The Best Parks to Visit in Shoreview, Minnesota
This summer we are exploring ways to have fun close to home. Today, we’ve pulled together some family fun north of Minneapolis & St Paul and are excited to share the best parks in the community of Shoreview. For the most up-to-date listing of what is and isn’t open in Shoreview parks, please check the city website.
A full day’s worth of fun at Shoreview Commons
SHOREVIEW COMMONS PARK is packed full with fun ways to spend a day both indoors & out. If the weather permits, you can criss-cross the grounds for colorful playgrounds (DO NOT MISS the brand new “destination playground” installed spring 2022), open green space, a hoppin’ skate park (fun just to observe, too) and a crystal clear duck pond with a water fountain in the center. If the weather refuses to cooperate, head inside the adjacent SHOREVIEW COMMUNITY CENTER where, for a budget-friendly family rate, you and yours can pretend you’ve flown to warmer climates in the TROPICS INDOOR WATERPARK and TROPICAL ADVENTURES INDOOR PLAYGROUND. Add a stop to the adjacent SHOREVIEW LIBRARY to your day out.
Bike the Rice Creek North Regional Trail Corridor
Younger bikers, there is an ideal loop to practice your pedaling just off the southeast intersection of I-35W & County Road I in Shoreview. The loop is actually the southern portion of the RICE CREEK NORTH REGIONAL TRAIL and we recommend this stretch because there’s very little elevation change. It’s nice and smooth, too. For scenery, the trail meanders along cheerful Rice Creek. And for a touch of mystery, the trail also passes close to remnants of an WW2-era munitions plant. We actually chose to hike the loop in order to get a better look at the buildings. It’s possible to paddle the creek as well. Park in the trail access lot on the north side of County Rd I, the first left turn off the interstate.
Make it a beach day at Snail Lake Regional Park
After five years of closures due to flooding, the beach at SNAIL LAKE REGIONAL PARK (which we include on our list of the best beaches in the Twin Cities) officially re-opened during the summer of 2020. The beach season begins mid-June and continues until Labor Day. Lifeguards are scheduled daily between noon and 8pm. There’s a playground onsite, but it requires scaling a hill from the beach so we don’t recommend a go-between for young children. The little water bug pictured was happy just splashing at beach’s edge. Bike paths connect this beach to Turtle Lake Beach if you want to do two beaches in a day (also, way to be brave).
Heads up, winter thrill-seekers. We’ve never been, but hear there’s a pretty serious sledding hill in the park. Let us know if you go; we’d love to verify!
Go green at Lake Owasso County Park’s nature play area
370 Owasso Blvd N, Shoreview, MN 55126
LAKE OWASSO COUNTY PARK makes up the isthmus between Shoreview’s Lake Wabasso and the larger Lake Owasso. Busy Owasso Blvd cuts lengthwise through the park, unfortunately separating the two main attractions: a tidy beach and a sweet little nature playground. It would never be advised to run between the two, so enjoy them in phases. We focus on the nature playground as it is the only one of its kind in Shoreview. Kids will enjoy springing from stump to stump and constructing a shelter from stout sticks. There are small slides and swings to round out the play area plus grills and a covered pavilion to picnic in.
Host a great kid’s birthday party at Turtle Lake Park
4979 Hodgson Rd, St Paul, MN 55127
All the makings of a simple birthday bash at TURTLE LAKE COUNTY PARK: manageable playground equipment (in that you can actually keep an eye on kids from any vantage point), plenty of covered picnic tables and even a sandy beach if it’s swim season. Note, the beach is unguarded. To reserve space in the shelter, hop over to the Ramsey County park & picnic reservation page.
Hang a hammock & watch nature at McCullough Park
955 County Road I Shoreview, MN 55126
MCCULLOUGH PARK was buzzing with activity when we visited — games on the athletic fields, families grilling out and kids on the play equipment. All dandy on a spring day, but extra rewarding was slipping off down the trail away from the playground and discovering a quiet path through a slim grove of trees strung with hammocks. The map tells me technically, we were on a portion of Shoreview’s Turtle Creek Open Space — judging from the residents in my photo shoot, I’d say the name suits. Follow the trail to the boardwalk and come back refreshed.
Little bikers & climbers will like Lake Judy Park
900 Tiller Ln, Shoreview, MN 55126
We had to laugh a bit at the motley crew of play equipment at this little Shoreview park, but were impressed with the junior climbing wall because it came complete with an info-board for climbing tips and terms. If your kids are just learning to ride a bike, this park works well because they can pedal around the perimeter (part of which edges Lake Judy) and feel like they’re on a grown up trail.
Have a family bbq at Island Lake County Park
3611 Victoria St N, Shoreview, MN 55126
Plenty of families were doing just this when we visited ISLAND LAKE COUNTY PARK, urging along the warmer days of spring. Something interesting we spotted: a kayaker making his way under the 694 bridge to explore the northern portion of Island Lake – perhaps to get a better view of the 1,400 foot twin towers Shoreview is famous for? Your kids may be fascinated by them too.
A sweet little slice of history at Heritage Park
1170 Lepak Ct, Shoreview, MN 55126
I’m always thrilled to stumble upon a little historic site in the Twin Cities patiently waiting for me to drive past and take a second look. Those sweet old-timey gas pumps are just begging for a kid to motor over and touch. (Bonus if your kid likes big trucks because there’s a fire station across the street.) Also nearby in HERITAGE PARK is the historic Lepak Larson home. Not much to do except peek in the windows, but I’m perfectly happy to do that.