12 Parks in Coon Rapids, Minnesota

Last Updated on February 18, 2024 by Emily Johnson


Coon Rapids, Minnesota is a vibrant suburb located just north of Minneapolis. With a population of over 62,000 residents, Coon Rapids aims to provide ample green spaces and outdoor recreational areas for its residents and visitors to enjoy. The city is home to over 20 public parks ranging from small neighborhood play areas to large community parks with athletic fields, walking trails, and unique natural features.

In this article, we will explore 12 of the top parks and recreational spaces that Coon Rapids has to offer. From the sprawling Sand Creek Park to the intimate and charming Main Street Square, these parks provide the perfect backdrop for outdoor activities, community events, or simply enjoying a stroll surrounded by nature. Whether you’re a longtime local resident or just visiting the area, these 12 parks offer beautiful scenery and memorable experiences for all.

1.Sand Creek Park


Spanning over 280 acres just west of the Coon Rapids city center, Sand Creek Park is the largest park in Coon Rapids. With diverse amenities spread throughout the vast grounds, Sand Creek has something to offer visitors of all ages and interests.

Sand Creek is considered a regional park for Anoka County, featuring one of the longest trail systems in the northern metro area with over five miles of paved trails that wind through prairie, woodland, and wetland habitats. Trail users will enjoy scenic views of the park’s namesake, Sand Creek, a tranquil waterway lined with vegetation that flows throughout the park’s expanse.

In addition to trails, Sand Creek contains a popular dog park, children’s playground areas, fishing piers, picnic grounds and shelters perfect for gatherings and parties, as well as several athletic fields for baseball, softball, football, lacrosse and more. With so much to see and do, Sand Creek provides the ideal outdoor escape for individuals, families, sports teams, and community groups alike.

2.Crooked Lake Park

Nestled alongside the shore of scenic Crooked Lake, this aptly named 94-acre park provides delightful lakefront recreation for Coon Rapids residents. The park features walking trails, fishing areas, a swimming beach during summertime, as well as playground equipment and athletic fields

Crooked Lake park is one of the most popular spots in Coon Rapids for cooling off during steamy Minnesota summers. The beach provides imported sand, areas for volleyball and other lakeside fun, and views of sailors navigating the adjoining boat launch. Anglers can try their luck fishing from the new ADA-accessible fishing pier.

In addition to water recreation, Crooked Lake contains several reservable picnic shelters for gatherings of all sizes, as well as baseball, softball and soccer fields. After school or on weekends, you’re likely to find kids climbing on the unique wooden playground or families picnicking on the expansive lawn. With its abundant amenities and stunning lakeside scenery, Crooked Lake Park has something special to offer visitors year-round.

3.Main Street Square


Nestled in the heart of downtown Coon Rapids, Main Street Square provides visitors with arts, entertainment, dining and more. The Square spans one city block and contains a performance pavilion, water feature, literary art pieces and sculptures from local artists.

From Memorial Day through Labor Day weekends, the Square comes alive with outdoor concerts, children’s performances, movie screenings and other community events. The colorful interactive water fountain invites kids and kids-at-heart to splash around on hot summer days.

All year long, literary buffs will enjoy sitting on the phrase-adorned benches, stools and planters engraved with words and quotes from famous authors. Whimsical sculptures like the River Guardian add visual interest and photo opportunities.

Whether you come for a special event or just to people watch, Main Street Square offers a fun, lively backdrop steeped in local art, culture and community happenings. It’s no wonder the locals call it the “living room” of Coon Rapids!

4.Riverview Park



Occupying 150 acres of wooded parkland in the northern area of Coon Rapids, Riverview Park delivers scenic natural beauty alongside key amenities and recreation opportunities to delight visitors. As a destination park for Anoka County, it draws guests from across the metro seeking its combination of rich wildlife and convenient features.

Riverview takes its name from the park’s half mile of shoreline along the Mississippi River, providing easy access to scenic river views. Over 6 miles of multi-use trails weave through the interior, bridging meadows, pond habitats, maple-basswood forests and back to the river. There’s also an 18-hole disc golf course traversing the wooded hills and valleys, presenting exciting challenges for players.

