Where To Go
Baker Park Reserve, Maple Plain
Start the day with a hike on the turf trail near Marshview Group Camp. Park at the trailhead on the north side of County Road 24, across from the Near-Wilderness Settlement entrance. Watch for wildlife like eagles soaring overhead, birds flitting through tree canopies and pond critters in the marsh.
Bring lunch and enjoy a picnic at the family picnic area on the eastern shore of Lake Independence, near the recreation entrance. Enjoy tranquil views reflected on the lake.
Carver Park Reserve, Victoria
Bring your bike for a full day of adventure at Carver Park Reserve! Nine miles of trail will take you through much of the park where you can enjoy multiple vistas and wildlife viewing points. Stop by the Grimm Farm and Lowry Nature Center to explore and learn about the significant cultural and natural significance of the area.
Cleary Lake Regional Park, Prior Lake
Go for a woodland treasure hunt and use your smart device to find a geocache or two. GPS units are also available to rent from the visitor center. Explore the woods on the Lakeside and Upper Ironwood trails and look for wildlife.
Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park, Brooklyn Park
becoming Mississippi Gateway Regional Park.
Rent a backpack exploration kit from the visitor center and hike the 5.9 miles of turf trails south of the visitor center, where you can use your kit and explore the natural area. Some kits include binoculars, fun family activities, identification books and insect nets. The two turf trails follow the river downstream and offer gorgeous views of islands and back channels. Look for herons, eagles and other birds on your hike! After you return your kit, visit the aquarium and see live animals up close!
Crow-Hassan Park Reserve, Rogers
Needing some solitude in the prairie? Spend the entire day hiking the 18 miles of turf trails through the park. Pack a lunch and find a peaceful spot along the trail to sit and bask in the quiet serenity.
Bring your binoculars and watch for wildlife and watch for foxes on the trail and hawks soaring the blue skies overhead. Tip: Pack a journal and record your adventure in the prairie.
Elm Creek Park Reserve, Maple Grove
French Regional Park, Plymouth
Plan a full day of adventure hiking on the turf trails through the park! Park at the lot near the nature exploration area and head north. Explore the woods, look for wildlife and take in the sights. This area offers relaxing and peaceful views in the heart of the city. Follow the trail north and cross the paved trail to continue, where you’ll find the Meadow Trail and Lakeview Trail loops. Follow the Lakeview Trail back to the visitor center and treat yourself to something fun from the concession stand! End your day with a stroll down to Medicine Lake for colorful sunset views.
Hyland Lake Park Reserve, Bloomington
Spend your day at Richardson Nature Center, where you can explore several nature exhibits, including an active bee hive, and see live animals up close! Rent a bird-watching backpack or pond exploration kit from the front desk and discover life around you on one of the many trails around the nature center. Stick around for a program and learn more about life in the park.
Murphy-Hanrehan Park Reserve, Savage
Pack a lunch and try geocaching! There are over 30 geocaches waiting to be found on over 20 miles of trails.
Silverwood Park, St. Anthony
Spend a fall day in the park hiking under tall oak trees and explore the sculptures and poetry installations along the trail. When you're done, grab a coffee or tea from the café and meander around the gallery and check out the latest art exhibitions.
Spring Lake Regional Park, Prior Lake
Find one of the geocaches hidden in the area. All you need is your smart device to take you on a walk and an adventure all in one. There are a few picnic tables and benches near the parking lot for a quiet spot to enjoy a break or a meal.