Perched hillside on a dirt road in the Carver Park Reserve sits the Grimm family farm. A large boulder in front of the impressive home begins to tell the tale of Wendelin and his bride, Juliana, who migrated there in 1857 from Külsheim, Germany.
Although he’d been warned that nothing would grow on their cold new farm, he brought along a box of his personal alfalfa seeds. Each winter it would die, each spring he would replant it with seeds saved from the previous crop. It wasn’t until years after his death that Wendelin’s efforts would provide the majority of alfalfa seed grown in the United States. The site is open seasonally by appointment.
Also part of the Carver Park Reserve is the Lowry Nature Center, a 250-acre interpretive area. The naturally unobtrusive building was the first public nature center built in the Twin Cities. It hosts numerous camps for kids and families, does guided walks, and provides educational information about the reserve. It is a terrific area for entire families to explore nature, see animals in their native habitat, and observe some of the hundreds of species of birds you’ll find there.
If you’re looking for something new, try renting some of the equipment offered at the center. You can rent nature exploration kits, sleds, snowshoes, or even all-terrain wheelchairs to make your visit more enjoyable. The Lowry Nature Center is a great place to take groups of youth, seniors or homeschoolers and is available as special event space for your next function.
Coming soon to the western portion of Carver Park Reserve is a new ten-mile, unpaved, Singletrack trail. Much more than a well-worn lane in the grass, this trail will be cut into the natural habitat and focus on blending into the landscape. Once complete, it will be open year-round for bikers, hikers, and snowshoers.
” Carver Park Reserve is truly an outdoor adventure for every season.”
Construction of the heavily planned-out path began last fall and continued to winter. The remaining portions, including trail crossings, boardwalks and bridges, are expected to be completed in late summer or early fall of 2020. The Singletrack trail will include things like larger rocks or partially buried logs for advanced bikers to overtake if they choose.
When you’re looking to get out and enjoy the fresh air but need some gear, Three Rivers Park District has you covered. They rent water items like canoes or paddleboards to spend a day floating on the many lakes in Carver Park Reserve. Need to keep the kids entertained while camping there? You can rent games like horseshoes or bocce ball, or they can play in the sand along the shores.
If you’re looking to cover more ground while at the park, bring your bike or rent one there. You can also trailer your horse and saddle up for miles of excellent scenery. And since this is Minnesota, don’t let snow stop you. You can rent tubes to go sliding or cross country skis for a little slower pace. Carver Park Reserve is truly an outdoor adventure for every season.