Dakota County, MN


Dakota County Parks

Dakota Woods Dog Park

Dakota Woods Dog Park is a 16-acre, fenced, wooded park and a great place to let your dog run and exercise off leash. The park is centrally located in Dakota County, just east of Rosemount, MN. 

Lake Byllesby Regional Park

Lake Byllesby Regional Park is nestled in the scenic Cannon River Valley on Lake Byllesby Reservoir, the largest lake in southern Dakota County. This beautiful park offers vast open space for a variety of year-round active sports or quiet recreation for company picnics, family reunions or other large and small group gatherings. And don't forget the lake, public access points allow you to enjoy the water as you take in the sheer cliff facings that are hundreds of years old or catch a glimpse of the Lake Byllesby Dam.

Lebanon Hills Regional Park

Lebanon Hills Regional Park is the largest park in the Dakota County park system. Containing almost 2,000 acres, the park offers miles of trails and many lakes for year-round outdoor sports, recreation and environmental education.

Lebanon Hills Regional Park - New Year's Eve Party in the Wild - Dec. 31, 2019

Bring your whole family to ring in the new year at our annual New Year’s Eve Park Party at Lebanon Hills Regional Park. Celebrate all things winter with candlelight ice skating on a frozen lake, hiking and snowshoeing through the woods, and walking on plowed paths, all lit by over 1,000 flickering luminaries on Dec. 31 from 5 – 8 p.m. at the Lebanon Hills Visitor Center.

Volunteers are needed to help support multiple activities and to make this event a success. All volunteers get a free thank you dinner and hot drinks and snacks during the event. Check out the roster below to see what opportunities are still available.


Miesville Ravine Park Reserve

Miesville Ravine Park Reserve is a large nature preserve that provides miles of trails for you to enjoy the picturesque Cannon River Valley. Located at the confluence of Trout Brook and the Cannon River near Miesville, this beautiful park offers the feel of scenic southeastern Minnesota in our very own backyard.

Mississippi River Greenway

Once completed, Mississippi River Greenway will extend 27 miles along the Mississippi River from St. Paul to Hastings, providing scenic views of the river and connections to local parks and trails and other community destinations.  The trail will be paved and is intended for non-motorized uses such as walking, bicycling and in-line skating. 

The regional trail construction will be completed in phased segments with an anticipated completion date of 2021 or 2022​. 

Currently, the north and south/east segments of the Mississippi River Greenway are open for use.  Trailheads for the north segment are located at Kaposia Landing Park and Simon's Ravine Trailhead in South St. Paul off of Concord Avenue and Swing Bridge Trailhead in Inver Grove Heights.  The trailhead for the south/east segment are located at the Pine Bend Bluffs Trailhead and in the Spring Lake Park Reserve at the Lower Spring Lake Trailhead and Schaar's Bluff Trailhead.

Spring Lake Park Reserve

Enjoy the feel of northern Minnesota from this scenic park that overlooks the Mississippi River. A rest stop along the Great River Road, Spring Lake Park Reserve is the "hidden jewel" of the Upper Mississippi River Valley. The Schaar’s Bluff Trailhead and picnic area provide a scenic overlook of the Mississippi River Valley as well as access to summer hiking and winter ski trails.

Thompson County Park

This charming 57-acre park provides a quiet get-a-way in the midst of the West St. Paul, Minnesota area. The park features a large picnic area that overlooks Thompson Lake and miles of wooded trails that connect to the North Urban Regional Trail — a trail system that links Thompson County Park to Kaposia Park in South St. Paul 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.

Volunteer Trail Patrols

Enjoy the outdoors while also assisting park visitors with questions, directions and first aid care. Our patrol units offer a vital service to the trail programs by being extra trained individuals onsite to assist our park users. All training will be provided by Dakota County. Volunteer while personally enjoying the trails, so easy!

Whitetail Woods Regional Park

Dakota County’s newest park, 456-acre Whitetail Woods Regional Park, is located in Empire Township in the center of Dakota County, one mile north of the Vermillion River. The park is bordered by the Vermillion Highlands Modified Wildlife Management Area to the east and the Vermillion River Wildlife and Aquatic Management areas to the south. Privately owned property lies directly north of the park. The University of Minnesota’s UMORE Park is located to the northeast and east of the park.


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