Experience the beauty and peace of nature in the middle of the Twin Cities. Miles of hiking trails are free and open to the public from sunup to sundown every day of the year.
Experience the beauty and peace of nature in the middle of the Twin Cities. Hike trails and explore prairies, woodlands, and wetlands. See farm animals, raptors, and local wildlife. Miles of trails are open to the public at no charge from sunup to sundown every day of the year.
acres of land
miles of hiking trails
Miles of trails are open to the public at no charge from sunup to sundown for you to explore prairies, woodlands, and wetlands. The Main Office is located on the Main Property in West St. Paul. It is open 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The office is closed on major holidays, but trails remain open for hiking year-round.
Pets & Bicycles
For the safety of students and wildlife dogs and other pets are not allowed on Dodge Nature Center property. Bicycles are not allowed on Dodge Nature Center trails. Bikers please stay on the River to River Greenway County Bike Trail, found along the Main Property’s southern border.
Ski and Snowshoe
The Lilly Property is the best Dodge location to cross country ski or snowshoe. While we do not create ski trails, guests are invited (and encouraged) to create their own. You are welcome to do this activity at any of the Dodge properties (including Shepard Farm, once the trails open to the public in the near future). Dodge does not rent skis or snowshoes.
Local wildlife (turkeys, raccoons, turtles, deer and more) live at the nature center. Resident farm animals and raptors can be viewed at our Main Property. Please keep your hands out of animal pens and stay outside of pasture fences. Dodge offers a variety of nature programs year-round for you to meet and learn more about the animal ambassadors.
All photographers (professional and amateur) who conduct posed photography are required to obtain a permit. Nature photography is welcome without a permit. Any photo taken at Dodge Nature Center intended for sale or publication will require permission with an applicable fee.
Please note, photography is not allowed on Dodge’s Shepard Farm location at this time, but it will be an option in the future as the expansion opens more features.View Permits
Please leave nature discoveries and artifacts where you find them so that the next visitors can enjoy them.
Smoke and Tobacco-Free
The only smoke seen at the nature center is during a prescribed prairie burn or a campfire program. Smoke and tobacco-free nature centers keep kids and community healthy.
In the case of inclement weather, Dodge Nature Center and Dodge Nature Preschool follow the closing guidelines of School District 197. Should District 197 close due to snow or other severe weather, Dodge Nature Center and Dodge Nature Preschool will close programs, classes, and offices.
Should inclement weather fall on a day when District 197 is not in session (such as a Saturday), Dodge Nature Center staff will contact program participants with details relating to their visit.
Groups of 7 People or More
All pre-arranged or organized groups of 7 or more people (including children) must call in advance to request permission for use of outdoor facilities and spaces. Certain fees may apply. Please call 651-455-4531 to schedule your visit. Dodge Nature Center is a carry-in, carry-out facility. Please keep our grounds clean and free of debris by taking with you what you brought.
Dodge Events/Program Refunds
Event/program admission is nonrefundable. Events and programs happen regardless of weather conditions. No full or partial refunds will be given.