Rochester MN Guide to Cascade Lake Park

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cascade lake

**Editor’s note: We are aware that there are No Swimming signs posted at the beach due to unsafe levels of bacteria.  This is common during weather patterns similar to what we’ve been having lately.  We don’t want this to deter from anyone who like to enjoy the many many other amenities this park has to offer!

Rochester is known for having 100+ parks and the city has added a new one to the list! Located just 2.5 miles from downtown in what used to be a gravel mine, you’ll find beautiful Cascade Lake Park. The City of Rochester has been working on this park project for almost fifteen years, and the first completed area of the space is now open to the public. We are SO excited about this new park! Let us tell you why!

Get There

Cascade Lake Park is located at 88 23rd Avenue SW. Going West on 2nd Street from Highway 52 South, the park is on the right, behind the Shorewood Senior Living Campus. The park and beach are open during daylight hours.

Cool Down

Due to Covid-19, Cascade Lake Park is one of the few swimming spots open for Summer 2020 in the Rochester area. The beach is surrounded by a fence but there is no lifeguard on duty.  Remember to bring appropriate life jackets or puddle jumpers and plan to keep a close eye on your kids while swimming. Eventually, there will be a place to launch your non-gasoline powered boats, but for now, you can get out on your kayak from the beach.

Just outside of the beach area, there is a water pump to get the sand off your feet,  it has a fun water-play feature too!

A few things to note: If you’ve spent any time in Rochester you know that where you find water, you can find geese…and what they leave behind! So be careful where you walk and don’t feed them. Feeding the geese makes them think that they are welcome, but the city is trying to prevent them from becoming established at the park. The good news is, there won’t be as many of them here. Unlike Silver Lake, Cascade Lake freezes over in the winter, so the geese won’t want to stay. In addition to the geese, you can find fish swimming in the water!  Maintaining a fish population keeps the lake healthy. The city has plans to build a fishing pier too!

Play

The park’s play area has several areas for kids to enjoy. There is a wooden playground structure with netting for climbing. Younger kids might find it difficult to climb on, but there are other spots for them to play close by. 

Check out the tree stump walking path and see if your kids can make the jump from stump to stump! Use the steps or the stumps to climb up the small hill to get to the slide. Be careful, the slide is metal so it gets very hot when the sun hits it!

Do your kids like music? There are a few musical instruments to play as you walk through the park. 

Another fun place is the checker tables!  BYO checkers, or use some rocks you find!

Move

Cascade Lake Park is connected to Rochester’s trail system. The trails at the park connect to two different neighborhoods via walking bridges. You can get some exercise on the paved trail or go for a walk on one of the paths. There is also a large grassy area that can be used for various activities.

Gather

There is a plaza area with a large shelter, different benches, and table sets throughout the park. You can find garbage and recycling bins throughout and although there is currently no public restroom, there are two portable bathrooms as you enter the beach area.

You might enjoy the relaxing waterscape space that has a few Adirondack chairs. This is a great spot to enjoy some coffee from a local shop and catch up with a friend! Various gardens are already thriving in the park with more to come.

Cascade Lake Park has something for everyone, but this is just the beginning! The city has more plans to make this park a fun and educational place for you and your family to go to. Stay tuned, Rochester Mom will update you as more of the plans become a reality! See you at the park!

To read more about the park, check out the Cascade Lake Park Master Plan, developed in 2005.

Please make sure to follow all posted signs regarding water & swimming safety.

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