Minnesota Valley State Recreation Area
Just minutes from the Twin Cities, this state recreation area preserves part of the Minnesota River Valley. The multi-use Minnesota Valley State Trail parallels the Minnesota River. The section of trail from Shakopee to Chaska is paved and a natural surface trail runs from Chaska to Belle Plaine. The area is ideal for hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, horseback riding, mountain biking, and snowmobiling. The landscapes are just as diverse as the trail system and include wetlands, floodplain forest and blufftop oak savanna. Wildlife observation and birdwatching are popular activities year-round.
Tell me more about this park's wildlife, history, geology and landscape.
Trail repairs still underway
While the trail is still closed for repairs around Chaska, the trail portion by Memorial Park (in Shakopee) to 4 miles south (towards Chaska) is open. Belle Plaine to County Road 9 and Gifford Lake parking are also open. Watch for signs that indicate trail areas still closed for repair.
(Updated August 19, 2014)
Be fascinated. Check out the naturalist programs and other activities scheduled at the park.
Plan your next trip with these panoramic or snapshot virtual tours of the Minnesota Valley State Recreation Area. Or, check out what's happening around the whole region including the SRA and beyond, with the regional panoramic or snapshot virtual tours.
The Passport Stamp is located in the Trail Center picnic shelter.
U.S.-Dakota War of 1862:
The Minnesota Valley State Recreation Area was an important location during the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862. Learn more.
Purchase a Minnesota State Parks Gift Card.
Don't move firewood!
Burning non-local firewood can spread invasive species, and it's against Minnesota state law. Learn more. Always buy your firewood at the park, or from an approved local vendor. Find firewood vendors for Minnesota Valley State Recreation Area.
Bird Checklist at Minnesota Valley State Recreation Area.
The SRA is open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. 365 days a year.
19825 Park Boulevard
Jordan, MN 55352
Lawrence Unit: Equestrian campground, State Trail Access, Picnic Shelter/Warming House, Strait House, hiking and Cross Country Ski Trails. Take HWY 169 to Jordan, at the traffic light turn North onto County Road 9, turn left onto Township Road 57.
Thompson Ferry Boat Launch and State Trail Access: Take HWY 169 to Jordan, turn North onto County Road 9. Thompson Ferry Boat Launch and parking area is on the East side of the road just before the bridge. Parking for horse trailers and other vehicles is on the west side of the road just before the bridge.
Louisville Swamp USFWS parking area and State Trail Access: The main Louisville Swamp trail head is located about 4.5 miles south of Shakopee. Exit Highway 169 onto 145th Street West. Follow the road past the main entrance to the Renaissance Festival and over the next set of railroad tracks. The Louisville parking lot is located on the left.
Gifford Lake and State Trail Access: Take HWY 169 to HWY 41, turn North toward Chaska. Gifford Lake access is on the West side of HWY 41.
Paved Bike Trail Access and Parking Areas: Trail Site #2: Take HWY 169 to HWY 41, turn North toward Chaska. Trail Site #2 access is on the West side of HWY 41.
Memorial Park: Located in Shakopee at 1801 East CR 101.
Huber Park: Located in Shakopee at 1st Avenue and Fillmore.