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.
Monarch trail enhancements
Construction is underway to add approximately four miles of trail to the existing loops of the Monarch singletrack trail system. In addition to extending the trail, additional features will be added to each loop, with significant enhancements being added to the bike park on the Paradise loop. View a map showing where trail is being added.
Work will continue through early October. The Monarch trail will remain open during the project, but some intermittent closures of trail sections will be needed while work is taking place. Pay attention to signs posted at the park and on the trail, and use caution while riding the trails.
Upon completion, Monarch will be the longest singletrack trail in the Three Rivers system, with approximately 14 miles of trail. The trail enhancements are being developed and built thanks to the generous support and partnership of the One Track Mind Foundation.
Carver PDF Maps
Archery | Dog Off-leash | Lake Auburn Campground | Lowry Nature Center: Summer | Lowry Nature Center: Winter | Monarch Singletrack Trail: Winter | Monarch Singletrack Trail: Summer | Monarch Singletrack Trail: Paradise Technical Area (Advanced)
Find yourself in the parks with the Avenza app! Learn more.
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 Regional Trail.
604 acres of water
Carver Park Reserve has access to three lakes. Stieger and Auburn offer boat launches and accessible fishing piers. Zumbra offers a boat launch. On Stieger, gas motors are allowed but no wake.
Canoes and kayaks are available to rent at the campground.
For an authentic camping experience, try the Lake Auburn campground. This 57-site rustic public campground is located near an unguarded beach, play equipment, miles of trails and other park amenities for true outdoor fun. Carver Park Reserve also has five rustic group campsites.
11.3 miles of trails
An extensive network of trails groomed for skate and classic skiing winds through the western portion of the park, starting at the Carver Winter Trailhead, 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 to reserve online up to seven days in advance, when conditions permit.
Don't forget to check the trail conditions before you head out.
27 fenced acres
Let your four-legged friend roam free. A 27-acre off-leash area provides dogs ample room to run. The perimeter is completely fenced, and there is a separate section for small and/or frail dogs. Owners must pick-up after their dog. An annual or daily pass is required.
9.1 miles of trails
Dogs on a six-foot, non-retractable leash are allowed on paved and turf trails except where otherwise noted. Owners must pick-up after their dogs.
846 acres of water
Dip a line in Stieger or Auburn lakes from the accessible fishing piers, or from a boat, canoe or kayak.
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.
Please note: In winter, hiking on cross-country ski trails is not permitted.
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
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. Check the Horseback Riding page for trail status updates 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.
10.3 miles of trails
The Monarch Singletrack Trail at Carver Park Reserve is open year-round and offers trails for adapted, beginner, intermediate and advanced riders.
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.
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.
Grab a bite and some rays at one of the first-come-first-serve picnic areas found in the north-western portion of the park reserve. The Springview Picnic Area is also available for group reservations (not available in 2021).
While camping at Lake Auburn Campground, kids can burn energy on the play equipment.
Skijoring & Dog Sledding
1.45 miles of trails
Skijoring is permitted on the multi-use trail and does not require a ski pass. Access the trail at Lowry Nature Center.
Looking to get the wiggles out on a wintery day? Just a short jaunt outside of the entrance to Lowry Nature Center you’ll find an exciting sliding hill. Snowboards, tubes or railed sleds are not permitted.
Carver Park provides links through the park along the west and south-western boundary to state Grants-in-Aid snowmobile trails.
3.9 miles of trails
Explore a winter wonderland along the trails at Lowry Nature Center. Please note: Snowshoeing is not permitted on cross-country ski trails unless otherwise noted.
New For The 2020-21 Season: Rent snowshoes online up to seven days in advance. Advance reservations required.
Escape the beach crowds at the small unguarded beach at Lake Auburn Campground. Open Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day from 9 AM–8 PM.
June 2 | Carver Park Reserve
Celebrate the grand opening of the new mountain bike trails in Monarch Singletrack's Paradise Playground! Ride the newest features, enjoy light refreshments and participate in giveaways.
Ongoing | Multiple Locations
Learn the basics of archery and try shooting a bow!
All Programs & Events
View upcoming programs and events at Carver!
Audio Driving Tour
Explore all of the unique features of Carver Park Reserve in this audio driving tour!
Three Rivers takes great care to preserve the natural beauty of this park through the efforts of the Natural Resources division. In 1984, Three Rivers' placed six young osprey in Carver Park Reserve to establish a viable nesting population.
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 Three Rivers Blog
In Review: Our Big Year of Birds in Numbers
By: Sam Safran & Steven Hogg & John Moriarty
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.
By: Josh Sweet
Learn more about the warbler and its migration, as well as which species of warbler you can spot in Minnesota.
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.
Aerations systems are operating in several lakes in and near Three Rivers parks to help fish receive sufficient oxygen during the winter. Operation of the aeration systems may result in unsafe ice conditions on portions of the lakes for the duration of the winter.
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.
The Carver Park Reserve Trail Segment of the Baker-Carver Regional Trail is open.
Aerations systems will be installed in several lakes in and near Three Rivers parks. Operation of the aeration systems may result in unsafe ice conditions on portions of the lakes for the duration of the winter.
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