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.

things to do

Archery

Archery

Children aiming at targets

Range & Walking Course Open

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.

Bike Trail

Biking

Man biking on paved trail

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 LRT Regional Trail.

 

Boat Launch

Boating

Man and child fishing from boat

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. Call for hours.

Campground

Camping

Woman in tent

57 campsites

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. Rustic group campsites are also available for reservation.

Cross-Country Skiing

Cross-Country Skiing

Skier on groomed trail

11.3 miles of trails

An extensive network of trails groomed for skate and classic skiing winds through the western portion of the park and past scenic overlooks. 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 on Tuesday and Thursday through Sunday, when conditions permit.

Dog Trails - Off Leash

Dog Off-Leash

Dogs without leash

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 features a separate section for small and/or frail dogs. Owners must pick-up after their dog. An annual or daily pass is required.

Dog Trails - On Leash

Dog Trails

Dogs on leash with companions

9.1 miles of trails

Dogs are allowed on all paved trails with a six-foot, non-retractable leash. Owners must pick-up after their dogs.
 

Fishing / Fishing Pier

Fishing

Children fishing from boat

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

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.

Hiking

Hiking

Family hiking wooded trail

36.7 miles of trails

A well-maintained, paved trail runs along both the eastern and western sections of the park, with a connecting link in the central part of the park take you to a variety of scenic overlooks. Wildlife in Carver Park Reserve may be spotted along the turf trails found throughout the park. Wetland animals can be seen from over 1,700 feet of floating boardwalk that take you through marsh and tamarack swamps.
 

History Education

History Exploration

Grimm Farm House

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.
 

Horse Trails

Horseback Riding

Family horseback riding

9.2 miles of trails, open

In the western portion of the park, extensive horse trails take riders past many of the lakes and marshes. 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. Three Rivers Park District does not rent horses.

Nature Education

Nature Education

Young child looking at bug

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.

Paddling

Paddling

Youth kayaking on lake

704 acres of water

Carver Park Reserve has access to three lakes. Zumbra, Stieger and Auburn offer boat launches. Steiger Lake is designated as a no-wake lake. Canoes and kayaks are available to rent at the campground. Call for hours.

Picnic Area

Picnic Areas

Family at a picnic table

Grab a bite and some rays at one of the first-come, first-served picnic areas found is the north-western portion of the park reserve. The Springview Picnic Area is also available for group reservation.

Play Area

Play Areas

Two boys smile at the end of a silde

"Habitats" play area at Lowry Nature Center is a place where children can interact with nature on a grand scale. While camping at Lake Auburn Campground, kids can burn energy on the play equipment.

Sledding

Sledding

Girl sledding on hill

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. A limited number of sleds are available to rent during nature center hours. Snowboards, tubes or railed sleds are not permitted. 

Snowmobile Trail

Snowmobiling

Snowmobilers on wooded trail

Carver Park provides links through the park along the west and south-western boundary to state Grants-in-Aid snowmobile trails.

Snowshoeing

Snowshoeing

Group exploring park on snowshoes

3.9 miles of trails

If snowshoeing interests you, you can rent a pair at Lowry Nature Center and explore a winter wonderland along the nature center trails.

Swimming

Swimming

Person on dock

Escape the beach crowds at the small unguarded beach at the campground. Hours are 9:00 AM–8:00 PM, Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Programs and Events

Upcoming programs and events at Carver.

Volunteering

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.

Natural Resources

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. 

Funding

Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund logoFunding to purchase a portion of the land for this park was provided by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund.

Follow Carver Park

Upcoming Events

Lifelong memories are made at camp! Camps for kids ages 4–15 are available on topics including nature exploration, outdoor recreation, golf, fishing, farming, art and Minnesota history.

Looking for something different to do with your little ones? Let Three Rivers teach them about the natural world with fun and creative hands-on activities.

Oct. 7, 2017
From hard-core distance runners to casual walkers, this annual event offers a 10K, 5K & 1K—something for everyone.

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