Gale Woods Farm

Outdoor fun on a real working farm. Located on picturesque Whaletail Lake in Minnetrista, Gale Woods Farm features a unique educational opportunity where visitors of all ages gain an understanding of agriculture, food production and land stewardship.

Explore the park on your own, arrange a field trip, or attend a public event. You can also buy fresh food and yarn or host a celebration. In addition to programs and summer camps for aspiring farmhands, you'll find a variety of skill-based classes including fiber arts, cooking and gardening.

Hours Park Hours: 5 AM–10 PM Store Hours: Mon–Sat: 9 AM–5 PM, Sun. Noon–5 PM;

Interactive Map of Gale Woods

gale woods pdf map

things to do

Bike Trail

Biking

Group of bikers on paved trail

2.2 miles of trails

Enjoy crushed limestone trails for hiking or biking as you loop around rolling fields and forests, and take in the scene of undeveloped lakeshore and beautiful wetlands. Cows, sheep and pigs may be visible on the pastures, and you can see chickens in the barnyard. Bike to the farm on the Dakota Rail Regional Trail.

Boat Launch

Boating

Couple carrying canoe to lake

558 acres of water

Enjoy a ½-mile hike around the pastures to the accessible fishing pier and non-motorized boat access. The reward: exploring the secluded bays of Whaletail Lake, known for its crappie and panfish. Canoe rentals and rack rental space are available June-September. Before your visit, please call Gale Woods Farm at 763.694.2001 for information on canoe rental hours.

Educational Farming

Educational Farming

Boy holding fresh picked carrots

Gale Woods presents unique opportunities to experience agriculture, food production and land stewardship. Workshops in gardening, farming, fiber arts and cooking strive to enrich lives and create connections in a casual group setting. The barn is open during public programs and scheduled group field trips, during which visitors can meet the animals and take part in seasonal farm activities such as collecting eggs, feeding the sheep, planting and harvesting in the garden or creating a wool-craft.

Fishing / Fishing Pier

Fishing

Two kids fishing from canoe

558 acres of water

Enjoy a half-mile hike around the pastures to the accessible fishing pier and non-motorized boat access. The reward: exploring the secluded bays of Whaletail Lake, known for its crappie and panfish. Canoe rentals and rack rental space are available June-September. For information on canoe rental hours, please call Gale Woods Farm at 763.694.2001.

Hiking

Hiking

Children hiking farm trail

3.5 miles of trails

Enjoy crushed limestone trails for hiking or biking as you loop around rolling fields and forests, and take in the scene of undeveloped lakeshore and beautiful wetlands. Cows, sheep and pigs maybe visible on the pastures, and you can see chickens in the barnyard. Walk or hike to the farm on the Dakota Rail Regional Trail.

Paddling

Paddling

People canoeing at sunset

558 acres of water

Enjoy a half-mile hike around the pastures to the accessible fishing pier and non-motorized boat access. The reward: exploring the secluded bays of Whaletail Lake, known for its crappie and panfish. Canoe rentals and rack rental space are available. 

Rental Hours

Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day:

9 AM-5 PM Monday-Saturday
Noon-5 PM Sunday

4 canoes available. Last rental is at 3:30 PM. See rental prices.

Picnic Area

Picnic Areas

View of picnic area and lake

Several picnic areas are spread around the farm. The pastoral scene and vista of Whaletail Lake offers a wonderful backdrop. A spacious three-season picnic pavilion is available for rent. Gale Woods has earned national recognition as a “green” venue for hosting earth-friendly events.

Snowshoeing

Snowshoeing

a woman walks through a snow-covered forest on snowshoes.

4.2 miles of trails

Enjoy ungroomed trails for snowshoeing as you loop around rolling fields and forests, and take in the scene of undeveloped lake shore and beautiful wetlands. Cows, sheep and pigs maybe visible on the pastures, and you can see chickens in the barnyard.

Snowshoes are available to rent at the visitor center. See rental rates.

Upcoming Events

Ongoing | Multiple Locations
At Three Rivers preschool programs, kids explore nature through games, hikes, art, songs and other activities. Try a drop-off program or join the fun! 

Through Dec. 31 | Multiple Locations
Looking for ways to ring in the holidays? Join a candy cane hunt, celebrate the solstice, hike through the woods with Santa, and more! Browse all holiday programs at Three Rivers.

Ongoing | Gale Woods Farm

Try felting and other techniques in an upcoming fiber program!

See all upcoming events and programs at Gale Woods!

Visitor Information

Farm Market & Visitor Center

Regular Hours

Monday–Saturday, 9:00 AM–5:00 PM
Sunday, 12:00–5:00 PM

Purchase fresh food and other goods grown or raised at Gale Woods from the Farm Store, or participate in the CSA program

Barn/Animal Hours

The barn is open for scheduled groups and public programs. Please call for availability, or join us at Saturday Mornings on the Farm April through September when the barn is open and you can see the farm animals up close! The barn is closed in the winter. The animals can typically be seen out on pasture from the hiking trails, which are free and open to the public every day. 

Dogs

Due to consideration of the farm animals, dogs are not allowed at Gale Woods Farm.

Groups

Whether you’re with a school, scout troop, 4-H or other group, Gale Woods Farm offers exciting, hands-on programs for preschoolers through adults. Learn more.

Watch a Video About Gale Woods

Gale Woods video with audio descriptions.  

The pavilion is available for large groups April–November. This facility, a popular spot for weddings and corporate events, overlooks Whaletail Lake and the farm’s pastures and gardens.

Volunteering

Volunteers are an important part of the operations at this park. Three Rivers also has several opportunities for teens to get involved. 

Gale Woods Newsletter

Want to know what's happening at Gale Woods? Sign up to receive news from the farm!

Give to Gale Woods

Make a donation to Gale Woods Farm today.

trails that connect

The Wandering Naturalist

Episodes 35–37: Winter Strategies

Hear from experts on how animals in Minnesota survive our cold winters, and learn how you can better prepare for the cold. 

Related Blog Posts

December 09, 2019

Winter solstice falls on December 21 and marks the shortest day of the year. Discover solstice stories told around the world and explore ancient celebrations honoring this magical time of year.

November 11, 2019

Gale Woods Farm is a unique part of Three Rivers Park District. Learn how the farm came to be and how farming and environmental stewardship go hand-in-hand.

September 27, 2019

One of the incredible things about getting married in the parks is the wide variety of lovely spaces and natural settings for photo ops. See our top 5 places to take wedding photos and learn more about professional photography in Three Rivers.

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