Wood Lake Nature Center

Following the safety guidance of the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) to slow the spread of COVID-19, all recreation facilities are closed. In-person, staff-led programming is open, registration for these programs can be  found  at www.richfieldmn.gov/onlineregistration . Walking trails at Wood Lake Nature Center will remain open. Please refer to the main Wood Lake Nature Center page for announcements about self-guided and virtual programming.

6710 Lake Shore Drive (street map)
Richfield, MN 55423woodlake feet - Copy

Office Hours
Not Currently Open 

Park Hours
Daily: Sunrise to 11:00 pm

Current Trail Conditions/Rental Status: March 4, 2021
Due to the recent and continuing warm spell, ski and snowshoe rentals at Wood Lake are suspended. 

Trail conditions:
The ski trail is in poor condition and is now closed.  The trail has large bare, icy, and slushy areas throughout.  Snowshoe/hiking trails continue to be in fair condition. The trail is icy/slushy depending on time of day.

Current Programs & Events

Wood Lake has a variety of programs and events throughout the year for people of any age.  Check back for updated information on our Programs and Events Page. Pre-registration is required online for programs at www.richfieldmn.gov/onlineregistration

Maple Syruping Kits
Make your own pure maple syrup at home! All you need is a maple tree at least 12” in diameter at chest height, a ½ “ drill bit and drill, and a tree tapping kit which includes a spile (spout), a sap bag and holder. Each tap will produce about 15 gallons of sap over an average season, which will boil down to about 48 ounces of syrup. Kits are $10 each. Replacement sap bags are $1 each.  Register for kits at www.richfiedmn.gov/onlineregistration and search the word "maple" in the search engine on the left of the page.
PICKUP TIMES (ring the front door bell)


March 3-March 24

1:00-4:00 pm


March 6-March 27

11:30 am-12:30 pm

Nature Adventurers (PARENT/CHILD‐KIDS AGES 3‐5)
Wednesdays, 10:00‐11:00 am, $10/child/day
Mar 10: Sap to Syrup
Mar 17: Winter Fun
Mar 24: Storybook Hike: The Lost Mitten
Mar 31: Mad Migration
Preschool kids, accompanied by an adult, will have an exciting time exploring different nature topics together each visit! Enjoy circle time, stories, songs, puppets, crafts, activities and hikes in nature. Each class is fully outdoors and located in our picnic pavilion with access to portable bathrooms. Please dress for the weather!

Other Activities at Wood Lake
Ski and Snowshoe Rental
The trails are open for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Ski and snowshoe rental is available (online in advance) as weather permits. For current conditions and a link to the registration page, visit the Wood Lake Ski/Snowshoe web page.

Nature Exploration Backpacks
Wood Lake has nature exploration backpacks that families can check out for free! Available backpack themes:

  • Birding Exploration
  • Forest Exploration
  • Winter Exploration

The backpacks have handy tools and information for doing some independent exploring! Indicate the time you'll be picking up the backpack (9:00 am to 3:00 pm, Monday-Saturday, and 12:30-3:00 pm Sunday, then ring the doorbell on the outside of the main Nature Center building when you arrive. Backpacks are all sanitized after each use. Backpacks must be returned to the building by 4:30 pm.
(Pre-registration is required for check-out times). www.richfieldmn.gov/onlineregistration

Geocaching at Wood Lake
Did you know there are geocaches hidden inside of Wood Lake's 150 acres, waiting to be discovered? If you love being outdoors, exploring new places, or going on a nature hunt, this is the perfect activity for you!
Geocaching is a great outdoor recreation activity for all ages and experience levels (beginners welcome). Geocaching uses the Global Positioning System (GPS) system; points can be located on a GPS receiver or mobile device to find hide-and-seek containers, called "geocaches" or "caches", hidden at specific locations and marked by coordinates. A typical cache is a small waterproof container with a logbook in which notes can be added by the finder.
Want to try geocaching at Wood Lake? Download the geocaching.com app on your mobile device and create an account for free. Don't own a mobile phone? Reserve one of our GPS receivers for free by registering at www.richfieldmn.gov/onlineregistration (search geocache) to get you on your way!

