Roseville Central Park is the largest park in Roseville, encompassing 225 acres that are divided into several areas, typically connected by walking and bike trails. You can stroll, picnic, play tennis, baseball or explore a nature preserve. Each area within the Roseville Central Park system has its own specialty, and this guide will help you determine which park location has just what you’re looking for.
Central Park Dale East
2520 North Dale
Taking a walk on the wild side is the entire purpose of Central Park Dale East. The main feature of this side of Central Park is Harriet Alexander Nature Center, which encompasses 52 acres of plants and wildlife, with a floating boardwalk that winds through marsh and prairie. Visitors can hike on the boardwalk or jog on the soft dirt trails. Even though it’s in the heart of Roseville, I always feel completely removed from the bustle of life standing in the center of the nature center and listening to the birds chip to each other.
Throughout the summer Harriet Alexander runs many day camps and activities for every age, and community campfire evenings and overnights in the summer and fall. In September the nature center pays homage to Minnesota’s heritage and favorite grain – wild rice. The Wild Rice Festival is set for September 17, 2011, with a fundraising pancake breakfast running from 8:30 – 10:30 a.m. From 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. you can enjoy free entertainment, exhibits, Native American music and dancing, plus a silent auction. You can even press your own cider! Check out the Wild Rice Festival website for more information.
Located next to Harriet Alexander Nature Center, the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Minnesota is a hospital and rehab facility for sick, injured and orphaned wildlife. The center is not open to the public for touring, but a 40 minute presentation is available to anyone interested in the center’s work, either at the center or at the facility of your choice. There is no charge for the presentation, but a donation is requested to cover the center’s time and costs. Visit the center’s website to read about the tremendous work the center does and follow the animals stories.
Central Park Dale West
2555 Dale Street North
Located directly across the street from Harriet Alexander Nature Center, the Muriel Sahlin Arboretum is an eight-acre sanctuary, full of trees, themed flower beds, rock landscaping and benches overlooking a water fountain. During the summer months there are garden demonstrations and classes that celebrate the beauty of the outdoors. A perfect place for a romantic stroll with or a good book and your thoughts, the arboretum is tranquil, yet accessible, and smells divine.
Central Park Lexington East
2540 Lexington Avenue North
Central Park at Lexington Avenue is the something-for-everyone park. There is an outdoor amphitheater with lawn and park bench seating for concerts, which are held throughout the summer, plus biking and walking trails around Bennett Lake, a playground, several bathroom shelters and outdoor grills. My favorite park amenity is the four natural soil bocce ball courts, located near the parking lot (equipment not included).
Central Park North
816 Heinel Drive North
Known as a secluded and peaceful place, the north corner of the park has woods, wetlands and wildlife. The area is undeveloped, but borders Lake Owasso.
Central Park Victoria East
2490 Victoria Street North
Take me out to the ballgame! If you’re headed to Central Park Victoria East, you will find six softball fields bursting with activity during the summer and fall months. Early mornings typically offer free fields during the summer, perfect for a pick-up game or playing catch.
Central Park Victoria West
2495 Victoria Street North
Pack up a picnic and plan to stay at Central Park Victoria West for awhile. The largest picnic area within the park, it contains two shelters that can be rented with a full kitchen and bathrooms. There is also a sandy-base swing set, playground with lots of crawling tunnels and slides, tennis courts, sand volleyball and paved trails around Bennett Lake. Perfect for a large family get-together or work event.
Colleen McGuire is a digital marketing communications professional and author of the blog, Travel Snapshots. When she is not touring the Twin Cities for interesting festivals and events, she is wandering the world with her camera and notebook.