Plan Your Visit: 30 Minutes

Half an hour may not seem like much time, but at Three Rivers, there's plenty to do no matter what your schedule is like. From a 1-mile walk down a wooded trail to a quick hunt for a geocache, find many ways to take a quick break outdoors in the Twin Cities. 

Have more time? Find ideas for spending two hours or a full day in the parks.

Where To Go

Baker Park Reserve, Maple Plain

For a quick getaway in the woods, hike the 1.1-mile paved loop near Baker Campground. Park near the campground office and head north on the paved trail. Tip: Go in the evening and enjoy sunset views over Lake Independence.

a sunset over a lake.

Bryant Lake Regional Park, Eden Prairie

If you have 30 minutes to spend in Bryant Lake Regional Park, walk the paved trail loop that runs through the park. Stop at the top of the hill, near Hole 17 on the disc golf course, and take in spectacular colorful fall views of Bryant Lake.

Carver Park Reserve, Victoria

For a unique experience, visit the Grimm Farm Historic Site. Explore the grounds and the farmhouse and learn about the significant role the Grimm Family played in the Minnesota’s agriculture and dairy farming history. Want an in-depth account of the Grimm Family? Visit the Three Rivers Blog and read A Grimm Dairy Tale.

Cedar Lake Farm Regional Park, New Prague

Bring a snack and sit on the beautiful grassy hills under the towering oak trees! Or go for a stroll along the 1-mile paved trail. Tip: Bring your camera and capture the fall colors around the lake!

Cleary Lake Regional Park, Prior Lake

Have lunch at one of the many picnic tables and enjoy views of Cleary Lake or go for a stroll on the Poplar Creek Trail (.88 mile).

Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park, Brooklyn Park

becoming Mississippi Gateway Regional Park.

Stop in the visitor center and visit the large aquariums of river fish, turtles, toads and more! Afterwards, follow the observation walkway to the dam for panoramic views of the Mississippi River.

People stand along the river's edge. A dam is in the background.

Crow-Hassan Park Reserve, Rogers

Burn off some energy with your pup at the dog off-leash area! Hike, run or play on the turf trails through 40 acres of unfenced wooded and prairie landscapes. A daily pass ($6) or annual pass is required. 

Eagle Lake Regional Park, Plymouth

Stroll the one-mile paved trail through the park. This little trail offers some of the most scenic, colorful views right in the heart of the city. Stop at the rest stop near the lake and take in the peaceful views. 

Elm Creek Park Reserve, Maple Grove

Visit Eastman Nature Center and go for a brisk, colorful hike through the maple forest on the Sumac Trail. Cross the boardwalk over the pond on the west side of the nature center and stop to view wildlife. Watch for turkeys, trumpeter swans, and other animals on your adventure.

Fish Lake Regional Park, Maple Grove

Walk the half-mile paved loop around the peninsula, where you’ll feel immersed in the woods with trees on both sides. You’ll find beautiful lake views and wildlife sightings of creatures in the woods and birds overhead.

French Regional Park, Plymouth

Walk the paved path to the lake and enjoy lunch with a view at one of the many picnic tables along the lake. On your way back, burn off some energy with your family on the newly remodeled play area that features towers, nets, slides, swings and more. 

Gale Woods Farm, Minnetrista

Stop at the Farm Store to pick up a map and shop farm-to-table food and yarn. Explore the educational garden and pasture areas — cows, sheep, chickens, and pigs may be visible.

People walk toward a red barn.

Hyland Lake Park Reserve, Bloomington

Hike the Prairie Trail at Richardson Nature Center, where you’ll find rolling hills of restored prairie and colorful forests on the horizon. The trail loops through tall grasses and wildflowers and offers stunning views.

Lake Minnetonka Regional Park, Minnetrista

Take a stroll on the one-mile turf trail. Look for wildlife as you make your way through the woods and over a stream. 

Lake Rebecca Park Reserve, Rockford

Hike the Deerwood Trail at the southwest end of the park. This grassy trail is a 1.5-mile loop that winds over gently rolling hills through a variety of habitats – beneath giant oaks, tall quaking aspens and along ponds and wetlands where you might find majestic trumpeter swans swimming. Bring your camera and capture the vibrant yellows of the aspens this fall!

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 peaceful oasis right in the city where you can find learning stations along the path and enjoy close-up views of the wetland area. Fun fact: This park is a premier wildlife viewing area where you can find plants and animals seen nowhere else!

Murphy-Hanrehan Park Reserve, Savage

Burn off some of your dog’s energy at the 3-acre fully-fenced off-leash area. A daily ($6) or annual pass is required.

Schaper Park, Golden Valley

Go on a 0.5-mile walk around Schaper Pond. Start or end your walk with some bird watching. Park in the lot south of the challenge course and take the Luce Line paved trail to the right. Turn left at the bridge and continue along a dirt path, which consolidates into a single track through a wooded area. Loop back to the paved Luce Line and turn left to return to your vehicle.

a red, yellow and blue challenge course outside on a sunny day.

Silverwood Park, St. Anthony

Enjoy lunch with a view! Order a tasty treat from the café and find a table out on the patio next to the giant oaks. The Silverwood Café offers locally sourced, organic food and beverage options. Keep an eye out for the café’s monthly theme and find seasonal drink and sandwich specials on Facebook.

Another option: Go for a brisk walk around the park on the 1-mile paved trail that circles the park and take in the fall colors as the seasons change. Enjoy the peacefulness of woodlands, open prairies and picturesque views of Silver Lake.

Sochacki Park, Robbinsdale

Head down and back the 0.84-mile paved trail (1.68 miles total). Keep an eye out for waterfowl, turtles other wildlife as you stroll past North Rice Pond and Bassett Creek. 

Spring Lake Regional Park, Prior Lake

Try geocaching! There is one geocache hidden in the area. All you need is your phone or smart device to locate it.

Taft Park, Richfield

Go for a walk around Taft Lake. Park near the basketball courts. The paved trail is about a mile long with relatively flat terrain. Or bring some friends and a basketball to play a quick pick-up game.

The Landing, Shakopee

Note: Please check park hours for the date and time you plan to visit.

Go for a walk from the visitor center to the village of Eagle Creek and back. It is about one-mile round trip to and from the depot. Or, for about 1.5 miles round trip, continue north at the depot towards the river and go past the church and Minnesota River overlook. Connect back with the main road by the Cobber’s House & Shop to head back to your car. The route is along a gravel road that is mostly flat.

historic brick buildings on a dirt walkway.