Dakota County doesn’t have as many parks as some of the other counties, but still offers many miles of both cross country skiing and snowshoeing. A lot of the terrain here is wooded with rolling hills, so beautiful, too!
There’s no fee to get into the parks or to snowshoe, but Dakota County has its own ski pass for use in its parks. The Minnesota Ski Pass isn’t necessary or valid. Get info for your Dakota County ski pass here…
NOTE: Dakota County measures its skiing in miles, not kilometers.
Lebanon Hills Regional Park (Eagen/Apple Valley)
2,000-acre Lebanon Hills maintains 12 miles of groomed cross country ski trails, starting at three different trailheads. These trails wind through mature woods and along several lakes on moderately hilly terrain. Most of the trails are groomed for both classic and skate skiing, and are open to skiers only.
More than 7 miles of snowshoeing and winter hiking trails also run through this east sector of the Park. This makes Lebanon Hills one of the best snowshoe destinations in the metro area.
Rental equipment for both skiing and snowshoeing is available at the Visitor Center. You can buy your ski pass there, too. Here’s the Lebanon Hills winter map.
Lone Rock Trail (Rosemount)
The Lone Rock Trail is part of the Vermillion Highlands—2,822 acres in Rosemount owned and managed by the U of M. Ski trails for both classic and skate are groomed in cooperation with Dakota County. No ski pass is needed.
Ritter Farm Park (Lakeville)
Spring Lake Park Reserve (Hastings/Rosemount)
Spring Lake maintains both classic and skate cross country ski trails in the winter, about 5 miles total. There are also another almost 3 miles of snowshoeing/winter hiking trails in the Reserve. Here’s the Spring Lake winter map.
Whitetail Woods Regional Park (Farmington)
Whitetail Woods is another great place to ski or snowshoe—over 5 miles for snowshoeing and over 6 miles of groomed cross country ski trails. The terrain is rolling hills with a mature oak forest and frozen wetlands. Here’s the Whitetail Woods winter map.
Thompson County Park (West St. Paul)
This little bitty park has almost 2 miles of snowshoeing and winter hiking trails if you can get away for a quick jaunt. Thompson winter trail map here.
Miesville Ravine Park Reserve, Miesville
1,600-acre Miesville Reserve has a small section with a little over 2 miles of wooded snowshoeing trails in two separate loops. The north loop follows Trout Brook, which stays open most of the winter. A very picturesque winter setting! Here’s the Miesville winter map.