Free to Enter, Full of Adventure

Fall is a beautiful time to be outside in Minnesota! To play in the parks, explore new trails, picnic with family and friends, and discover everything the great outdoors has to offer. And the best part? It’s all free! 

At Three Rivers, having fun in the Twin Cities doesn't have to cost a thing. Free to park, free to enter, free to play. Find your adventure!

Free Parking

Parking at Three Rivers parks and trails is free for personal vehicles. If you are coming with a group by bus or passenger van, reservations are required and may include fees.

free things to do

Bike Trail

Biking

three women bike over a bridge while smiling.

Biking in Three Rivers is a great way to get the whole family outside. Whether you’re the casual rider or a cyclist in training, you’ll appreciate more than 240 miles of off-roadway bike/hike trails that wind through woodlands and grasslands and rim the shorelines of lakes and ponds at our parks.

Dog Trails - On Leash

Dog Trails

a man walks two large light-colored dogs on a paved trail through trees and a picnic area.

Three Rivers offers abundant scenery for you and your dog to enjoy year round, with paved, turf, regional and skijoring/dog sledding trails that are dog-friendly. Dogs must be on a six-foot non-retractable leash unless in a designated dog off-leash area. Owners must pick-up after their dogs.

Fishing / Fishing Pier

Fishing

a dad and son fish from the shores of a lake.

Throw a line for your own catch of the day. In Three Rivers, you might reel in muskie, northern pike, sunfish, bass or even walleye.

Formal Gardens

Formal Gardens

a large pink hibiscus flower against green foliage.

Take in the beauty of the colorful blooms. Smell the sweet, fragrant flowers. Breathe in the fresh air. Relax to the sound of chirping birds and rustling leaves. Our formal gardens at Noerenberg are meticulously maintained to offer visitors a spot of breathtaking beauty and serenity.

Geocaching

Geocaching

Two girls using a GPS unit

Geocaching is a family-friendly, high-tech treasure hunt that combines respect for the environment with a sense of adventure.

Hiking

Hiking

a green sign that says hiking trail pointing toward a trail.

One of the best ways to explore year-round is to head out for a hike on the extensive trail system in Three Rivers. Trails wind through the woodland, grassland and wetland habitats of many species of wildlife. You’ll be amazed at what you might see along the way.

History Education

History Exploration

a yellow brick farmhouse with a memorial boulder in front of it.

Have you ever wondered what life was like for the people who lived here before us? Step back in time and discover their stories through the historic sites of the Grimm Farm, Noerenberg Gardens, the Historic Pierre Bottineau House, and The Landing. Evidence within the parks tells how people have lived, worked and played here for over 12,000 years.

Nature Education

Nature Education

a group of teens standing in the woods.

If you want to get up close and personal or learn a little more, try visiting one of our nature centers. At Eastman, Lowry, or Richardson Nature Centers, you can hike the trails, interact with seasonal exhibits, observe up close the unique characteristics of different wildlife species, conduct your own science experiment and meet a live animal. 

Mountain Bike Trail

Mountain Biking

a woman bikes on a dirt trail through a prairie.

If you’re looking for your own adventure, give mountain biking a try in Three Rivers. There are designated mountain bike trails at Elm Creek, Lake Rebecca, and Murphy-Hanrehan parks and other paved bike/hike trails of varying terrain and difficulty for mountain bikers of any skill level.

Picnic Area

Picnic Areas

 a family with three adults and three small kids has a picnic in the grass.

Make new memories eating al fresco at a Three Rivers park picnic area in a beautiful, natural setting. All sites have picnic tables, and most sites have other basic amenities including water fountains and permanent grills. Look for a peaceful, serene location or set up just steps from a rip-roaring play area.

Paddling

Paddling

Three people kayaking on a lake.

Recreate on the water with canoeing, kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding. Get exercise and fresh air while you explore the shorelines and bays where motorized boats can’t go. Need a boat? Three Rivers offers canoe, kayak, rowboat, paddleboat and stand-up paddleboard rentals at several parks.

Play Area

Play Areas

a large play area with several slides, and tall structures with nets to climb on.

Create new memories at our play areas. Three Rivers has multiple areas designed for varying ages and abilities where toddlers to teens can let their imagination run wild. Monkey business never sounded so fun.

Aspen trees that have turned yellow in the fall line the shore of a lake.

Plan Your Visit

Have some time to spend in the parks? Let us plan your trip! Find suggestions below. 

30 minutes | 2 hours | Full day

upcoming free events

Nov. 29 | All Parks
This Black Friday, skip shopping and go exploring instead. Join one of our programs, or find your own adventure outside!

Nov. 29 | Coon Rapids Dam
Save money and go green this black Friday. Bring gently used toys and exchange them with others.

Dec. 5 | Silverwood
Find the perfect holiday gift from local artists, enjoy s'mores and create a recycled ornament or garland!

Programs and Events

  • Ongoing | Richardson & Coon Rapids Dam
    Explore nature through hands-on activities! Topics include reptiles, survival skills, animal tracks and more.

  • See all free programs at Three Rivers.

A man aims a disc at a disc golf goal.

Rental Equipment Under $5

No gear? No problem! Three Rivers offers a variety of free and low-cost rental equipment, including:

  • GPS units for geocaching: Free
  • Nature exploration kits: Free 
  • Croquet sets: $3/hour
  • Bocce ball sets: $3/hour
  • Horseshoes: $3/hour
  • Volleyball and net: $3/hour
  • Disc golf discs: $5

See where to rent equipment

*Prices do not include sales tax. 

We believe everyone belongs in the parks. To make outdoor opportunities available to all, Three Rivers offers several fee assistance options to help when financial limitations occur.