Explore Parks and Nature Centers in the Twin Cities Gateway

Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Minnesota

Get Back to Nature

Experience the natural beauty of Minnesota firsthand at Wargo Nature Center in Lino Lakes. Rent a kayak or canoe from the Wargo Nature Center and take your crew out on area lakes, creeks and rivers for a peaceful paddle, looking for birds and wildlife along the way. Experienced paddlers may want to try kayaking the 23-mile Rice Creek Water Trail from Lino Lakes all the way to Fridley. Spend time back at the Nature Center to explore gardens full of butterflies, see a variety of birds attracted by the center’s bird feeders and ask questions of the naturalists on hand.

Wargo Nature Center

Get up close with birding and wildlife at the Springbrook Nature Center in Fridley, which lets visitors see resident turtles, snakes, salamanders and frogs. Plenty of other animals live in the natural habitat outside the center like bats, flying squirrels, beavers, birds and owls for which you can also be on the lookout. Be sure to take a walk along the Center’s 3 miles of hiking trails that wind past ponds, aspen trees, oak trees, floating boardwalks and native prairies. Families will enjoy the outdoor nature-based playground or can also try geocaching, which is real-life treasure hunting in the great outdoors using global positioning systems to locate “caches” of goodies left by others.

Springbrook Nature Center

Discover the natural wonders of Minnesota’s wetlands at the Blaine Wetland Sanctuary, a new and developing 500 acre natural treasure, just north of Minneapolis. The sanctuary features hard trail and boardwalk that meander through four distinct habitats: Anoka sand plain wetlands, rich fen, poor fen and upland forest. Each habitat supports a distinct variety of plants, wildlife and insects including rare and endangered species of plants. Walk or bike along the trails on your own or participate in the sanctuary’s educational programs and field trips and naturalist-led hikes. It’s a great place to learn about the importance of wetlands to our environment.

Blaine Wetland Sanctuary

Parks & Nature CentersParks & Nature CentersParks & Nature Centers

Explore our Beautiful Parks

If you looking for a lot of fun activity for the family, Bunker Hills Regional Park near Coon Rapids is the park for you! This park is loaded with hiking and biking, camping, archery and disc golf. Not to mention the park is also home to Bunker Beach, Minnesota’s largest outdoor water park, Bunker Hills Golf Club and Bunker Park Stables, featuring horseback riding, hay and sleigh rides. Visitors can camp right in the park at Bunker Hills Campgrounds, featuring rustic campsites, RV sites, camper cabins and visitor center. Or, if you prefer, find yourself a comfy Coon Rapids Hotel.

Bunker Hills Regional Park

For another full-spectrum park experience, check out the Rice Creek Regional Park Reserve in Lino Lakes. This spectacular 5,500-acrea park is the largest in the Twin Cities metropolitan area and includes great golf at the Chomonix Golf Course, Wargo Nature Center, Rice Creek Campground and Centerville Lake Beach. You’ll find picnic areas, boat launch, hiking and biking trails and a fishing pier. At the center of the reserve are seven interconnected lakes, headwaters to a 23-mile canoeable waterway to the Mississippi River.

Rice Creek Regional Park Reserve

Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park is another gem in the Twin Cities Gateway. 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. 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. The park is located in the U.S. National Parks Mississippi River Recreation Area. Hike the 5.9 miles of turf trails south of the visitor center, where you can explore the natural area. The trails follow the river downstream and offer gorgeous views of islands and back channels. Look for herons, eagles and other birds on your hike!

Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park

If our parks and nature centers have got you hungry for even more nature and wildlife, you’re in luck. In the Twin Cities Gateway, you’re only minutes aware from the Como Park Zoo, located in St. Paul and the Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley. You’ll find exotic animals from around the globe at these priceless preserves, and gain a greater appreciation for the natural world.

Como Park Zoo Minnesota Zoo

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Rice Creek Park Reserve & Campgrounds

7401 Main St
Lino Lakes, MN 55014

763-757-3920
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 19 Reviews
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Islands of Peace County Park

200 Charles St NE
Fridley, MN 55432

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Locke County Park

840 71st Ave NE
Fridley, MN 55432

763-757-3920
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Manomin County Park

6666 E River Rd
Fridley, MN 55432

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Springbrook Nature Center

6431 University Ave NE
Fridley, MN 55432

763-571-3450
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 16 Reviews
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Ham Lake Park

1843 153rd Ave NE
Ham Lake, MN 55304

763-434-9555
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Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park

9750 Egret Blvd NW
Minneapolis, MN 55433

763-757-3920
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 51 Reviews
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Lakeside Commons Park

3020 Lakes Pkwy
Blaine, MN 55449

763-785-6164
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 8 Reviews
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Riverfront Regional Park

5100 E River Rd
Fridley, MN 55421

763-767-3920
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 3 Reviews
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Commons Park

555 61st Ave NE
Fridley, MN 55432

763-572-3570
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Blaine Wetland Sanctuary

11980 Lexington Ave NE
Blaine, MN 55449

763-785-6164
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Como Park Zoo

1225 Estabrook Dr
St Paul, MN 55103

651-487-8200
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Minnesota Zoo

13000 Zoo Blvd
Apple Valley, MN 55124

800-366-7811
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Bunker Hills Regional Park

County Rd C
Coon Rapids, MN 55448

763-757-3920

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Springbrook Nature Center

6431 University Ave NE
Fridley, MN 55432

763-571-3450

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Manomin County Park

6666 E River Rd
Fridley, MN 55432

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Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park

9750 Egret Blvd NW
Minneapolis, MN 55433

763-757-3920

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Wargo Nature Center

7701 Main St
Lino Lakes, MN 55038

763-324-3350

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Ham Lake Park

1843 153rd Ave NE
Ham Lake, MN 55304

763-434-9555

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Locke County Park

840 71st Ave NE
Fridley, MN 55432

763-757-3920

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Long Lake Regional Park

1500 Old Hwy 8
New Brighton, MN 55112

651-748-2500

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Commons Park

555 61st Ave NE
Fridley, MN 55432

763-572-3570

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Islands of Peace County Park

200 Charles St NE
Fridley, MN 55432

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Blaine Wetland Sanctuary

11980 Lexington Ave NE
Blaine, MN 55449

763-785-6164

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Riverfront Regional Park

5100 E River Rd
Fridley, MN 55421

763-767-3920

More Information »

Lakeside Commons Park

3020 Lakes Pkwy
Blaine, MN 55449

763-785-6164

More Information »

Como Park Zoo

1225 Estabrook Dr
St Paul, MN 55103

651-487-8200

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Minnesota Zoo

13000 Zoo Blvd
Apple Valley, MN 55124

800-366-7811

More Information »