Lebanon Hills Regional Park
||This article is written like a travel guide rather than an encyclopedic description of the subject. (September 2013)|
Lebanon Hills Regional Park is a 2,000 acre (8 km²) Dakota County Park, located in Eagan, Minnesota and Apple Valley, Minnesota, that includes naturally preserved woodland and prairie. Winter activities include skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating, ice fishing, hiking, and winter mountain biking. Summer activities include mountain biking, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, camping, horseback riding, and hiking.
Lebanon Hills Regional Park Trailheads
Visitor Center Trailhead: Open 8am-10pm (860 Cliff Road, Eagan, MN 55123): The main trailhead and gateway for Lebanon Hills Regional Park. This trailhead is open daily 8am-10pm. Amenities include: Schulze Lake Beach (unguarded swimming beach with changing/shower facilities), Lebanon Hills Visitor Center (a staffed building offering canoe, kayak and paddleboard rentals in the summer, cross-country ski, snowshoe and kicksled rentals in the winter, as well as park naturalist programs, recreational programs and special events). Come for hiking (nearly 20 miles of hiking trails), snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, dog walking (dogs allowed on a leash and owners need to clean up after them), playing at the beach or inside the Visitor Center. The Visitor Center area has a few picnic areas with charcoal grills—most are first-come-first-served. You can rent the picnic area that overlooks the beach: The Lakeview Deck. A great place to get on the vast Lebanon Hills cross-country ski trail system. The Visitor Center hosts several special events annually including a family-friendly New Year's Eve party (Dec. 31, 5-8pm) and Trails by Candlelight event (second Saturday in February, 6-9 pm).
Equestrian Trailhead: Open 8 AM-10 PM—closed in the winter There is a horse trailer parking lot located on 120th Street off Dodd Road and is only open in the Spring, Summer and Fall. To get there, turn west on 120th Street from either Dodd Road or Hwy 3. Enjoy 12 miles of horse trails.
Holland Lake Trailhead: Open 5 AM-10 PM Holland Lake is located off Lexington Avenue and Cliff Road. There is a pier for fishing and canoes and kayaks are allowed on lake though it's hard to get them down to the water. Near by Schulze Lake (at the Visitor Center Trailhead) and Jensen Lake (at the Jensen Lake Trailhead) offer easy boat launch areas. Holland has a picnic shelter (use is first-come first-served) or you can rent it for a small fee. Easy connections to the rest of the hiking trail system of Lebanon Hills Regional Park. A great place to get on the vast Lebanon Hills cross-country ski trail system.
Jensen Lake Trailhead: Open 5 AM-10 PM Located off Pilot Knob Road and Carriage Hills Drive. Lots of picnicking areas under the shade of oak trees with a large picnic shelter that can be reserved for a small fee. There is a playground and popular 2 mile hiking loop around Jensen Lake. Easy connections to the rest of the hiking trail system of Lebanon Hills Regional Park. A great place to get on the vast Lebanon Hills cross-country ski trail system.
West Trailhead: Open 8 AM-10 PM Nearly 12 miles of Mountain bike trails are situated at the west side of the park off of Johnny Cake Ridge Road in Eagan, MN. There are several miles of loops within the Lebanon Hills mountain bike trail system that provide an options for beginner, intermediate and expert mountain bikers. The trails are mainly hard pack singletrack dirt trail and include several obstacles including roots, rock gardens, log piles, berms, bridges and jumps. The outer intermediate loop takes roughly one hour to finish. The trails are groomed and maintained by Minnesota Off-Road Cyclists (MORC). The trails are closed when the ground is wet to prevent damage to the trail surface. Current trail conditions are listed Dakota County and MORC websites. The trail is open for night riding until 10:00 PM and winter riding when proper snow conditions exist. Nearly 3 miles of hiking trails are also located in this area. A new paved parking lot, changing rooms, bathrooms, a picnic area and mountain bike skills park were added in August 2012.
Lebanon Hills Campground
Lebanon Hills Campground offers the best of both worlds—city close and country quiet. Just minutes from many popular Twin City destinations, this campground is surrounded by 2,000 acres of woods and lakes in beautiful Lebanon Hills Regional Park.
The facilities range from open, groomed RV campsites with full hook-ups to private, wooded tent sites that are primitive in nature. Other features include on-site caretakers, accessible showers and restrooms, laundry, limited grocery and firewood sales and a sanitary dump station.
Online reservations are available at the Dakota County Parks website or can be made by calling 651-688-1376.