Twin Cities Business Listing

12400 James Deane Parkway, Maple Grove, MN 55369
Elm Creek Archery Range, 13387 129th Ave N, Dayton, MN 55327
Elm Creek Dog Off-leash Area, 11750 Zachary Ln N, Champlin, MN 55316
Elm Creek Disc Golf Course, 12420 James Deane Pkwy, Maple Grove, MN 55369
Pierre Bottineau House, 12400 James Deane Pkwy, Maple Grove, MN 55369
North Trailhead Parking. Elm Creek Park Reserve, West Hayden Lake Road, Champlin, MN 55316
Eastman Nature Center, Elm Creek Road, Maple Grove, MN 55369
Elm Creek Park Reserve Chalet, 12400 James Deane Parkway, Maple Grove, MN 55369
Admission: $0.00
Fees Apply to Some Programs, disc golf, and use of thebeach
Concessions Available
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
When Is Elm Creek Park Open?: 5am-10pm Daily, Year Round.

At 4,900 acres, Elm Creek Park Reserve is the largest of Three Rivers’ parks. This park features amenities for almost every outdoor activity, including the Winter Recreation Area, Eastman Nature Center, miles of hiking and biking trails, a swimming pond, a huge playground and much more. Elm Creek is also home to a variety of wildlife such as eagles, sandhill cranes, deer, bluebirds, beavers, loons, Trumpeter Swans and hawks.  If you are visiting for the playground, we recommend checking the Three Rivers Playground page for possible closures before visiting.

With nearly 5000 acres, you may want some help finding your way around. Download an Elm Creek Park Reserve map here.

Elm Creek Has One of the Largest Playgrounds in the World:

The playground is big enough to warrant its own article. Read about the Elm Creek Playground here.

Featured Park: Elm Creek Park Reserve in Maple Grove, Minnesota - Rainbow playgrouned
Find our full review and more pictures of this HUGE playground here.

Eastman Nature Center at Elm Creek Park Reserve

The nature center is nestled within the southern half of the sprawling park reserve. It contains hands-on exhibits for kids, live animals, a library and an indoor scavenger hunt. Kids might enjoy borrowing an exploration kit to tote along to the trails outdoors. These include things like binoculars, nature checklists, and additional information about the natural elements you might come across. Make sure to stop and play in the Nature Exploration Area!

Nature Play Area at Eastman Nature Center

Winter at Elm Creek Park Reserve

This park has both sledding and tubing hills for snowy days. Families can also ski, snowboard, snowshoe or kicksled in the park. For hiking after dusk, Elm Creek’s Northern Lights Trail is lit after dark.

Swimming at Elm Creek Park Reserve

Elm Creek Swimming Pond offers a mix of pool and lake with filtered, chlorinated water and a sandy beach and bottom. Giant beach umbrellas provide shade. Other amenities include a changing shelter, concessions and bathroom facilities. A pass is required for ages 1 year and older. The pond is open Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. daily. However, Lifeguards are only on duty at specified times. Passes are required for everyone over the age of 1 and cost $6.00 per person plus tax for a daily pass or $20 per person for a seasonal pass.

Find more water fun ideas here.

Historic Pierre Bottineau House

Located near the entrance of the park on the south end, the historic Pierre Bottineau house is only open for special programs and by appointment. This restored 1854 wood-framed house has been transformed into a mini museum of the life of frontiersman Pierre Bottineau.

About Pierre Bottineau & the History Of Elm Creek Park Reserve:

Besides having a library and a park in Northeast Minneapolis named after him, Who was Pierre Bottineau? Learn more here. Families can participate in public programs or schedule a visit to learn about him in a more, too.

Historic Pierre Bottineau House
Image courtesy of Three Rivers Park District

Disc Golf at Elm Creek Park Reserve

One of three pay-disc golf courses in the Three Rivers district, Elm Creek’s 18-hole golf course starts at the chalet and follows the cross-country ski trails, tubing hill and terrain park. The course features two par-4 holes and offers championship-caliber holes that demand distance as well as accuracy. Availability is dependent on the weather and the condition of the course. The cost of disc golf is $6/round or $45/season. If you are looking for a place to play free, check out Hyland Visitor Center or Lake Minnetonka Regional Park.

Family Archery at Elm Creek Park Reserve

This park is one of several that offers family archery programs. Skilled instructors teach families the basics of safety and accuracy. Range includes stationary targets and elevated platform. The program includes fun games for testing skills. Equipment provided.

The 30-acre archery range is on the northwest side of the park and can be used outside of special programs with the purchase of an Archery Pass at $7/day plus tax or $40/year. Supervised children may attend for free and do not need a pass.

Find More Archery Parks around the Twin Cities

Wildlife found in Elm Creek Park Reserve

This is a good park for birdwatching. With smaller kids, you may just want to start at the nature center, where the staff maintains bird feeders. Or take a walk and look for birds like red-tailed hawks, wood ducks and trumpeter swans. The nature center loans out adventure backpacks or you can use our Birding Checklist to create your own adventure.

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.

Trumpeter Swans

Three Rivers Park District launched the Trumpeter Swan Reintroduction Project in 1966 and in 1968 the Trumpeter Swan Society was formed. Beginning with a single pair of swans, Minnesota now boasts over 12,000 birds. Elm Creek is one park where these birds build nests and raise their young. You may just catch site of Swans while visiting the park.  However, Three Rivers asks park visitors to respect both the Trumpeter Swans and the park habitat by following all park ordinances, remaining on designated trails, not getting too close to the birds, and avoid feeding them.

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

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