12 Parks in Eagan, Minnesota

Last Updated on February 11, 2024 by Emily Johnson


Eagan, Minnesota is a suburb of Minneapolis-St. Paul that offers residents and visitors access to numerous beautiful parks. With over 40 parks covering more than 1,800 acres of land, there are plenty of outdoor spaces to explore in Eagan. The parks range from small neighborhood playgrounds to large reserves with miles of trails. No matter where you are in Eagan, there is always a nice park nearby.

In this article, we will highlight 12 fantastic parks located throughout the city of Eagan and describe what each one has to offer. From scenic ponds and wooded areas to sports fields and amusements parks, there is something for everyone. Every park is well-maintained with facilities like picnic shelters, walking paths, and playground equipment. Read on to learn more about Eagan’s wonderful park system!

1.Cedarvale Park

Cedarvale Park is one of Eagan’s most popular neighborhood parks thanks to its scenic pond setting. Spanning 15 acres, the park surrounds a peaceful pond that is bordered by towering oak trees, open grass areas for recreational activities, and paved pathways that connect to the larger trail system. Visitors love to walk around the pond, picnic in the shade, and watch birds and wildlife that are drawn to the water.

Other amenities at Cedarvale Park include playground equipment for kids, a basketball court, sand volleyball court, and open baseball/softball field. The playground features several climbing structures and slides that are perfect for burning off energy. Families appreciate the picnic shelter when they want to enjoy an outdoor lunch or host a small gathering. The scenic beauty of the pond makes Cedarvale Park one of the most Instagrammed spots in Eagan!

2.Eagan Core Greenway Trail

For visitors who want to experience iconic Minnesota nature, the Eagan Core Greenway Trail is a must-visit. This peaceful trail winds through forests, meadows and wetlands for nearly 2 miles as it connects a handful of Eagan’s best parks. Lined with wildflowers in summer and fiery fall colors in autumn, the trail provides opportunities to spot birds and other wildlife all year long.

As a core of Eagan’s overall trail system, the Eagan Core Greenway Trail serves as both a nature getaway and a transportation corridor for walkers, runners and bicyclists. Smooth and wheelchair-friendly, the trail is suitable for all ages and abilities. Benches scattered periodically allow hikers to stop and enjoy lovely forest views or vistas overlooking small ponds and wetland areas. Interpretative signs describe the native vegetation, birds, butterfly habitat zones, and more so visitors can appreciate their surroundings.

3.Thomas Lake Park

Lovely Thomas Lake Park wraps around one of Eagan’s prettiest lakes, Thomas Lake. Visitors adore the hiking trails that wind through prairie grasslands and peaceful stretches of forest surrounding glistening Thomas Lake. Thanks to habitat restoration and protection measures, the park has become an excellent destination for birdwatching. Species like osprey, orioles, chickadees, mourning doves and even bald eagles make their home in the park.

In addition to birdwatching opportunities, Thomas Lake Park contains a fishing pier, picnic areas and access for non-motorized boats like canoes, kayaks and standup paddleboards. On warm summer days the swimming beach and playground get plenty of use from families looking to relax lakeside. Wintertime attracts ice skaters and ice fishermen when conditions allow. With lovely natural scenery in every season, a visit to scenic Thomas Lake Park makes for a refreshing break any time of year.

4.Lebanon Hills Regional Park

At over 1,800 acres, Lebanon Hills Regional Park stands out as one of the largest parks in Eagan and the entire Twin Cities metro. Containing lengthy stretches of the Vermillion River as well as rolling hills, meadows and marshes, Lebanon Hills contains a diversity of landscapes to explore. Visitors who want to experience impressive Minnesota nature will feel immersed during a visit.

Over 25 miles of trails cater to hikers, mountain bikers, cross country skiers and snowshoers. Highlights include the Lake Trail with pretty views of Schulze Lake, the challenging Canyon Trail that dips into the Vermillion River Gorge and the Grassland Trail traversing wide open prairie.

In addition to natural scenery, historic attractions can be found at the Visitor Center site, Murphy-Hanrehan Park Reserve. Foundations and signs tell stories of homesteads dating back to the early 19th century. With so much natural beauty and historical significance, it’s easy to spend a whole day exploring Lebanon Hills Regional Park.

5.Forgotten Creek Park

This aptly named neighborhood park follows the path of a small creek that long ago changed course, leaving its prior tree-lined banks hidden in what eventually became part of a residential area. Now protected greenspace, Forgotten Creek Park transports visitors back in time with its running creek, thick woods and unusual rock formations leftover from the last ice age.

The park may be small in size but makes up for it in scenery and imagination-inspiring adventure. Kids love climbing on the playground equipment built to resemble a crashed plane, crawling through log tunnels, and searching for fossils and geodes along the creek.

Well-worn dirt trails crisscross through the woods, with surprises like sudden glens, mini waterfalls and scenic lookout spots. Forgotten Creek Park keeps visitors engaged with an ever-changing landscape that belies the park’s location in the middle of a suburban neighborhood.

