Sunfish Lake Park is considered by many to be the crown jewel of the Lake Elmo park
system – an important symbol of the quiet rural character of Lake Elmo. The first
European settlement in Lake Elmo was located near this park, and it is here where the
assembly met that created the township we now know as the City of Lake Elmo.
The park is a 284-acre natural area that is recognized by the Department of Natural Resources as a “Regionally Significant Ecological Area.” Depending on the season, woodland, wetland, and prairie plant communities can be enjoyed by skiing or walking the network of approximately nine miles of mowed trails. Recent improvements to the park include a 17-acre prairie restoration project on the south side of the park. The mix of native wildflower and grass species used on the project was based on the plant community that is believed to have been present in this area prior to European settlement. The park is home to a wealth of wildlife and provides one of the best opportunities for bird watching in the seven-county metro area. Birds identified in recent years include 13 species that have been identified by the Minnesota DNR as being in “Greatest Conservation Need”, meaning populations in Minnesota are rare, declining or vulnerable.
Directions to the park: Take Stillwater Boulevard N. (Highway 5) to Stillwater Lane North.
Sally Manzara Interpretive Nature Center
Sunfish Lake Park is also home to the Sally Manzara Interpretive Nature Center (SMINC). The SMINC is not affiliated with the City of Lake Elmo government. For more information on the nature center, visit: https://sminc-lake-elmo.org/ or call 651-408-2838