6710 Lake Shore Drive (street map)
Richfield, MN 55423
Monday-Saturday: 8:30 am-5:00 pm
Sunday: 12:00-5:00 pm
Daily: Sunrise to 11:00 pm
Ski/Snowshoe Trails and Rental (updated 1/28/20)
Friends of Wood Lake (FOWL) Fundraising Dinner
Friday, April 24, 6:00 pm (social), 7:00 pm (dinner) Cost: $60 per person
Purchase tickets online
What can you do to support the nature center you love? Come to the FOWL dinner and bring a friend. The funds raised help to provide for everything from staffing to exhibits. Enjoy a great meal, bid on auction items, and listen to an engaging guest speaker. This year’s speaker will be Wood Lake’s new director, Paul Smithson. Paul’s passion for the natural world, birds specifically has led to a 20 year career as a naturalist and interpreter. He will share stories and experiences telling how he arrived at Wood Lake.
The Friends of Wood Lake Fundraising Dinner will be held at the Minnesota Valley Golf Club in Bloomington. To purchase tickets, call 612-861-9365 or buy them online at woodlakenaturecenter.org. Only 200 seats are available, so don’t delay!
Friends of Wood Lake Memberships
Become a Friends of Wood Lake member today! Your membership entitles you to free ski/snowshoe use, free or discounted admission to many Wood Lake programs and events, and provides crucial financial support to Wood Lake Nature Center. Friends of Wood Lake also hosts fundraising events that support the Center's environmental-education programs, facility upgrades, and unforeseen problems that can exceed the City's budget.
Programs & Events
Wood Lake has a variety of programs and events throughout the year for people of any age. Browse through the seasonal Wood Lake Program Guide for the current season's offerings, register online for many programs, and view the Wood Lake Event Calendar to see what's happening this month at Wood Lake.
Nature Exploration Backpacks Available for checkout!
Wood Lake has six nature exploration backpacks that families can check out for free: two birding packs, two forest exploration packs, and two insect packs. The packs have handy tools and information for doing some independent exploring. Ask at the front desk during regular business hours (M-Sat, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm, Sun, Noon to 5:00 pm). Backpack photos
Since 1971, the K-6 Richfield Public School students have visited Wood Lake three times a year as part of their regular science curriculum This partnership is made possible by the annual Urban Wildland Half Marathon & 5K.
Wood Lake Nature Center is a 150-acre natural area dedicated to environmental education, wildlife observation, and outdoor recreation. Wood Lake staff offices at the 4,000 square-foot main building, which features many educational exhibits (see hours above). The park features several wildlife viewing areas, a 100-seat amphitheater, a picnic ground, and three miles of trails and boardwalks. The trails are either blacktop or crushed limestone and most are wheelchair accessible during summer months. To preserve the natural habitat, no pets, bikes or rollerblades are allowed.
Wood Lake has over two miles of crushed limestone walking trails, floating boardwalk, and groomed cross-country ski trails (weather-permitting). See Wood Lake's trail map for distances and more information. The trails wind through three different habitats: cattail marsh, mixed lowland forest, and restored prairie. For a list of birds you may see at Wood Lake, refer to our birding brochure.
Wood Lake's mission is to provide the public with high-quality experiences in recreation and environmental education programs, act as a teacher/naturalist training facility and provide a high quality, diverse freshwater marsh-oriented nature facility for those programs and for use by individuals and groups seeking unprogrammed natural experiences.
Wood Lake was once a recreational lake, surrounded by homes, but much of its water drained in the 1950's. In 1969, the Richfield City Council approved the conversion of Wood Lake into a nature center.
In 1991, Friends of Wood Lake (FOWL) was formed as an advocacy and fundraising group.
In 2018, Wood Lake Naturalists provided programming to 19,921 people. That represents 24,740 hours of program time. Approximately 72,000 visitors a year visit Wood Lake for the trails and overall nature experience.
To maintain the park and support its plant and animal life, please observe the following guidelines:
-Stay on the trail
-Observe park signs
-No picking of plants