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Articles

Parks Fact Sheet

October 07, 2010

Related Document: ParksFactSheet.doc

Opportunities to enjoy the outdoors are abound in the city of Rochester, Minn. thanks to a plethora of city parks.  For 150 years, Rochester parks have played an important part in the quality of life that Rochester's citizens and visitors enjoy.  Along with the many city golf courses and public trails, Rochester's parks are what make the area so beautiful, livable and wonderful for visitors.

City of Rochester Parks Department

The Parks Department provides a variety of leisure time opportunities for people to enjoy.  Currently, the system, which is truly unique for a city of Rochester's size, includes:

  • Over 3,500 acres of park land
  • 100+ parks
  • 85 miles of trails
  • 56 playgrounds
  • 42 tennis courts
  • 15 picnic shelters
  • Two outdoor pools
  • A lake and beach
  • 35 horseshoe courts
  • 46 ball diamonds
  • 28 football/soccer fields
  • 11 basketball courts
  • Two dog parks
  • 11 sand volleyball courts
  • An archery range
  • Three cross-country ski trails
  • Two Frisbee golf courses
  • Two garden plot sites
  • A running track
  • Two fishing piers
  • Seven outdoor hockey rinks in water

Foster Arend Park Beach

Sand beach swimming in Rochester?  Absolutely, at Foster Arend Park.  People can swim, canoe, fish and paddle boat at Foster Arend Lake.  Excellent picnic grounds make this park ideal for get-togethers.  The beach, an increasingly popular family attraction, saw 32,588 visitors during its summer 2008 season.

Miracle Field

The first of its kind in southeast Minnesota, Miracle Field is a special baseball field designed especially to accommodate the unique needs of children with disabilities.  Located at Rochester's Watson Sports Complex near other baseball field so those with handicaps can intermingle with others, the field is constructed with a special rubberized playing surface to help prevent injuries, and has a completely flat surface to help eliminate barriers for wheelchair-bound or visually impaired players.

Peace Plaza

The first of its kind in southeast Minnesota, Miracle Field is a special baseball field designed especially to accommodate the unique needs of children with disabilities.  Located at Rochester's Watson Sports Complex near other baseball field so those with handicaps can intermingle with others, the field is constructed with a special rubberized playing surface to help prevent injuries, and has a completely flat surface to help eliminate barriers for wheelchair-bound or visually impaired players.

Silver Lake Park

Enjoy biking, in-line skating, jogging, feeding the giant Canada geese while strolling around Silver Lake.  Silver Lake Park features a beautiful stone bridge crossing the park's water centerpiece. Bike, Paddleboat and canoe rentals are available, as well as picnic shelters and a Children's Adventure Playground, which is completely wheelchair and handicapped accessible.  The park also features an outdoor swimming pool and skate park.

Soldier's Field Park

In addition to the Veterans Memorial, golf course and baseball/soccer/football fields, Soldier's Field Park features a swimming pool with a 112-foot water slide, which joins a drop slide and zero depth pool to create an awesome experience.

Oxbow Park and Zollman Zoo

Hiking, camping, fishing and picnicking are all part of the agenda at Oxbow Park in Byron, Minn.  Park facilities include trails, a 30-site campground, four picnic areas with covered shelters, playground equipment, a ball field, nature center and Zollman Zoo.  The latter houses over 30 species of wild animals native to Minnesota.

Quarry Hill Nature Center

Nestled within 300 acres of parkland, the Quarry Hill Nature Center houses over 100 mounted animals, a 1,700-gallon fish tank, live animals, an indoor beehive and a bird-watching room.  Paved and
natural hiking trails allow visitors to enjoy this unique park located close to downtown Rochester.  Oak savanna, restored prairie, quarry, man-made sandstone caves and a man-made pond complete the Quarry Hill Experience.  Cross-country skis or snowshoes are available for rent during the winter.

Fishing Choices

In addition to Silver Lake and Foster Arend Lake, fishing is common in a variety of additional park sites.  Willow Creek Reservoir, Lake Zumbro and the Mississippi River, which is just 40 miles east of the city, are ideal destinations for fishermen.  In addition, there are a number of trout streams in the area.  The Root River as well as Whitewater State Park are about 40 miles south and east of Rochester and are popular for fishing.

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