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Posts Tagged ‘Three Rivers Park District’

Cycle through Elm Creek Park Reserve in Champlin, MNIt didn’t take long for me to devise a personal list of my top-ten things to do in Champlin. Take a look and think about your favorite things to do in our community—and then post it in the comments section.

  1. Bicycling in Elm Creek Park Reserve
    I grew up in rural Sheridan, Wyoming where bike trails are nonexistent. I had to ride on gravel roads or on the side of the road hoping I didn’t get hit by passing trucks and horse trailers. This is one of the top-ten reasons I love Minnesota; bike trails are everywhere! I feel so fortunate.
  2. Walking along the Mississippi River in Donie Galloway Park
    Donie Galloway Park isn’t your traditional park. It’s a big, open field with trails that follow the Mississippi River—a hidden gem really. 
  3. Swimming at the Elm Creek Reserve swimming pond
    It’s so clean! I love riding bike through Elm Creek Park to the swimming pond on a hot day, and then jumping in. It’s worth paying $20 for a season family pass. Or you can pay $2 per person per day. It is open Memorial Day through Labor Day from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  4. Walking to Caribou Coffee for a cappuccino
    I love walking, and now there are sidewalks from my house to Caribou Coffee. I get exercise and a cappuccino. What more could I ask for: more trash bins along the path, perhaps. 
  5. Having a beer and miniburgers at Maverick’s Woodgrill 
  6. Taking my dog to the Elm Creek Off-Leash Dog Park 
  7. Picking strawberries at Bauer’s Berry Farm
    Bauer Berry Farm offers the finest in strawberries, blueberries, and sweet corn; pick your own, or purchase picked fruit fresh from the field!
  8. Watching a movie at Champlin Mann Theatre
  9. Ice skating at the Champlin Ice Forum
  10. Visiting the observatory at Jackson Middle School 
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“Dolly, want to go to the park?” That’s all I have to say, and our Parson Russell Terrier is running in circles, in a hurry to get out the door. She can’t wait to go to the dog park (or the “dog off-leash area”) in Champlin’s Elm Creek Park Reserve.

We adopted Dolly more than two years ago from the Animal Humane Society in Coon Rapids. She was rescued from a puppy mill in Le Center, and as a five-year-old female, she’d obviously had a lot of babies (thus her name: Dolly Parton)—and was never walked or exercised. In fact, when we first adopted her, she could only walk a few feet without stopping to catch her breath. Slowly, we added a few more steps to her daily walks, and after a few months, we took her to Elm Creek Park Reserve’s Dog Off-Leash Area, part of Three Rivers Park District

29 acres of off-leash fun!
Three Rivers Park District offers several opportunities for exercising dogs, including designated dog-walking trails, dog off-leash areas and skijoring/dogsledding trails. 

Elm Creek Park Reserve, which is part of the Three Rivers Park District, has 29 fenced acres for dogs like Dolly to run around without a leash. There is a pond, for those dogs who love jumping in the water and running after tennis balls, and there are many other areas for dogs to explore.

Purchase a pass or pay a daily fee
You will need to purchase a $30 annual pass, or you can pay a daily fee of $5 available via a drop box. Envelopes at each drop box will indicate the required fees and will include a Use Agreement, which must be signed. Make sure you display this on your car because it is patrolled quite a bit, and people are fined (Note: In the comments section below, a woman said she was fined more than $125 for not having a pass).

And most important
Don’t forget to bring a sack to pick up after your dog! Sometimes, others will leave extra sacks hanging on the fence for you to use, but don’t count on it. Bring a few plastic sacks to pick up the poop!

A tour of Elm Creek Park Dog Off-Leash Area courtesy of Dolly Johnson

Dolly says, \
Dolly says, “Hurry up! Let’s go!” when she gets to Elm Creek Park Reserve’s dog park.

Dolly forges ahead at the dog park
She enjoys the shady spots and takes her time sniffing everything.

Dolly at the pond in Elm Creek
Many dogs enjoy jumping into the pond, but Dolly just walks along the edge greeting the dogs and owners.

Dolly near the picnic table
Halfway through the loop, Dolly’s tongue droops.

 Is Shannon waiting for Dolly or is it the other way around?
Is Shannon waiting for Dolly or is the other way around?

Dolly meets other dogs
Dolly meets and greets others along the path.

Time to head home
It’s the end of the road, and time to head home.

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