Plan Your Visit: 2 Hours

Adventure can be found in just a few hours! Read on for ideas on how to spend two hours in the parks. Try something new at your favorite park, or discover what adventure you can find in a new park.

See our suggestions for a 30-minute break in the parks or for a full day outdoors

Where To Go

Baker Park Reserve, Maple Plain

Bring your bike and ride the 12.5-mile paved loop over rolling hills and bask in scenic views of the big woods along the trail. Pack a picnic and park at a rest stop along the way for lunch. Want to bring the whole family? Child bike trailers may be rented on weekends and holidays from the Baker Campground office.

Bryant Lake Regional Park, Eden Prairie

Try out the 18-hole disc golf course and take in scenic lake views, especially at hole #17, where you can throw your disc off a cliff to reach the basket! Don't have your own discs? No problem! Rentals are available through October at the entrance gate. A daily pass ($6) is required.

Carver Park Reserve, Victoria

Spend a couple of hours exploring Lowry Nature Center, celebrating 50 years as nature’s classroom in 2019. While at Lowry, there is plenty to explore both inside and out. Keep an eye out for osprey nesting in the park, or stop by the raptor mew and learn about other birds of prey in the area. Explore and play on your own or check out the program offerings happening many weekend days throughout the year.

A short, brown building with a few people walking outside it and trees near it.

Cedar Lake Farm Regional Park, New Prague

Avoid the crowds and plan a lake day! Pack your fishing gear if you have it and make use of the large fishing pier. Look for birds soaring above and turtles in the high reeds and grasses adjacent to the lake. Enjoy a picnic at one of the many tables under the towering oaks and take in the colorful fall views before the snow flies.

Cleary Lake Regional Park, Prior Lake

Hike, bike or run on the 3.5-mile paved loop around Cleary Lake! Walking the whole loop takes over an hour, but with the many different rest spots and observation points, it’s a really enjoyable time. Cool down in the shade under a big tree and get a snack at the visitor center!

Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park, Brooklyn Park

becoming Mississippi Gateway Regional Park.

Bring your fishing equipment and throw a line into the Mississippi River from the fishing deck located on the west side of the dam. Pack a picnic and enjoy lunch with a view at one of the picnic areas.

Crow-Hassan Park Reserve, Rogers

Looking for scenic fall views? Enjoy the 4-mile looped turf trail that winds through rolling hills of prairies and forests. Park in the gravel lot near the recreation entrance and begin at either the north or south trailhead. Tip: Remember to grab a printed map at the trailhead or use the interactive map on your smart device — this looped trail connects with other trails through the park and you could find yourself on an all-day adventure.

Eagle Lake Regional Park, Plymouth

Bask in the summer sun with your family or friends and play on the 18-hole miniature golf course! Cost for adults is $5.59 + tax and $4.66 +tax for kids. Stop at concessions for a treat after!

Four men in shorts and ball caps playing mini golf.

Elm Creek Park Reserve, Maple Grove

Go for a bike tour around the park on 20 miles of paved trails! These trails offer colorful, breathtaking fall views of forest, wetlands, old farm fields and more. Pack a snack or lunch and park at a rest area to enjoy the scenery. 

Looking for a full-day bike adventure? The trail system is connected to city trails in Maple Grove, Dayton and Champlin, and to the Rush Creek and Medicine Lake regional trails so you can explore the surrounding areas at your own pace.

Fish Lake Regional Park, Maple Grove

Explore the dog off-leash area with your pup! A daily pass ($6) is required. Pack a lunch or food to grill and plan a picnic with your family and friends at one of the scenic areas atop a grassy hill.

French Regional Park, Plymouth

Bike or walk the 4.6-mile paved loop around the park and take in views of Medicine Lake. Stop by the pier near the rental equipment building and look for turtles, geese, ducks and other wildlife in the wetlands. Pack snacks and relax at the picnic areas near the beach, where you’ll find a perfect open space to fly a kite and gorgeous fall views over Medicine Lake.

a large, flat turtle sits on a mud island in a wetland area.

