Situated on the western edge of the Twin Cities in Victoria, Carver Park Reserve is home to the Lowry Nature Center, Grimm Farm Historic Site and King Waterbird Sanctuary. (It should not be confused with Carver Lake Park in Woodbury, which is an hour away on the other side of the metro area.)
Visitors may spot Trumpeter Swans, osprey, mink, white-tailed deer, barred owls and a variety of waterfowl and songbirds. Year-round, visitors can explore activities that take advantage of our winding trails, rolling wooded terrain and interconnected lakes and marshes.
This park does not currently have a play area open to casual park visitors. The Habitat Nature Play area will be removed in 2021 and plans for replacement have not yet been developed. The other playground is on the campsite for children who are camping with their families. There is a Nature Exploration Area located near the Lowry Nature Center that is open for kids to free play with sticks, stumps and other building materials.
Grimm Farm Historic Site
The farmhouse is open for free tours during summer Saturdays, 1-4pm. Costumed interpreters will talk with you about the importance of the farming family who once lived there and engage kids in living history.
Family Archery at Grimm Farm Historic Site
Carver is one of the Three Rivers parks that offers family archery programs. Skilled instructors aid families in learning the basics of shooting safely and accurately using fun games. The range includes stationary targets and an elevated platform. Equipment provided for this program. Youth 15 and younger are free, but need to be chaperoned by a paying adult. Archery passes are $6 daily and $35 annually. Want more archery ideas? Here is a list of local archery ranges.
Wildlife at Carver Park Reserve
Carver is among the Three Rivers Parks participating in the Trumpeter Swan Reintroduction Project. This program was begun 1966 with one pair of swans and has grown to over 12,000 birds. The Trumpeter Swan Society, formed in 1968, works to support this project. Nesting swans can be currently found in this park and others throughout Hennepin, Wright, Carver, and Ramsey counties. Three Rivers reminds park visitors to follow park ordinances, remain on designated trails, give these wild birds ample space, and do not feed the wild animals.
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.
Monarch Singletrack Bike Trail
New in 2020, the new Monarch Singletrack Trail is made up of over 10 miles of trails ranging from gentler easy rides to advanced terrains for the experienced biker. Trails run through wetlands, grasslands and woodlands While this trail was designed for biking, it is also open for hiking and snowshoeing when there is snow. The trailhead is near the archery range, but the trail can be accessed from both Springview Drive and Grimm Road.
Camping at Carver Park Reserve
Lake Auburn Campground has 57 rustic campsites on the shores of the lake and offers swimming, a play area, pan fishing, and trails for hiking and biking. There’s a first-come, first-served, “bike-in” campsite and it's near enough to Lowry Nature Center to participate in programming while you camp. Book a site online or by calling 763-559-6700.