Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park is a nearly 500-acre park and one of the most popular parks in Anoka County. Family-friendly activities include picnicking, fishing, in-line skating, walking, and bicycling as well as seasonal activities like cross-country skiing and boating. A playground can be found near picnic pavilion #3. The county often offers activities that require pre-registration. Sign Up For Anoka County Parks Activities Here.
Fishing With Kids at Coon Rapids Dam Park
Cenaiko Lake, which is in Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park, is designed a Fishing in the Neighborhood (FiN) Pond by the Minnesota DNR. The FiN urban fishing program was created to encourage a new generation of anglers. FiN Ponds are well stocked lakes in family-friendly settings and are situated in residential areas and, therefore, considered ideal for children and beginners. Learn more and download a directory here. This lake is home to Rainbow Trout, Hybrid Sunfish and Smallmouth Bass.
For more ideas for fishing with kids, Fishing the Twin Cities: 10 Best Fishing Holes in the Twin Cities.
Anoka County Parks Vehicle Fee
Anoka County Parks charge a vehicle fee of $6/day or $30/year. Once purchased, it is good at any of the Anoka County Parks and is also honored at regional parks in Washington and Carver counties.
East Coon Rapids Dam Visitor Center
Open on the weekends during the school year and Tuesday through Sunday during the summer months, the park building offers visitors restrooms, water and vending machines. This is a good place to start for family fun, especially these activities:
- Cross-country skiing - Rent Skis if you don't have them. A DNR Ski pass is required, but can also be purchased at the visitor center.
- Snowshoeing - Snowshoes can also be rented at the visitor center
- Hiking - Grab a trail map before heading out.
- Birdwatching. You don't even have to leave the visitor area, you can just sit inside and watch the bird-feeder area through the window. If you do plan to get out. Check out the list of recent sightings and add your own on your return.
Visitor Center Hours
Summer - Memorial Day - Labor Day:
Tuesday - Sunday: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
School Year - September - May
Saturday & Sunday: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Looking for the Brooklyn Park Side?
After years of making noise about the confusion, the two Coon Rapids Dam Regional Parks have finally remedied the situation. The park on the west side of the river in Brooklyn Park is now called Mississippi Gateway Regional Park. The east side park, run by Anoka County, has retained the name Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park. However, the two parks remain connected by the dam walkway and can be enjoyed together