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Lebanon Hills Regional Park Master Plan

master-plan-revised.jpgAt nearly 2,000 acres and more than half a million visits per year, Lebanon Hills Regional Park is the County’s largest and busiest park. Dakota County and HKGi are updating the Lebanon Hills Master Plan, to guide and prioritize park management and improvements over the next decade.

The new plan will build from the 2001 Lebanon Hills Master Plan and address needs identified since that time.

Something for everyone
The revised Lebanon Hills Regional Park Master Plan provides for greater access and improves natural resources for all.

The plan does not pave over any existing hiking or cross country ski trails, but expands the amount of natural surface hiking trails in the park, resulting in a total of 43 miles of unpaved trails. It also adds a 6-mile paved connector trail and a 0.5-mile paved loop around McDonough Lake.

Residents wanted an increased emphasis on protecting the park’s natural resources, so the plan includes more efforts to remove invasive buckthorn. Read the adopted Lebanon Hills Master Plan.

Revised Draft Master Plan released (January 2015)
The County Board directed that several changes be made to the draft Lebanon Hills Master Plan in January 2015,  based on the Citizen Panel Report and previous public comments. The 30-day public comment period will run from Jan. 26 through Feb. 25. Send your comments to

Changes to the revised plan include:

  • More emphasis on natural resource stewardship, increased efforts to remove buckthorn.
  • A shorter paved connector trail moved more toward the edge of the park, designed to be accessible, safe and recreational.
  • The proposed Holland Lake paved loop is removed, leaving a single paved loop around McDonough Lake.
  • New picnicking at Jensen Lake is scaled back, with a new shelter by the existing shelter and simple tables near the lake.
  • The plan implementation cost is reduced by $2.5 million.

Read the LebanonHillsRevisedMasterPlanDraft.pdfrevised Lebanon Hills Master Plan Draft.

Master Plan Citizen Panel
The Lebanon Hills Master Plan Citizen Panel has completed their review of the draft master plan. A final report was accepted by the Board of Commissioners on Jan. 13. Find out more about the citizen panel.

LebanonHillsCitizenPanelScopeofWork.pdfRead the Citizen Panel Report. 

Draft Master Plan released (November 2013)
The Lebanon Hills Regional Park Master Plan was available for a 60-day public review and comment period from Nov. 19, 2013–Jan. 18, 2014. 

The draft master plan builds from park concepts reviewed by the public and County Board of Commissioners in early 2013 and the comments received on the concepts. 

Draft plan highlights include:

  • Restored landscapes that promote cleaner water and more wildlife.
  • 46 miles of natural trails for hiking, mountain biking, skiing and more
  • A 6.5-mile connector and up to 1.5 miles of lake loop trails that are ADA-compliant to provide more recreational opportunities for all abilities in all seasons.
  • Lakeside picnic areas, camper cabins and natural play areas.
  • Something for everyone in a beautiful natural setting.

Draft Lebanon Hills Regional Park Master Plan (November 2013)
Public Comment #1
Public Comment #2
LebanonHillsMasterPlanDraftPDCPresentation.pdfNovember 2013 Physical Development Committee Presentation

A print copy of the draft plan may also be viewed at any Dakota County Library branch or the Lebanon Hills Visitor Center, 860 Cliff Road in Eagan.  Comments may be submitted by email to or by completing a comment card at the Visitor Center.

Stay informed and share your ideas

  1. Send your comments to
  2. Subscribe to Dakota County Parks E-News.
  3. Find Dakota County Parks on Facebook.

2013 Master Plan Goals

  • Strategically protect and improve the park’s ecological resources
  • Complete existing visitor use areas, while maintaining the park’s natural character
  • Fill gaps in basic, popular park activities, such as picnicking, bicycling and walking
  • Design the park connector trail and regional greenway connections
  • Strengthen partnerships to deliver effective and efficient services

Earlier Master Plan Steps
Park Research Notes
(completed in 2012)

  • Annual visits have doubled between 2001 and 2012 from 274,000 to 543,000.
  • A diverse trail network draws regional visitors for hiking, skiing, mountain biking and horseback riding.
  • Recreation preferences vary widely, but people strongly appreciate the park’s emphasis on nature-based recreation and education.
  • People value the park’s wild character and features, although the landscape is showing impacts of past agriculture, erosion, and invasive species. Soil conditions limit growth and lifespans for native trees. Oak woods are declining where invasive species shade out groundcover and oak seedlings.
  • Wildlife and birds are abundant.  Some native species are scarce.
  • Lebanon Hills has more than 100 waterbodies.  Holland Lake is the deepest, with good water quality and fisheries. Nine other lakes are shallow warm-water fisheries. Lake sedimentation is a concern.

Last updated: 4/7/2015 4:41 AM