth on lakes this year shaded out all light transparency and reduced or limited the amount of oxygen aquatic plants produced under the ice. In addition, if the aquatic vegetation dies, the decomposition of the plants further depletes oxygen reserves in the water. The combination of these two factors can result in depleted oxygen levels in the water that create stressful conditions and eventually can cause fish to die. Learn more.
Interactive Map of Baker
Baker PDF Maps
Campground | Outdoor Learning Center | Recreation Area | Ski Trails
Find yourself in the parks with the Avenza app! Learn more.
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
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.
917 acres of water
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.
For kayaking, canoeing and other non-motorized boating, see our paddling page.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Skijoring & Dog Sledding
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ongoing | Multiple Locations
Learn the basics of archery and try shooting a bow!
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.
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 165–167: Highways
This month, Brandon and Angela explore highways: what you can see on your drive to the parks; how roads can have an impact on humans, wildlife and habitat; and what MnDOT is doing to make highways and other roads safer for drivers and animals.
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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.
Creating a Healing Space in Nature: A Q&A with Innovative SOULutions’ Farji Shaheer
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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.
Where to Go Birding in Three Rivers (Part 2)
By: Steven Hogg
Learn key spots to bird in the Three Rivers Park District in the second part of our “Where to Go Birding” series.
Learn about the mental and physical benefits of connecting with nature through camping.
Learn about the important work happening to eradicate the invasive vine Oriental bittersweet.
KARE 11's Hitting the Trails series highlights Three Rivers Parks.
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