Twin Cities Business Listing

7025 Victoria Drive, Victoria, MN 55386
Monarch Singletrack Trailhead, 6920 Springview Drive, Victoria, MN 55387
Carver Park Archery Range, 6920 Springview Drive, Waconia, MN 55387
Grimm Farm Historic Site, 7720 Grimm Rd, Waconia, MN 55387
Lowry Nature Center, 7025 Victoria Dr, Victoria, MN 55386
763.694.7650 (Lowry Nature Center)
Admission: $0.00
Hours of Operation:
Mon. 05:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Tue. 05:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Wed. 05:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Thu. 05:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Fri. 05:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Sat. 05:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Sun. 05:00 AM – 10:00 PM

Situated on the western edge of the Twin Cities in Victoria, Carver Park Reserve is home to the the first public nature center in the Twin Cities — Lowry Nature Center, the Grimm Farm Historic Site, the new Paradise Bike Playground, and King Waterbird Sanctuary. With more to do than you can pack into one visit, this hidden gem of a park can be an amazing way to spend a day of family fun.

Park amenities include miles of trails (both paved trails and turf trails),  a 27-acre off-leash dog park, horse trails, both individual and group camping sites, an unguarded beach and a boat launch. In the winter families can go cross-country skiing.

Visitors may spot Trumpeter Swans, osprey, mink, white-tailed deer, barred owls and a variety of waterfowl and songbirds. Year-round, visitors can explore activities that take advantage of the parks natural resources, including winding trails, rolling wooded terrain and interconnected lakes and marshes.

Lowry Nature Center

Lowry Nature Center is a prairie style building in the middle of the park that offers both indoor and outdoor amenities and activities, including nature programming, a wildlife viewing area and a nature exploration area.

Father and two girls visiting the live animals at Lowry Nature Center in Victoria, Minnesota
Indoors find tanks of live animals kids can view up close.

The Play Areas

This park does not currently have a playground open to casual park visitors (unless you count the Paradise Playground for bikes). However, it does have the Nature Exploration Area at Lowry Nature Center, which allows for open-ended nature play for toddlers and bigger kids.  The other playground is on the campsite for children who are camping with their families. There is a Nature Exploration Area located near the Lowry Nature Center that is open for kids to free play with sticks, stumps and other building materials.

Collage of children playing on the outdoor nature playground at Lowry Nature Center in Victoria, Minnesota
Lowry’s Nature Playground – some of this play equipment was removed in 2019

Grimm Farm Historic Site

The farmhouse is open for free tours during summer Saturdays, 1-4pm. Costumed interpreters will talk with you about the importance of this early Minnesota farming family who once lived there and engage kids in living history.

Grimm Farm Historic Site Farmhouse and historic actors.
Grimm Farm Historic Site (Image courtesy Three Rivers Park District)

Family Archery at Grimm Farm Historic Site

Carver is one of the Three Rivers parks that offers family archery programs. Skilled instructors aid families in learning the basics of shooting safely and accurately using fun games. The range includes stationary targets and an elevated platform. Equipment provided for this program. Youth 15 and younger are free, but need to be chaperoned by a paying adult. Archery passes are $6 daily and $35 annually.

Carver Park Reserve
Carver Park Reserve Archery – Image Courtesy Three Rivers Parks

Monarch Singletrack Mountain Bike Trail System

New in 2020, and quickly becoming one of the best bike parks in the Twin Cities, the Monarch Singletrack Trail system is made up of over 10 miles of mountain bike trails ranging from gentler easy rides to advanced terrains for the experienced biker. Trails run through wetlands, grasslands and woodlands While this trail was designed for mountain biking, it is also open to hikers and snowshoers when there is snow. The trailhead is near the archery range, but the trail can be accessed from both Springview Drive and Grimm Road.

Paradise Playground Bike Park

In 2023, Three Rivers, One Track Mind Foundation and Pathfinder Trail Building partnered to build the Paradise Playground along the existing Paradise Loop. The loop was built to challenge both beginners and more seasoned skill levels. Highlights include features to challenge riders like jump lines and drop lines, obstacles like elevated boardwalks, skinny features, a technical climb and a skills zone. The new blue line features 14 jumps while the new black line features 10 jumps.

More Twin Cities Fun for Cyclists:

Swimming at Carver Park Reserve

The unguarded beach is located at the campground. It is free to use and open from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day from 9am-8pm.

Camping at Carver Park Reserve

Lake Auburn Campground has 57 rustic campsites on the shores of the lake and offers swimming, a play area, pan fishing, and trails for hiking and biking. There’s a first-come, first-served, “bike-in” campsite and it’s near enough to Lowry Nature Center to participate in programming while you camp. Book a site online or by calling 763-559-6700.

Families can also rent canoes and kayaks at the campground.

Wildlife at Carver Park Reserve

Trumpeter Swans

Carver is among the Three Rivers Parks participating in the Trumpeter Swan Reintroduction Project. This program was begun 1966 with one pair of swans and has grown to over 12,000 birds. The Trumpeter Swan Society, formed in 1968, works to support this project. Nesting swans can be currently found in this park and others throughout Hennepin, Wright, Carver, and Ramsey counties. Three Rivers reminds park visitors to follow park ordinances, remain on designated trails, give these wild birds ample space, and do not feed the wild animals.

Trumpeter Swan found at Fort Snelling State Park, St. Paul, Minnesota
Example of Trumpeter Swan found at Fort Snelling State Park

Wood Ducks

Three Rivers Park District’s Wood Duck Management Program maintains and monitors wood duck boxes at this park. Records show that nests in these boxes produce, on average, 8 ducklings in a year.  According to Three Rivers, the best time to watch wood ducks, swans and other water fowl is in the spring and fall.

*Carver Park Reserve should not be confused with Carver Lake Park in Woodbury, which is an hour away on the other side of the metro area. Both parks offer bike playgrounds and beaches.


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