Parks & Recreation
Pack a bag, throw in the racket, tie down the bike, head to Northfield and get ready for some action! No reason to sit still in Northfield with so many recreational activities that appeal to sports nuts, weekend athletes and nature-lovers alike.
Cannon River Wilderness Area
Beginning five miles south of Northfield along Highway 3, this park stretches across 850 acres and nearly 14 miles of wooded river valley. It features a self-guided nature trail and easy access to the Cannon River for your canoe or kayak.
151st St. E., Faribault, MN
Caron Park is a sixty-acre remnant of the big woods located about nine miles from downtown Northfield in rural Faribault. This lovely park is an excellent environmental study area, with a waterfall, a picnic area, and a 1.5 mile hiking/snowshoe trail.
170th Street East, Faribault, MN
Carleton College Cowling Arboretum
880 acres of prairie and woodland adjacent to the Carleton campus. Filled with jogging, biking, and skiing trails, fishing holes, and people of all ages.
Nerstrand Big Woods State Park
Nearly 3,000 acres of wildflowers, wildlife, trails and campgrounds are found just a short drive from Northfield. The park is also the world’s only home for the endangered dwarf trout lily.
9700 170 St. E., Nerstrand, MN
River Bend Nature Center
Just 14 miles south of Northfield, the River Bend Nature Center encompasses 750 acres and features a variety of public programs, from photography lessons to bird watching tips. The Big Woods Amphitheater is available free of charge and without reservations and can accommodate up to 100 people.
Rustad Rd. Faribault, MN
Northfield’s Mill Towns Trail features an abundance of varied terrain and scenery for the bicyclist in you. The trail winds through historic downtown and around Sechler Park, offering views of both the Cannon River and the railroad. Northfield also features occasional criterion and road races for both novices and advanced bikers.
Jesse James Lanes is a 16 lane, first-class, up-to-date bowling center featuring one of the most advanced automated scoring systems in the industry. A great spot for birthday parties, banquets, and fun for all ages.
1700 South Highway 3
Canoeing & Kayaking
The Cannon River features plenty of good access points and abundant scenery. Kayak rental is available from The Gear ReSource
201 Railway St. N., Dundas MN
Miles of well-groomed trails await your skinny skis. Try the trails at Cowling Arboretum at Carleton College, River Bend Nature Center, or Nerstrand Big Woods State Park.
Northfield’s dog park is located on the east side of Highway 3 at the Woodley intersection. Call 507-645-8935 for info. The City of Dundas has a dog park just off County Road 1 near the Schilling Drive intersection.
The Cannon River is a surprisingly robust fishery, and not just for rough fish! Walleye, northern pike, and smallmouth bass can all be found, along with panfish, channel catfish, bullheads, and more.
Northfield is home to two excellent 18-hole courses and a driving range.
The Northfield Golf Club features abundant oak, maple, pine and birch trees add majesty to an already classic course. The original nine holes date to 1926 while the back nine has been challenging duffers since 1975.
707 Prairie St.
Golf Digest rated Willinger’s Golf Club among America’s Best with designations in “TOP 20 BEST COURSES IN MINNESOTA” and a “4 1/2 STAR” rating in “BEST PLACES TO PLAY GOLF IN NORTH AMERICA.” This course, featuring four sets of tee boxes per hole, was designed to challenge everyone from the beginner to the professional.
6900 Canby Trail
The Twin Oaks Driving Range offers 25 practice tees right in the center of town.
8391 Hall Ave.
Ice Skating and Hockey
Indoor open skating is available at the Northfield Ice Arena from November through March. Outdoor facilities can be found at five city parks, Northfield High School and Carleton and St. Olaf colleges.
Northfield’s 4000 square foot public skateboard park opened at Old Memorial Park in summer 2015. It’s open to skaters of all ages and abilities, who are encouraged to be safe, read the posted rules, and abide by the park hours of 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
801 Seventh St. E.
Skydiving, gliding and aircraft rental are available at Stanton Airfield, just minutes east of town.
1235 Highway 19, Stanton, MN
Snowshoeing trails are abundant when snow conditions are right. The natural lands at St. Olaf College and the Arboretum at Carleton College are great spots right in town, or head out to nearby Caron Park, Nerstrand Big Woods State Park, or River Bend Nature Center.
Snowshoe rentals available from The Gear ReSource
201 Railway St. N., Dundas MN
Believe it or not, a snowmobiler can travel all the way to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula from Northfield! But we recommend sticking to the 42.5-mile Waterford Trail that begins at Sechler Park and winds through scenic forests, open fields and pastures.
Swimming: Old Memorial Pool
The newly constructed Old Memorial Pool features a separate toddler pool, zero-
depth entry, a 50-meter section, diving board, and climbing wall, as well as a half-court basketball area, a skatepark, and plenty of deck and grass space for everyone to enjoy.
801 Seventh St. E.
Courts are available at Northfield High School and Carleton and St. Olaf colleges.