Other attractions include playground equipment, picnic areas, reservable pavilions and a boat launch into the Mississippi’s calm waters. Anglers can also fish from the park’s shoreline perched atop river bluffs. With gorgeous scenery and so much to experience, Riverview Park promises visitors memories to last long after leaving its trails.

5.Bunker Hills Regional Park



Spanning over 1,500 acres across Coon Rapids, Andover and Anoka, Bunker Hills Regional Park delivers year-round, world class recreation ranging from winter skiing to summer concerts. As one of the flagship parks in the Anoka County system, Bunker Hills provides amenities both common and unique among Minnesota parks.

Bunker Hills contains the largest cross country ski trail system in the metro area, with 19 miles of regularly groomed trails that welcome skate and classic disciplines. The park also features around 16 miles of multi-use trails for hiking and mountain biking during the snow-free seasons. Other highlights include a championship disc golf course, pickleball complex, archery range, remote control car racing track, and even a dog park.

In summertime, the park explodes with activity thanks to one of the largest free outdoor concert series around. Music fills the air every Sunday, with acts ranging from country bands to orchestras entertaining crowds on a picturesque hillside amphitheater.

With so much on offer across Bunker Hills’ vast park land, visitors flock here to paddle its lakes, play on its fields and lose themselves along its far-reaching trails. For sheer variety and activity, Bunker Hills Regional Park is an area jewel.

6.Lions Coon Creek Park



For over 35 years, Lions Coon Creek Park has offered outdoor gatherings and recreation opportunities in a quiet, intimate setting along Coon Creek. This 17 acre neighborhood gem contains picnic areas, playground equipment, walking paths and a reservable picnic shelter amid beautiful surroundings.

The park’s star feature is the Pauline Fjelde Gazebo which projects over a pond lined with cattails and native vegetation. The gazebo and connecting trail bridge create an idyllic spot to enjoy nature views or pose for photos. Visitors also appreciate two unique play structures for younger and older children that feature ladders, slides, steering wheels and interactive elements.

With parking access from 89th Lane, Lions Coon Creek Park primarily serves families in the Creekview and Cardinal neighborhoods, though visitors from across Coon Rapids enjoy its quaint, timeless allure as well. Its tranquil ponds, playful structures and neighborhood accessibility make Lions Coon Creek a beloved community fixture.

7.Edinbrook Park


Featuring a popular sledding hill that transforms into a flowing amphitheater in summer, Edinbrook Park provides year-round fun and scenic beauty across its nearly 40 acres. Conveniently located southwest of the Northtown Mall area, the park contains open grass areas, walking paths, playground equipment and one of Coon Rapids’ most recognizable toboggan runs.

The park’s west facing sledding hill offers thrills during winter months, allowing sledders to gain maximum speed as they descend the slope’s full elevation to valley floor. Come springtime, the hill converts into a grass-lined amphitheater that hosts concerts and performances during warmer months. Beyond the sledding hill lie peaceful trails circling through open field habitat, with views of surrounding wetland preserves.

Young visitors can also enjoy two playground areas split for older and younger children, each with modern equipment and rubber surfacing. With its scenic landscape and unique hill that transforms across seasons, Edinbrook Park promises year-round fun in all weather conditions.

8.Woodcrest Park


Nestled along a quiet residential street in northern Coon Rapids, Woodcrest Park charms visitors with its intimate scale, abundant wildlife and convenient location. Spanning just over 5 acres, this neighborhood park delivers picnic areas, playground equipment, walking paths and access to natural scenery perfect for photographers and nature buffs.

Woodcrest visitors are first greeted by a picturesque pond surrounded by native grasses and vegetation. Here blue herons, songbirds, butterflies and other wildlife make frequent appearances, captivating guests. Connecting trails encircle the pond and bridge over a channel stream, offering further wildlife viewing opportunities.

Other features include playground equipment sized for both bigger and smaller kids, with climbing areas and swings overlooking the pond. Visitors also appreciate the picnic area tucked under shady oak trees, with tables and grilling areas for summer gatherings with friends and family. Though small in scale, Woodcrest Park overflows with scenic beauty and convenient recreation to delight Coon Rapids locals.

9.College Park


Attracting sports teams and athletic events across the seasons, College Park serves as the recreational hub for northwestern Coon Rapids. Its 17 acres feature open grass event areas, walking paths, picnic tables, reservable field turf and surrounding wetlands that invite wildlife viewing. Visitors come to College Park to play casual games, enjoy Greenway High School athletics or take in sweeping views of the bordering wetland preserve.