Pre-register at www.richfieldmn.gov/onlineregistration.

CANCELLED - Women’s Snowshoe Hike
Grab your girlfriends, mothers, sisters, daughters and head out to enjoy the wintery trails on snowshoes.  Ages 15 and up. $10/person, $5 for Friends of Wood Lake Members. Pre-register online at www.richfieldmn.gov/onlineregistration
Mar 11, 8:00-9:00 am

Wood Lake Book Club
Join other adults via virtual WebEx meeting to discuss environmental and outdoor recreation-based books with the Wood Lake Book Club. All are welcome! Most books are available at local libraries and meetings are held online on the second Monday of the month at 6:30 pm. Pre-registration is required at www.richfieldmn.gov/onlineregistration (search "book club"). No cost. A meeting invite will be emailed out prior to the meeting date. You can use a computer/tablet/phone to access meeting room link. Upcoming meetings/books:
Monday, March 8, 6:30 pm-The Home Place by J. Drew Lanham 
Monday, April 5, 6:30 pm-Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Monday, May 3, 6:30 pm-The Falcon Thief by Joshua Hammer

Maple Sugarin’ Time!
Hike into Wood Lake’s ‘sugar bush’ to help tap trees and collect maple sap that will be processed into syrup. Discover the science magic and natural history of these amazing trees that give us delicious syrup and sugar! Watch as maple syrup is transformed into maple sugar in the Native American tradition. This class will be all outdoors, masked and social distanced so dress warm and plan accordingly. Last season’s syrup will be available for purchase. Pre-register online at www.richfieldmn.gov/onlineregistration
NOTE: Many of the time slots below are filling up fast.  Any slots that fill will say have a "waitlist" button instead of a "register" button.
Saturdays, March 6, 13, 20, 27,  10:00–11:00 am or 1:00–2:00 pm, $5/person, free for members
Sundays, March 7, 14, 21, 28, 1:00–2;00 pm or 3:00–4:00 pm, $5/person, free for members

Round Up for Richfield Parks: All-Terrain Wheelchairs for Wood Lake
Round up your next purchase at any of the four Richfield Liquor Stores (through March 2021) to help raise funds for the purchase of all-terrain wheelchairs at Wood Lake Nature Center. All-terrain wheelchairs are built for adventure! Check out the demonstration video for these awesome chairs (The Freedom Chair by Grit).
They allow wheelchair users to explore the unexplored, go hiking, cut through mud, play in the snow, and more! Everyone, regardless of age, strength, and ability, should be able to enjoy the great outdoors. Together, let’s make nature accessible for everyone!

Plan Your Visit
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.  Check out our Things To Do page to find out all the fun things there is to do during your visit at Wood Lake!

Environmental Education
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. To plan a guided field trip with a naturalist, visit our Field Trips and Education page for more information or call 612-861-9365 to book a field trip. 

Please keep our park healthy and welcoming to all wildlife and people by observing these guidelines:

  • Service Dogs Happily Welcome- Check out the list of Richfield Parks that are dog friendly here and the new Richfield dog park at Roosevelt Park!
  • No bikes inside the park
  • Stay on the trails
  • Observe park signs
  • Dispose of trash and recycling properly
  • No picking of plants

  • Parking includes 4 accessible parking spots close to the ramp that leads to the nature center
  • Parking lot is bordered by a sidewalk with 3 curb cut outs close to ramp entrance and 2 gate entrances
  • Automatic door opener at main entrance
  • ADA-compliant drinking fountain
  • Boardwalk trail is combination of paved and crushed limestone
  • Two amphitheaters on the property are accessible
  • Accessible dock close to the nature center
  • Accessible picnic tables are available in the Emily Day Picnic Pavilion, the gateway picnic area by the parking lot,  and by the pollinator garden near the nature center building.
  • For specific accommodations, please contact 612-861-9365 with advanced notice