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.

Highway 12 Construction

The Minnesota Department of Transportation is conducting construction on Highway 12 from County Road 6 in Orono to County Road 92 in Independence. Construction will begin in spring 2021 and continue into 2022. This may affect your normal route to Baker Campground. See a map of construction and detour routes.

Baker PDF Maps

Summer | Winter

CampgroundOutdoor Learning Center | Recreation Area | Ski Trails

Find yourself in the parks with the Avenza app! Learn more.

Things To Do

Bike Trail

Biking

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 starting July 30.

Boat Launch

Boating

Boating on lake

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.

Campground

Camping

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 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.

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.

Rentals

NEW FOR THE 2020-21 SEASON: 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

Fishing

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.
 

Geocaching

Geocaching

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. 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.

Golfing

Golfing

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.

Hiking

Hiking

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 5:00 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.

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.
 

Paddling

Paddling

Children in a canoe

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.

Rental Hours & Process

Hours

  • Memorial Day Weekend-Labor Day: Noon-7 PM, Saturday & Sunday
  • Sept. 8-27: Noon-6 PM, Saturday & Sunday

New in 2020: Boat rentals can be reserved online or in person at the Baker Campground office. Boats can be reserved in two-hour time blocks up to seven days in advance. Same-day reservations are available. See rental rates.

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.

Open

The new play area is now open! Learn more.

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.

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.

Sledding

Sledding

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

Snowmobiling

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.
 

Snowshoeing

Snowshoeing

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.

Swimming

Swimming

Children swimming in lake

Closed

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.

Upcoming Events

Archery Programs

Ongoing | Multiple Locations
Learn the basics of archery and give shooting a try!

All Programs and Events

Find an event or program at Baker Park Reserve!

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.

Volunteering

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

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. 

Trails That Connect

The Wandering Naturalist

Episodes 86-89: Coffee for Birds

Listen in to learn all about how the coffee you drink affects migratory birds that call Minnesota home in the summer. Hear from coffee farmers, local roasters and others, and learn how to tell if your coffee supports birds.

Related Blog Posts

Species Spotlight: Beavers

By: Steven Hogg

March 08, 2021

Beavers are found throughout Minnesota and Three Rivers Parks, but how much do you really know about them? Learn all about their unique adaptations to living in the water, how they survive winter, and how and why their populations are managed.

November 16, 2020

One Three Rivers enthusiast challenged herself to ride 140 miles in three days between all seven of the Three Rivers park reserves. Read all about why she did it, how it went and how it felt to complete this journey.

October 13, 2020

Wood ducks are one of the most spectacular birds in North America. Learn what Three Rivers is doing to provide the space they need to nest and thrive in our parks. 

News

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