Dakota County Parks is making changes to continue allowing for the safe and enjoyable use of parks and trails during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The county's parks, trails, greenways and dog park are open for public use, allowing visitors the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and maintain physical and mental health while also practicing physical distancing.
The following changes are being made to ensure the safety of park visitors and staff:
- Schulze Beach at Lebanon Hills Regional Park is closed for the 2020 season. Schulze Beach is a popular destination, and closing it for the season was a difficult decision for the county. However, it is not possible to open the beach and ensure visitors can remain a safe distance from one another.
- Lake Byllesby Beach at Lake Byllesby Regional Park is closed for the 2020 season due to a park improvement project.
Picnic shelters and facilities
- Picnic shelters are open for general use by individual household units or groups fewer than 10 people. Picnic tables within the shelters have been positioned to ensure physical distancing can occur.
- Portable toilets are available for public use at designated park and trailhead locations. To ensure safety, drinking fountains are closed and visitors are encouraged to bring their own water bottles.
- Lebanon Hills Visitor Center and Schaar's Bluff Gathering Center are closed through at least May 31. The opening of summer equipment rental at Lebanon Hills Visitor Center has also been delayed.
- Lebanon Hills Campground may open as early as June 1. State and county COVID-19 safety guidelines will determine the opening date.
- Camper cabins at Whitetail Woods Regional Park remain closed at least through May 31. Lake Byllesby Campground opens July 1.
Events and programs
- Summer events are canceled due to the inability to ensure COVID-19 safety guidelines can be met. This includes Take a Kid Fishing, Summer Solstice Party, Music in the Park and Arts in the Park.
- Facility rentals and outdoor education programming have been canceled through June 30. Dakota County Parks has a variety of virtual programs and stay-at-home resources available online.
The county will continue to look for ways to expand opportunities for people to safely enjoy parks and trails. That will likely include opening restrooms and play areas around June 1 when increased cleaning and disinfecting of restrooms can be completed. For more information and tips on visiting parks, go to the Dakota County Parks COVID-19 page.