Rapids Lake Unit - Visitor Center and Trails
The Minnesota Valley Trust has been working to complete the Rapids Lake Unit of the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge. Numerous landowners have sold their land within the unit boundaries to the Trust for the Refuge. Habitat work by the Trust, FWS and partners has included restoring a 100-acre wetland complex, planting hundreds of bur oak trees, removing invasive species, seeding and conducting prescribed burns.
Recreational opportunities on the Rapids Lake Unit include hiking, wildlife observation, photography and interpretation via several trails. Click here for maps and access information. Trail maps for all units of the Refuge are available here.
Hunting is allowed on much of the Rapids Lake Unit. Click here for the Refuge’s current hunting brochure, which includes maps and regulations.
In 2007, the Minnesota Valley Trust built a 12,000 square foot education and visitor center on the Rapids Lake Unit. The center includes environmental education classrooms, an exhibit area and public restrooms, including one exterior restroom accessible when the center is closed. Click here for information on hours and visitor programs.
The Minnesota Valley Refuge operates a Partner Schools program, through which students and teachers receive a multidisciplinary, standard-based curriculum that includes hands-on, real life experiences with plants and wildlife, as well as recreational opportunities to immerse students in nature throughout the seasons. To learn more, visit the Minnesota Valley Refuge Educators site or click here for full details.
The Rapids Lake education and visitor center is located in Carver County, halfway between the Cities of Carver and Jordan, just off County Road 45.