Wood Lake Nature Center is Richfield's 150-acre natural space. Visit to observe wildlife, take a class as a family, hike the trails and view the indoor educational exhibits. Naturalists are available to answer questions during building hours.
Park amenities include several wildlife viewing areas, an amphitheater, space to picnic, and three miles of trails and boardwalks. The trails are either blacktop or crushed limestone and most are can be navigated with a stroller, however bikes and rollerblades are not allowed on these paths. When snow permits, cross-country ski trails are open. Pets are not allowed at Wood Lake.
Nature Exploration Backpacks
Families can stop by the front desk during open hours to borrow one of six nature exploration backpacks. Choose between birding, forest exploration, and insects. You'll be set up with tools and information for exploring. Start right behind the nature center, where the park staff keeps birdfeeders.
Wood Lake's website lists these other wild animals that might be found on a nature walk:
- Reptiles: Painted and Snapping Turtle, Gartner Snake
- Mammals: Muskrat, Coyote, Deer, Racoon, Squirrel, Cottontail Rabbit, Mice, Voles, Moles
- Fish: Goldfish, Black Bullheads, Minnows
Geocaching at Wood Lake
Look for geocaches hidden within Wood Lake. Families are encouraged to download the geocaching.com app and create a free account or reserve a GPS receivers for free by registering at Richfield's website. Search Keyword "Geocache".
For other similar hunts, see Beyond Pokémon Go: Twin Cities Quests for Families.
Winter at Wood Lake Nature Center
Wood Lake has two traditional-style ski trails. One is slightly over 1 1/2 miles and the other is slighlty over a 1/2 mile. Both trails wind around the marsh and through the woods. Skis and snowshoes are available to rent at affordable rates: $8 for 16-55 years old; $4 for under 16 or over 55 (and free for members to borrow) on a first come, first served basis. Call 612-861-9365 for more information and weather updates. Trails are open Monday-Saturday 9:00 am-3:30 pm and Sunday 12:30 pm-3:30 pm weather permitting.
Wood Lake Summer Camps
Wood Lake offers day camps each summer for age groups ranging from 3 to 11 years old. While most camps are 3 days, there are a few week-long sessions for older children. We include these camps on our annual summer camp guide, which lists updated prices and times each year.
Birthday Parties at Wood Lake Nature Center
Birthday Party Packages for up to 10 children come in a variety of nature themes. Two-hour parties include a naturalist-led activity and use of the party room with tables, chairs, and tablecloths.
For a do-it-yourself party, the Emily Day Pavilion can be rented in 4 hour increments. This pavilion has the capacity for 40 people and has electricity. Or if you have a winter birthday, the fireplace room is also available for to rent.
For More Birthday Party ideas, we have created FFTC’s Ultimate Guide to Birthday Parties in the Twin Cities.