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Little Free Library
Lake Minnewashta Regional Park, 6900 Hazeltine Blvd, Excelsior, MN 55331
Carver Co. Parks and Rec: (952) 466-5250;
Admission: $0.00
Vehicle Permits were eliminated in December 2019
Limited Concessions Available
Hours of Operation:
Mon. 06:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Tue. 06:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Wed. 06:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Thu. 06:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Fri. 06:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Sat. 06:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Sun. 06:00 AM – 10:00 PM
During the fishing season, the park opens 5:00am

Deriving its name from the Dakota words for “water good”, Lake Minnewashta Regional Park is a good water destination for a day at the beach, canoeing or fishing. This 340 acre park, which is managed by Carver County, has family-friendly amenities that include the beach, a fun playground, biking and hiking trails, a dog park and space to picnic. This four-season park offers beautiful spring and fall views and winter activities like skiing, snowshoeing and ice fishing.

It also has a playground, beach, and picnic areas available in the summer, and an off-leash dog area that is open year round. Visit this park in the winter to enjoy groomed ski trails and winter equipment rentals on weekends.

In December of 2019, Carver County eliminated vehicle and dog park permits at this park.

Lake Minnewashta Regional Park Beach
Image courtesy of Carver County

10 Ideas for Family Fun at Lake Minnewashta Regional Park

  1. Swim at the Beach. Weather permitting, lifeguards are on duty every day in the beach season from noon to 6pm. The beach is large and sandy and the swim area is shallow enough for kids to play without fear of drop offs. Unguarded beach hours are 6am to 10pm.
  2. Go Fishing. Note that this lake has catch-and-release laws for bass fishing. The lake has Walleye, Northern Pike, Black Crappie and Bluegil. For more information, see the DNR’s West Metro Fish Catch Rates. There is a fishing pier on the west side of the beach.
  3. Try Pond Dipping. Any lake with a sturdy pier can by a chance for some impromptu science. Dip a cup into the water and see what life you find. In you want to plan to go more in depth, you can find directions and equipment suggestions here.
  4. Pack a Picnic – You can find tables and grills near the beach.
  5. Rent a canoe, stand up paddle board or kayak. Prices are quite reasonable. If you have your own canoe and plan to visit often, you may want to look into renting storage. Rentals available Saturdays & Sundays 11am-4pm, June 10-August 19, 2023.
  6. Play on the playground. This park has a lovely sand-floor playground with landscaped levels that they call the “Creative Playground”. This apt name as the slides, ladders and bridges makes it feel like a for with a secret passage slide that leads off the playground. You can also bring your frisbees, balls or other yard equipment and take advantage of the nearby open play space.
  7. Bring Your Family Dog – The off-leash dog area’s permit requirement was dropped in December of 2019 along with parking permits. However, the area was also almost closed due to unsanitary conditions. Thanks to the efforts of the community the dog area was cleaned up and will remain open. Remember to bring bags to clean up after your dog.
  8. Play some sand volleyball. Tuck your volleyball in your trunk before heading out and you can get a family game going.
  9. Bike or Hike the trails. The park has hard surface bike trails and turf trails for walking and skiing. In the winter you can rent skis snowshoes. The walking trail is five miles of lakeside, woodsy and prairie land.
  10. Trade out your books. I always get excited when I find a new little free library and a little sad when I realize I have nothing to trade. Solve this problem by tucking some books you wouldn’t mind parting with into your vehicle so you are always ready for a trade. This little library is located near the beach and, even if you forget to bring a book to trade, you are welcome to borrow a beach book for the day.

Planned Improvements: New Playground Structure

In 2023, Carver County Parks began the planning phase of a project to remove and replace the current 20-year-old playground structure. The park district will gather information and community input prior to creating a plan and hiring a playground firm. Watch for a new playground in 2024 or 2025.

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Minnewashta Fall Hiking

Carver County Parks encourages visitors to enjoy the bright fall colors and views while walking the Woodlands Loop Trail. This unpaved trail is slightly over a mile and a half  and meanders past Lake Minnewashta and can be shortened by taking the Prairie Trail or the Vista Trail if you find the full route is too long after starting.

The Off-Leash Dog Park

The dog park offers separated areas for small and large dogs, close to a mile of walking trails, open space for dogs to run and play and a water fountain.


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