What makes Chester Woods County Park so special?

1330 Acres

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Explore 1330 acres of precious open space: a large lake, miles of trails, native prairies, woodlands, and diverse habitat for wildlife.

Experience

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Experience the subtle, soothing sounds of the natural world - a rare commodity in our busy, noisy lives!

Get Together

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 Get together with people who share your interests - whether fishing, kayaking, hiking, camping, riding horseback, camping, swimming and much more.

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New Bridges Decked for Traffic

Friends of Chester Woods approved the funding and volunteer labor to redeck  a bridge to be placed in the park. This bridge will span a wet land area close to the current Legacy Trail. This new trail will provide an additional access by foot to the vast trail system on the west side of the park.  The FOCW Board approved up to $5000 for the decking and steel to be installed at a later date for hand rails. FOCW volunteers worked weekly for 2 months to get this project done. These same volunteers also redecked an identical bridge that will replace a bridge on the Chester Lake Trail.  The plan is to install each of these bridges in late 2020

Some FOCW Accomplishments

  • Helped survey and restore many acres of the native prairie so critical to the survival of our beautiful native birds, mammals and butterflies.
  • Sponsored many events to bring people out to enjoy this wonder-full park and learn about its history.
  • Developed two new tree identification trails to help visitors learn about our Minnesota trees.
  • Built a wagon for transporting seniors and less able people around the park to enhance the park experience.
  • Providing 6 racks for private watercraft storage available for seasonal rental. 
  • Helped develop, along with park staff,  the Legacy Trail near the park office where those who have loved the park can be remembered or honored in this area of solitude.
  • Helped to develop, along with park staff, the Prairie Maze Trail located near the picnic shelters. This trail is designed to give an immersion experience of native prairie habitat.​
  • Provided funds to build a second camper cabin in the campground. One half  of the revenues from the two camper cabins rental fees will be used to enhance the park programming, provide transportation to underserved and underprivileged residents to the park, and improve amenities in the park.
  • Helped develop, along with park staff, our Natural Playscape.  This natural play area includes trails, activities in cells, and the natural environment to roam, be creative, and hide from other playmates.


FOCW Secures Funding for a Second Camper Cabin

Currently all revenues coming into Chester Woods is deposited into the county's general fund. This Olmsted County agreement with FOCW states that 1/2 of the revenues from both of the camper cabin's rental fees will go into a Chester Woods donation account.  This will create a funding stream for many years to be used for park improvements and additional programming.



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How you can be involved in the Legacy Trail

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Chester Woods County Park has established a "Legacy Trail" close to the park office. The purpose of this paved trail is to have a location for our patrons to have a spot of solitude in the developed area, and a location where loved ones can be remembered.  This remembrance is in the form of brass leaves which will be engraved and then secured to vertical metal art work.  All proceeds in excess of the cost of the leaves will be used for enhancements in programming and facilities in Chester Woods.  

Download this brochure to find out how you can have a presence in the Legacy Trail.