Olmsted County Park Superintendent Karlin Ziegler and Chester Woods Park Manager Tom Eckdahl recently explained why Chester Woods, just 8-miles east of Rochester, is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

Ziegler said, “This park has a lot of things to offer. Within the park is the 118-acre Bear Creek Reservoir, also known as Chester Lake, which is enjoyed by fishers, canoers, kayakers, and swimmers. In addition to our trails, we have native prairies, woodlands, and a diverse habitat for wildlife.” Eckdahl added,  "We have 15 miles of primitive trails that run through prairies, woodlands, and wetlands. Eight-and-a-half miles of those trails can be used for equestrians and we have three miles of trails that can be shared with dogs on a leash.”

My family spends a lot of time at the park each summer so we were excited to see they are opening their beach this Saturday (June 13th). The public is invited but asked to follow COVID safety guidelines like social distancing, visitors are encouraged to wear masks. The beach will be open daily from 10 am to 6 pm. Admission to Chester Woods is $5 or you can buy an annual park pass for $25.