Lowry Nature Center

Lowry Nature Center, the first public nature center built in the Twin Cities, is a beautiful, prairie-style building nestled in the middle of Carver Park Reserve. View seasonal interpretive displays, visit live animals, observe birds in the wildlife viewing area, or relax near the fireplace or on the deck.

Carver PDF Maps & Self-Guided Tour

Lowry Nature Center Summer | Lowry Nature Center Winter

Find printable maps of all areas of Carver on the Carver Park Reserve page.

NEW: Take a self-guided hike on the Maple Trail!

Upcoming Events


Nov. 26 | All Parks
This Black Friday, skip shopping and go exploring instead. Join one of our programs, or find your own adventure outside!

All Programs & Events

Take a guided walk under the full moon, learn about birding or find something else that interests you in one of Lowry's many outdoor learning programs and events.

Nearly all of our program offerings can be adapted or modified. Please call 763-559-9000 (for relay services dial 711) or email access@ThreeRiversParks.org to request free modifications and learn about available options. Learn more about accessibility at Three Rivers

More About Lowry Nature Center

Outside Lowry Nature Center, the 250-acre interpretive area features hiking trails that weave between diverse habitats such as lakes, tamarack bogs, cattail marshes and hardwood forests. Along the trails, you might spot some of the varied wildlife that live in the park, including beaver, deer, fox, coyote, muskrats, bats and turkeys. Some 250 species of birds can be observed in Carver Park Reserve seasonally. Opportunities to enhance your experience at the park are available through trail guides, exploration kits and interpretive signs.

The interpretive area also includes a play area (open seasonally April–October) and an exploration area. The Nature Exploration Area was created specifically to encourage free play in the outdoors. Children can explore, dig and build while adults play along or observe nearby.

Looking to get the wiggles out on a wintery day? Just a short jaunt outside of the entrance to the nature center you’ll find an exciting sliding hill, or try kick sledding on a nearby pond.

Discover the world of birding in the Young Birders Club! Learn all about native birds, and attend programs and events at nature centers in Three Rivers. Open to ages 9-12.

Habitats Play Area To Be Removed

A girl jumps across large plastic flowers at Habitats play area at Lowry Nature Center.

After 30 years, the Habitats play area will be removed this spring. While it has been loved and enjoyed by many, its current condition poses safety and repair concerns. The area will re-open as space for exploration, play and learning later this year. The long-term plan for the area will be developed during the park’s master plan process. 

Equipment Rental


2021-2022 Season: Equipment rental reservations are required to guarantee availability on your preferred day/time. Reservations can be made online or over the phone by calling 763-559-6700. Snowshoes can be reserved from seven days in advance to 2 hours prior, as snow conditions allow. Availability may vary between locations and walk-up rentals are very limited.


Sleds are free to reserve during business hours; to check them out, an adult must sign a waiver.


Kicksleds are available to reserve online during open rink times. See current open rink times to reserve your kicksled or read our blog to learn more about kicksledding!

Explorer Backpacks

Check out an Explorer Backpack and embark on your own adventure at the Lowry Nature Center! Each backpack comes with tools to investigate a specific topic while on the trails. Topics include Trees, Birds, Frogs, Insects and Pond Exploration.

Explorer Backpacks are available on a first-come, first-served basis Monday-Saturday from 9 AM–4PM and Sundays 12–4 PM. Some topics may not be available as each backpack will only be rented once every 72 hours to allow for sanitizing. Call 763-694-7650 prior to your arrival or when you arrive for availability. Backpacks are free and appropriate for all ages. They must be returned at the end of your visit.

Virtual Tour


The professional naturalists at Lowry Nature Center can customize outdoor education programs for your school, scout troop, senior center, homeschool or other organized group.

Rental Spaces

Host your next meeting, retreat, family gathering or other event in a space at Lowry Nature Center.

Wild Birthday Parties are offered year-round and are appropriate for children age four and older. Nature-based topics range from pond insects to birds, and snowshoeing to live animals. 

Join other teens in helping out Lowry or other nature centers by volunteering at summer camp, watching over the resident animals, monitoring wildlife and more. 

Give to Lowry

Love Lowry Nature Center? Consider donating to support outdoor education programs, animal care and display improvement.


Three Rivers relies on the support of volunteers to maintain the high-quality programs and operations at the nature centers.

The Wandering Naturalist

Episodes 105-107: Neighbors

In this series about different immigrant neighbors in Minnesota, learn why Swiss immigrants gravitated to land that is now Elm Creek Park Reserve; hear from Professor Dalma Martinovic about the difference between parks in Minnesota and her home country of Croatia; and how Dr. Raul Velasquez's connections to the land influenced his choice to immigrate to Minnesota from Colombia.

The Three Rivers Blog

Phenology: Nature's Calendar

By: Ashley Smith

March 22, 2021

American robins, red-winged blackbirds, the call of wood frogs — signs of spring are upon us and we are taking note! Learn what it means to notice these changes of the season and how phenology helps local and global communities.

February 03, 2021

Watch a video to learn about the elusive mating ritual of the American woodcock and get tips on how you can experience this seasonal display of courtship this spring.

December 09, 2020

In Minnesota, we stop seeing and hearing insects as winter settles in. Find out where they've gone and how they survive our coldest season.

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