Regional Parks

Residents treasure nationally renowned parks system

The Twin Cities metropolitan area is home to a system of regional parks and trails that are nationally renowned for their beauty, size, and variety of features.

With 56 regional parks and park reserves totaling more than 54,000 acres, nearly 400 miles of interconnected trails, and 8 special recreation features, the system provides a wealth of opportunities for recreation, exercise, and just plain fun. It also preserves significant green space and wildlife habitat.

The regional parks system draws more than 58 million visits every year — more than the Mall of America. It adds untold value to the livability and attractiveness of our communities.

During the COVID-19 stay-at-home order, regional parks and trails remain open for your enjoyment. Park facilities – such as restrooms, buildings, and playgrounds – are closed. Keep yourself and others safe by maintaining physical distance.

This way to nature

Ride to your regional park!

Did you know you can ride Metro Transit to regional parks throughout the Twin Cities? Leave your car and parking stress behind. Hop on a bus or train to Theodore Wirth, Minnehaha, Como, or Phalen parks — just four of many amazing regional parks and nature spaces throughout the Twin Cities!

Expand your reach and bring your bike! There are free bicycle racks on all Metro Transit buses and METRO lines and trains, so you can pedal part of the way and ride the rest.

Council partners with park agencies to develop, maintain system

Under state law, the Council is charged with overseeing the acquisition and development of regional parks and trails. The parks are operated by partnering cities, counties and special districts. See details about individual parks from the agency that manages that park.

The Council's Community Development Committee addresses issues related to regional park policies, plans and grants. The Metropolitan Parks and Open Space Commission (MPOSC) helps the Council develop a long-range plan, and an acquisition and development program that includes funding priorities for regional parks.

Park funding

Clean Water Land & Legacy Amendment logo; link to Legacy Amendment website.Park funds come from a variety of sources, including the State of Minnesota's Clean Water, Land & Legacy Amendment, and the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund.  See the Parks Funding and Finance page for details.

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