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Gale Woods Farm in Minnetrista is a 420-acre small-scale operation that was once a real farm. Donated to the Three River Parks by the Gale Family so others could learn about farming.
The Three River Park District still runs it as a farm for families to enjoy. Located in Minnetrista about 30 minutes west of Minneapolis has been on my radar for some time.
Who wouldn’t want to visit some cute little lambs? The only problem was, who wants to drive just to see lambs? Ok, in all fairness, if that was the only reason to go there, I’d do it in a heartbeat.
But I found there were tons of other things to do at Gale Woods Farm when you explore the park.
Things to do at Gale Woods Farm
Gale Woods Farm Animals
The main attraction at Gale Woods Farm is the animals. The Farm has sheep, beef cattle, pigs, dairy cows, turkey, laying hens, and broiler chickens.
The park’s pastures located throughout the grounds are where many of the animals roam, especially during warmer months. The park also has 37 acres of hayfield that supply the farm with feed for the cattle and sheep.
When we arrived, it was priority number one. The lambs were right out front and very friendly.
Normally animals could care less about you unless you have food. These, on the other hand, were even ready to pose for the camera.
Next up was the chickens. They were interested in the outside but didn’t want to get out into the cold.
I’ve gone back during the spring and met with the cows, and found out they can slurp water. Such a funny sound. We’ve met with farm babies and more. I highly recommend attending this real working farm multiple times in the season if you can.
The farm has two gardens, one north of the barn and one near the orchard that produced vegetable sand fruit for CSA, local customers, and schools.
They donate over 2000lbs of produce annually. There are also teaching gardens with perennials, vegetables, and herbs.
The farm has an orchard that grows fruit for educational programming and experimentation/research on perennial food. They have Plum, Apple, and Pear trees. There is also a honey hut to observe beekeeping up close.
Hiking & Snowshoeing at Gale Woods Farm
The park has 2.1 miles of limestone hiking trails that goes through the farm and around Lake Flanagan. In winter these are popular with snowshoers.
They also have another trial that branches out to Whaletail lake. There are another 2.3 miles of unpaved hiking trails. They transform into snowshoe trails in the winter.
See Related: Fun things to do at Lake Minnewashta Regional Park
Fishing at Whaletail Lake
A half-mile from the pastures is a fishing pier and non-motorized boat access. Whaletail Lake is known for crappie and panfish.
During Sumer months’ rent a canoe and get out on the lake. Because of the farm animals, the only place they are allowed is on the paved Dakota Regional Trail.
Biking the Dakota Rail Regional Trail
The 25.5-mile paved trail offers a view of Lake Minnetonka, following the route of the Dakota Rail Corridor through St. Bonifacius, Minnetrista, Mounds, Spring Park, Minnetonka Beach, Orono, and Wayzata.
The trail is designed and a multiuse trail, for walking/hiking, biking, running, dog walking, inline skating, and roller-skating. In the winter months, the trail is not maintained, making it better for fat bikes.
Throughout the year the park holds a Farm Market store at their visitor center. You can pick up fresh food like eggs and other goods grown and raised on the farm.
This includes Curiosity Kids with activities to do at home, fibers, yarns, fleeces, and other farm-related products.
You can also participate in the CSA shares through Gale Woods Farm. For a flat fee, you’ll receive 18 weeks of 5-20 pounds of vegetables, berries, melons, and herbs all grown fresh on the farm.
Every week during the summer months, pick up your fresh goods.
Saturday Mornings on the Farm
The farm features a unique educational experience for visitors of all ages. This is just one of the great programs and summer camps the educational farm runs.
Saturday mornings on the farm are a great way to get up and close to thigns you wouldnt normally see. For just $6 per person, visitors of all ages can join in seasonal farm activities.
You’ll get a chance to explore the barn, meet animals, do actives such as collecting eggs and discover what’s growing in the garden.
Wear your farm clothes and get ready to dig in and be active – the program runs rain or shine!
The barn is only open during events like these, so definitely check it out.
Visitors can drop in anytime, but to avoid the line, it’s best to purchase tickets ahead of time by reserving online. Concessions are provided by a local food truck.
Everything goes down between 9:30 and 12. Check the Three Rivers Park page to see which weekends it’s running.
How much does Gale Woods Farm cost?
Gale Woods Farm is part of Three Rivers Park. All Three Rivers Parks are free for everyone to explore. Gale Woods Farm also accepts donations. They also sustain themselves through sales from their gift shop, farmers’ market, and other farming activities.
Does Gale Woods Farm have Farm Babies?
Just like most working farms, Gale Woods Farm has Farm Babies every spring. I highly recommend stopping by and seeing this cuteness in action!
Would I go back to Gale Woods Farm?
Yes, I actually have gone back a couple times. Because it’s so close to the Twin Cities, it make for a great time to just explore the farm.
The photographer in me saw the beautiful hoar frost and jumped in the car. Next time, I will come in hiking boots!