Its premier feature, “the jewel,” contains a regulation size synthetic turf field marked for sports like football, soccer, lacrosse and more. Encircling the turf sits a walking path and open lawn spaces perfect for team warmups and pickup games of all kinds. Nearby parking lots provide easy access for larger crowds and visiting teams.

Those seeking more passive recreation can follow walking paths into the park’s prairie sections, kept natural to facilitate water drainage. Here owl calls, songbirds and views of the bordering cattail marsh reward visitors seeking wildlife sightings. Whether you’re an athlete or nature lover, College Park promises invigorating recreation across its fields and wetlands.

10.Northdale Park


Offering picnic grounds, playground equipment and maintained green space adjacent to Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park, Northdale Park provides a pleasant neighborhood recreation option for residents of NW Coon Rapids. Its 4 acres deliver open grass areas, walking paths, reservable picnic shelters and play structures for children both big and small.

Northdale Park provides the ideal launch point for excursions into the expansive Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park, known for its fishing opportunities and access to the Coon Rapids Dam. Northdale’s grounds offer parking and amenities for pre- or post-visit picnicking and community gatherings. Reservable shelters give local clubs and teams covered meeting areas during unfavorable weather.

Younger visitors can also enjoy two colorful play structures featuring climbing platforms, curvy slides and steering wheels along soft rubber surfacing. Leisurely trails encircle the playgrounds, allowing parents to follow along easily. For its convenient location and helpful amenities adjacent to the Coon Rapids Dam Park, Northdale Park serves as a strategically located neighborhood facility.

11.Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park

Situated along a peaceful stretch of the Mississippi River in NW Coon Rapids, the Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park provides visitors with ample recreational opportunities focused on its namesake—the striking Coon Rapids Dam. Here guests fish year-round, learn about the area’s origins at a visitor’s center and enjoy one of Minnesota’s engineering marvels completed during the Great Depression.

At the heart of the park sits the iconic Coon Rapids Dam spanning the Mississippi River. The dam generates hydroelectric power even today, close to 100 years after its completion. Visitors can take free tours of the dam’s inner machinery and learn about its construction via informative plaques and log boom displays. Below the dam the fishing is renowned, as river water released through the facility attracts walleye, smallmouth bass, crappie, northern pike and other species.

The park also contains picnic grounds, walking trails, interpretive signage about the surrounding landscape and access to the Glacial Lakes State Bike Trail crossing its northern border. With so much to experience based around an engineering landmark, the Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park merits a spot on any travel itinerary.

12.Cardinal Hills Park

Serving the Cardinal Hills neighborhood of northern Coon Rapids, this aptly named 16 acre park delivers convenient recreation opportunities amid peaceful surroundings. Cardinal Hills Park features walking trails and sitting areas that cross through open meadows and prairie sections filled with native flowers and grasses. Two unique playground structures also attract younger visitors seeking slides and climbing challenges.

Those seeking to enjoy Cardinal Hills’ tranquility will appreciate its mowed walking paths that traverse the park’s rolling meadows and hilltops marked by picturesque oak trees. Benches beside the paths create places for quiet reflection while taking in views of restored prairie areas dotted with Minnesota’s state flower, the showy lady slipper orchid. Interpretive panels describe efforts to establish native vegetation across the landscape.

At the park’s northeast section, kids can also burn energy on two colorful playground structures with climbing walls, curving slides and interactive steering components. Whether you’re looking for neighborhood recreation or just some peace amid prairie, Cardinal Hills Park offers a bit of everything.

Conclusion

Coon Rapids contains over 20 public parks ranging from small play lots to vast athletic campuses, but we’ve only just scratched the surface exploring these 12 scenic and activity-filled standouts. Within this article you’ve discovered sprawling regional parks with miles of trails to quiet neighborhood gather spots ideal for picnicking within city subdivisions.

Hopefully our journey through a selection of Coon Rapids’ finest parks has shown the diversity and beauty across its public lands. We invite you to explore them all and find your own favorite spot amid vibrant prairie, next to scenic ponds, or perhaps while watching an outdoor performance at an intimate amphitheater. Get out and enjoy the rich parks system across Coon Rapids today!

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