2.4.6 Open Space and Recreation

The Minnehaha Creek watershed is rich in natural features and opportunities for recreation (see Figure 17).   Public access is available to many of the lakes, where boating, fishing, canoeing, swimming, and other aquatic recreation is supported.  There are seventeen canoe landings on Minnehaha Creek.  Most of these have parking available, and several have picnic areas and restrooms.  Lake Minnetonka is one of the premier boating and fishing resources in the state. 

The District encompasses parts of eleven federal, state, or regional parks or dedicated open space, including:

  • Mississippi National River and Recreation Area (National Park Service)
  • Baker Park Reserve (Three Rivers Park District)
  • Noerenberg Memorial Park (Three Rivers Park District)
  • Gale Woods (Three Rivers Park District)
  • Lake Minnetonka Regional Park (Three Rivers Park District)
  • Carver Park Reserve (Three Rivers Park District)
  • Big Island, Wawatasso Island, Wild Goose Chase Island (Three Rivers Park District)
  • Lake Minnewashta Park (Carver County)
  • Wolsfeld Woods Scientific and Natural Area (Minnesota DNR)
  • Wood-Rill Scientific and Natural Area (Minnesota DNR)
  • Minnesota Landscape Arboretum (University of Minnesota)

Cities within the watershed also own and operate numerous parks and open spaces, including some beaches, fishing areas, and water accesses.  Informal accesses may also be known locally, and may not be reflected on Figure 17.