Dakota County Historical Society
Dakota City Heritage Village, Farmington
Dakota City Heritage Village is a 1900-era village and museum dedicated to connecting people to the rural past. Located in Farmington, Minnesota, just 30 minutes south of the Twin Cities on the Dakota County Fairgrounds, our five-acre site includes 22 buildings where visitors experience living history firsthand with costumed interpreters and demonstrations. Ahlberg Heritage Center, our museum, houses more than 10,000 artifacts depicting social and rural history, with an emphasis on agriculture. Events throughout the year focus on rural life 100+ years ago, including how residents met their needs for food, clothing, shelter, and social connection. School programs are scheduled throughout the spring and fall, and various group tours are offered. In addition, buildings at Dakota City are available to rent for weddings, family gatherings, and organization events.
Dakota County Parks
Greenway: Big Rivers Regional Trail
Located along the northern edge of Dakota County from Eagan to Lilydale, the Big Rivers Regional Trail is a scenic 4 1/2-mile paved trail that overlooks the confluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers. The trail also links to the 72-mile Mississippi National River and Recreation Area which offers hundreds of miles of trails throughout the greater Twin Cities area. Built on one of the state's oldest rail beds, this route offers spectacular views of historic landmarks including Fort Snelling, Pike Island and, one of Minnesota's oldest settlements, the city of Mendota.
Thompson County Park
This charming 57-acre park provides a quiet get-a-way in the midst of West St. Paul. The park features a large picnic and playground area that overlooks Thompson Lake and miles of wooded trails that link Thompson County Park to Kaposia Park and to the Mississippi River Regional Trail. Thompson County Park is also the home of the Dakota Lodge — a four-season event center that is perfect for weddings, reunions, meetings, banquets, retreats, parties and much more.
Whitetail Woods Regional Park
Whitetail Woods Regional Park is located in Empire Township in the center of Dakota County, one mile north of the Vermillion River. Whitetail Woods provides year round fun from sledding down hill in the winter to enjoying a walk through the flowering prairie during the spring to taking in the relaxing sounds of an outdoor concert during the summer. Looking to get away for a weekend? Unique cabins for rent offer year-round comfy lodging for you and your family to explore the outdoors.