Where to go: Park at the Straight House and walk the prairie trails before the color is gone from the grasses. Before parking in the picnic area stop and view the Sumac in the horse camp area. The trees along the Minnesota Valley State Trail are still very green but walk the trail to see the birds and wildlife prepare for cooler days ahead.
What you'll see: Sumac is at it's perfect peak, showing bright red leaflets. In scattered areas in the prairie there are few sunflowers remaining. Along wooded trails, catch a glimpse of asters hanging onto the few warm days. Ashes and walnut leaflets are just beginning to show signs of yellowing.
Also of interest: In the oak stands in the park, watch for squirrels rummaging about and Whitetail Deer looking for a hearty meal.Last updated: September 22, 2014
Canít decide between a one-day or year-round park permit? The DNR has a special offer that can help. Start by purchasing a one-day permit for $5 and visit as many state parks as possible. After visiting the state parks, trade in the one-day permit by the end of that day and get $5 off the purchase of a year-round permit. Year-round permits, which cost $25, provide unlimited access to all 76 Minnesota state parks and recreation areas for a full year from the month of purchase.
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19825 Park Boulevard
Lawrence Unit: Equestrian campground, State Trail Access, Picnic Shelter/Warming House, Strait House, hiking and Cross Country Ski Trails. Take HWY 169 to Jordan, at the traffic light turn North onto County Road 9, turn left onto Township Road 57.
Thompson Ferry Boat Launch and State Trail Access: Take HWY 169 to Jordan, turn North onto County Road 9. Thompson Ferry Boat Launch and parking area is on the East side of the road just before the bridge. Parking for horse trailers and other vehicles is on the west side of the road just before the bridge.
Louisville Swamp USFWS parking area and State Trail Access: The main Louisville Swamp trail head is located about 4.5 miles south of Shakopee. Exit Highway 169 onto 145th Street West. Follow the road past the main entrance to the Renaissance Festival and over the next set of railroad tracks. The Louisville parking lot is located on the left.
Gifford Lake and State Trail Access: Take HWY 169 to HWY 41, turn North toward Chaska. Gifford Lake access is on the West side of HWY 41.
Paved Bike Trail Access and Parking Areas: Trail Site #2: Take HWY 169 to HWY 41, turn North toward Chaska. Trail Site #2 access is on the West side of HWY 41.
Memorial Park: Located in Shakopee at 1801 East CR 101.
Huber Park: Located in Shakopee at 1st Avenue and Fillmore.
The SRA is open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. 365 days a year.