Gale Woods Farm, Minnetrista

Walk, jog, or bike the 2.1-mile limestone trail where cows, sheep and pigs may be visible on the pastures, and you can see chickens in the barnyard. Stop at the Farm Store to pick up a map, shop farm-to-table food and yarn, and check out the educational program offerings (usually $5). Enjoy a 0.5-mile hike to the accessible fishing pier and non-motorized boat access. 

Hyland Lake Park Reserve, Bloomington

Go on a bike tour through the park on 8.7 miles of paved trails that loop through mature forests and restored prairies. Look for wildlife along the way and stop at one of the many rest areas for a snack or woodland picnic.

Lake Minnetonka Regional Park, Minnetrista

Bring the whole family and take a walk along the paved trail that circles the picnic areas. Pack a lunch, enjoy some snacks and then head to the play area to climb through tunnels and fly down slides! 

Another option: Try out the 3-hole practice disc golf course. Bring your own disc or rent one for $5. 

Lake Rebecca Park Reserve, Rockford

Bring your bike and pack some snacks for a tour of the park! Ride the 10-mile paved loop through prairies, wetlands and big woods. Park your bike at the viewing spot on the east side of the lake and enjoy the views of ducks and swans swimming along the shore and through the cattails.

Looking for more adventure? Try your mountain biking skills on the 13.5-mile singletrack trail

MAC Wildlife Area, Crystal

Bring your binoculars and go for a stroll along the newly constructed boardwalk through cattails and wetlands! This park is a wonderful and peaceful oasis right in the city. Find learning stations along the path and enjoy close-up views of the wetland area. This park is a premier wildlife viewing area where you can find plants and animals seen nowhere else.

Murphy-Hanrehan Park Reserve, Savage

Go for a stroll and see what birds you can find. This park is designated as an Important Bird Area by the National Audubon Society. Park at the horse trailer parking lot, head towards trail intersection 31 and walk through restored prairie habitat on your way to intersection 28. Continue south to intersections 33 to 34 to walk through forested areas. Hike near wetlands on the way to trail intersection 35, and stop at intersection 36 for a breathtaking panoramic view of fields and wetlands. Continue to intersection 37 and back to your car. Route is about 3.2 miles with gently rolling hills.

A woman walks a black dog down a turf trail lined with trees and grasses.

Schaper Park, Golden Valley

Race against the clock to get past obstacles on the fully accessible fitness challenge course. This course is perfect for all abilities ages 13+. Set your own personal record and try to set new records!

Silverwood Park, St. Anthony

Meander the paved loop around the park and go on a self-guided poetry tour. There are six stops along the trail where you can sit and listen to poetry from regional artists. Using a smart device, scan the QR code or type in a web address to access the tour. You’ll find the poem’s location on a map, audio of the poem as well as a written copy and a biography of the poet.

Sochacki Park, Robbinsdale

Pack a lunch and settle up at the picnic table under the tiny shelter. Get going again with a 1.68-mile down-and-back jaunt on the paved trail, or check out the turf trails that wind alongside it. Want something to do while you walk? Try geocaching! There are several known geocaches hiding in Sochacki. Use an app on your smart device to see how many you can find! 

a small, round picnic shelter with one table in it sits in a wooded area.

Spring Lake Regional Park, Prior Lake

Stroll the beautiful 3-mile paved loop that takes you through a gorgeous and relatively untouched natural area. The park boundary stretches down to the lake and there are some amazing vistas on the shoreline. 

Taft Park, Richfield

Give geocaching a try! There are several creative geocaches in this park. Use an app on your smart device to find the geocaches. 

Looking to relax? Bring a book to read and a hammock or blanket and enjoy a peaceful time in the park.

The Landing, Shakopee

Take a self-guided tour and connect with the stories of the site through interpretive brochures, cell phone stops and signs.