6.Northview Park

Tucked away on the northwest side of Eagan, Northview Park spans a generous 32 acres filled with recreational facilities. Baseball and softball players flock to Northview to play on one of its five fields, complete with dugouts, batting cages, bleachers and concession facilities. When fields aren’t in use, families take advantage of the large open spaces for soccer games, frisbee tossing or picnicking.

The park also contains an expansive, modern playground perfect for tireless young kids. Equipped with several climbing structures, gliders, swings, monkey bars and more, the Northview playground has enough variety to entertain kids for hours.

Parents appreciate the shade offered by surrounding trees as well as benches conveniently situated next to the equipment. With visitor amenities geared toward active kids and families, Northview Park appeals to those looking for an exciting day playing in the fresh air.

7.Lexington Park

Nature plays an integral role at scenic Lexington Park, with lush grassy areas, mature trees and a peaceful pond. Visitors enjoy walking the paved paths that encircle the pond watching for fish, turtles and heron while taking in the park’s serenity. Vibrant wildflower plantings surround benches located at intervals along the walking paths, giving hikers a chance to stop and appreciate their natural surroundings.

In addition to its nature paths, Lexington Park offers recreational facilities for those looking for some active fun. Baseball diamonds accommodate summer little league games while tennis courts give tennis players a spot to volley. Kids can romp on the colorful playground or test their skills on the nearby skate park equipped with all sorts of ramps and rails. With a balance of activities plus natural spaces, Lexington Park makes an ideal destination for Eagan visitors of all ages.

8.Caponi Art Park

Nature and art blend seamlessly together at the wondrous Caponi Art Park. As an outdoor sculpture park and nature preserve, Caponi allows visitors to get their creative fix while also enjoying the great outdoors. Over 60 incredible pieces of large-scale artwork dot the park’s 80 acres of forests, meadows and wetland areas connected by winding dirt trails. As they walk the trails, visitors will happen upon whimsical sculptures at unexpected locations.

In addition to displaying unique works of art, Caponi Art Park serves as an environmental education center teaching principles of conservation and sustainability. Programs focus on issues like stormwater management and protecting pollinators like bees and butterflies that are critical to natural ecosystems. Signage throughout the park identifies native plants and highlights their ecological benefits. Blending art, environmentalism and nature, a visit to Caponi Art Park proves both culturally and ecologically enriching.

9.Eagan Town Green

This lively central park provides a festive gathering place for Eagan residents and showcases city pride. Eagan Town Green frequently hosts community events like summer concerts, performances by professional theater troupes and art fairs highlighting local artists. Well-manicured lawns, vibrant public art installations and seasonal flower plantings provide an attractive backdrop for these special events. Surrounding benches give attendees prime vistas for people watching too.

When special events aren’t occurring, locals flock to Eagan Town Green to play bocce ball, let kids run free on the playground or launch model rockets on the wide open fields. Visitors can browse public art scattered throughout the park or hike along the paved path that encircles the central lawn. Bookworms will also appreciate the Little Free Library stand which facilitates the sharing of books. Eagan Town Green undoubtedly serves as the spirited heart of the community.

10.Preserve at Firefly Meadows

Nature takes center stage at the aptly named Preserve at Firefly Meadows located on the western side of Eagan. Most of this 75 acre park encompassing rolling hills, woodlands and wetlands is dedicated to preservation and restoration rather than development. Visitors walking the mowed grass trails that wind through the park will spot native grasses and wildflowers plus birds, butterflies, deer and other wildlife.

While mainly focused on nature, the Preserve does have a couple recreational amenities to complement the natural backdrop. A large playground built resembling a frontier fort gives kids room for adventure. Additionally, a diamond baseball field sits at the north end of the park. However most visitors come to Firefly Meadows to appreciate scenes of untamed Minnesota nature through activities like birdwatching, photography and painting. The Preserve at Firefly Meadows offers a truly peaceful retreat.

11.Flannery Park

Brand new Flannery Park opened in 2022 as part of Eagan’s central park system. Although small at just under 5 acres, it packs a lot into a compact footprint. Natural areas with pollinator gardens give visiting butterflies, songbirds and hummingbirds habitat to flutter about and refuel. More paved pathways connect Flannery Park to the larger trail network coursing through Eagan.

Recreational amenities at the park cater to casual athletes. A basketball court with vibrant murals provides a spot for pickup games while a sand volleyball court gives friends and families space for friendly competition. Parents accompany kids over to the playground to try out equipment like the embankment slide. Whether you come for a nature break or recreational activities, Flannery Park has something for all ages.

Conclusion

Eagan’s wealth of scenic parks truly offer something for everyone whether you want to hike nature trails, have a family picnic, play sports or enjoy community events. Conveniently located throughout the city, Eagan parks give residents opportunities to appreciate beautiful landscapes while staying close to home.

Major parks like Lebanon Hills and Thomas Lake also attract visitors from surrounding communities. With such wonderful parks, it’s no wonder Eagan, Minnesota is frequently rated one of the best cities in the state to live.

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