happyly approved

Wood Lake Nature Center

Wood Lake Nature Center, Lake Shore Drive South, Richfield, MN, USA

5 am - 10 pm daily


run, outdoor-adventures, hike

Visit Wood Lake Nature Center to explore beautiful wooded hiking trails!

This nature center is one we hadn't visited before, and we were really blown away by its expanse and beauty. Imagine a 150-acre wooded nature preserve, right near the urban centers of the Twin Cities. It was like coming upon an oasis, in the middle of the city. I've never seen anything quite like it. I actually thought Google Maps had made a mistake, as I couldn't believe we would find such a large nature center so close to such a populated area.

When you enter the nature center, it feels like the forest goes on forever. Here you'll find three miles of unpaved walking trails meandering through the woods. Of course, the acreage includes Wood Lake, as well as cattail marsh, restored prairie, and lowland forest. There is an interpretive center run by naturalists, which is located near the park's entrance. The nature center was established by the city back in 1971 and has been enjoyed by many nature enthusiasts since that time.

We headed out to hike on the trails together, and something caught the kids' eyes nearly right when we started out. We found the most amazing fallen-log fort in the forest! It was every kid's dream, to find a secret fort in the woods to play inside of. Even Mommy thought the fort was more than a bit magical. We hiked, climbed, and played. Then, we hit the trail again and wandered a bit further. Another short while down the trail, there were more fallen logs and some teepees to play inside of. The girls had a blast exploring and I was happy to see them enjoying just a simple forest environment with so much enthusiasm. We really had a wonderful time.

I highly recommend Wood Lake Nature Center for families looking to connect outdoors. After having an outdoorsy good time here, head over to Patrick's Bakery & Cafe for a delicious meal or treat.


Parking Restrooms Stroller-friendly Trails Boardwalk Picnic Benches Walking Path
Thoughtfully captured by:
Heidi Keller
Heidi Keller was born in the mountains of Northern Idaho, and raised in Minnesota. She completed her undergraduate degrees at the University of Minnesota and has begun graduate studies through the University of North Dakota. She fell in love with traveling at a young age, and her passion has only grown since then. She is passionate about photography, traveling, scuba diving, reading, nature, and any creative projects. But, most of all, she's passionate about spending quality time with her kiddos. She is also an advocate for making reading together a core part of family life with kiddos.
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