Cleary Lake Regional Park Master Plan

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Scott County Parks and Trails and Three Rivers Park District are working to update the Cleary Lake Regional Park Master Plan. Factors given consideration during the master plan update process will include changes in demographics of park users and the surrounding communities, as well as evolution of recreation trends. The goal of the process is to develop a plan that provides a detailed vision to make Cleary as welcoming and relevant as possible for future park users.

The park, located just south of Prior Lake and Savage, includes the following amenities available in the spring, summer and fall: paved and natural surface trails, a nine-hole golf course, boat rentals, swimming beach, picnic areas, volleyball courts, paddling and fishing opportunities, camping, and rental pavilions. In the winter, the park offers trails (some groomed and lighted) for cross-country skiing, winter biking, skijoring, and snowshoeing. The park also offers a very popular dog park that is open year-round.

This project will guide the park’s development, including recreation, conservation, and stewardship plans, for the next 20 years.

The draft concept plan is coming soon! Check back on this site or visit the Cleary Lake Regional Park Facebook page for updates. In the meantime, if you'd like to make comments about the project, please leave your comment in the Guest Book below or click the link below to view an interactive map of the park and post comments directly on the map.


View the Map



Scott County Parks and Trails and Three Rivers Park District are working to update the Cleary Lake Regional Park Master Plan. Factors given consideration during the master plan update process will include changes in demographics of park users and the surrounding communities, as well as evolution of recreation trends. The goal of the process is to develop a plan that provides a detailed vision to make Cleary as welcoming and relevant as possible for future park users.

The park, located just south of Prior Lake and Savage, includes the following amenities available in the spring, summer and fall: paved and natural surface trails, a nine-hole golf course, boat rentals, swimming beach, picnic areas, volleyball courts, paddling and fishing opportunities, camping, and rental pavilions. In the winter, the park offers trails (some groomed and lighted) for cross-country skiing, winter biking, skijoring, and snowshoeing. The park also offers a very popular dog park that is open year-round.

This project will guide the park’s development, including recreation, conservation, and stewardship plans, for the next 20 years.

The draft concept plan is coming soon! Check back on this site or visit the Cleary Lake Regional Park Facebook page for updates. In the meantime, if you'd like to make comments about the project, please leave your comment in the Guest Book below or click the link below to view an interactive map of the park and post comments directly on the map.


View the Map



Cleary Lake Regional Park Master Plan Comments

Please share your feedback about Cleary Lake Regional Park and how it can better meet the needs of park guests and residents.

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Cleary Lake is a wonderful park, but it is becoming quite crowded. That is a good thing, however, I agree with the user who suggested developing Spring Lake to add an additional destination to the parks. one suggestion I do have is to dedicate a path specifically for biking, perhaps simply widen the walking path to include an additional lane, marked specifically for biking. I say this because although a majority of those biking the trail are courteous and mindful, there are those who fly around the path as though it is only a bike path, do not alert walkers/joggers they are approaching, and are simply oblivious or just don't care about others using the path. I walk/jog the path often and have encountered this at an increasing rate. I understand we do not want the entire park paved, but this really is an issue.

Larry 5 months ago

The bulk of the commenters appear to neglect the Nature based aspects of Cleary Lake and all the regional parks. With every trail, construction project, snowmaking, bonfires it is a cut to the natural resource base that increases fragmentation and reduces habitat for wildlife, increases entre for invasive species and adds pollution to the air, water and land. The lack of reliable snow is due to global warming. Snowmaking uses more energy, often from fossil "fools" exacerbating the problem. Bonfires add more air pollution particularly in the form of small particulates that can be breathed deep into the lungs. Trails increase sedimentation into water bodies--I note in the photo that Cleary Lake looks to have excess nutrients and is very green and, paved trails often have salt used on them that runs off into lakes and can kill fish and turtles, not to mention the salinization of ground water used for drinking. I encourage commenters and park planners to think carefully about why they visit the regional parks and the impacts fulfilling every wreckcreational aspiration.

Needing Nature 9 months ago

Cleary is so close to Spring Lake Regional Park... which has yet to be seriously developed. I see many comments (and I concur!!) about the crowds at Cleary... if Spring Lake can offer similar activities maybe that can take some pressure off Cleary. Are plans for the two being done in parallel? The visitors must come from the same general area.

BW Paddler 10 months ago

I recently attended an outdoor event at Whitetail Woods Regional Park at the Empire Lake Shelter. I absolutely loved the idea of a large bonfire area just outside a shelter with rest rooms and modest electricity options. The event happened to be a Celebration of Life for a family member, but the ability to be outdoors, handicap accessible for elderly relatives, rest rooms, bonfire, picnic tables and shelter for food or in our case a memorial "wall" was just perfect. I would love to see maybe the back side of the visitor center expanded to offer something large like this - or maybe modify the shelter by the lake.

The indoor shelter is also unique and appreciated.

Lastly - CAMPER CABINS are a hot item at MN parks YEAR ROUND. Frequently booked well in advance and I have read they can pay for themselves in three years. The ones in Whitetail Woods regional park were made in coordination with a HS project/class... If you had a portion of them allow DOGS, that would be a unique feature and you'd be booked solid because it is rare.

BW Paddler 10 months ago

I would very much agree that it would be great to add snowmaking for cross country ski trails. I believe this would about double the amount of days that the trails would be available for suitable skiing.

Teddy 10 months ago

I would love to see cross country ski trails with snow making at Cleary Lake.
The snow making trails at Hyland and Elm Creek have been such a success, but are often busy and skiers (individuals, families, schools, teams) need a place with reliable snow in the South metro in addition to Hyland.

I paved outer loop around the park for biking, walking, running, roller-skiing, would be awesome as well, in order to make the trail system more usable in the summer and keep users off of busy/dangerous roads.

Zach 10 months ago

With the lack of snow lately we really need another park with snowmaking for xc skiing. Hyland and Theodore Wirth are very very busy and would be nice to have something south of the river. The trails are well kept and great for beginners or for going easy. Frustrating when there are walkers on the ski trails since we have such a short ski season.

Heidi 10 months ago

Cleary is a wonderful park, glad to hear it's future is being carefully considered. A couple thoughts: New single track mountain bike trail that could be groomed for a single or double classic XC ski trail in winter. Additional paved walking/biking loop. Retain snowmobile trail on North side of park as it connects other Scott county trails to city of Prior Lake. Surrounding roads are very dangerous for foot/bike traffic, perhaps doing a paved loop around the park just inside the exterior boundary. Would add significant mileage to trail system while not chewing up interior greenspace. I would be curious to see statistics if golf course usage justifies large land use and expense vs other uses. Snow making on XC trails sounds interesting, but would be worried trail/park infrastructure would be overwhelmed. Hyland is a complete zoo of people and busses, is that desirable at Cleary? -Thank you

Dave M 10 months ago

Be great if you could add snowmaking for xc skiing! Nice easy loops exist for new or novice skiers. With snowmaking you can help ensure greater usage, better ski lesson potential, and a prolonged season.

Tim D 10 months ago

Snowmaking and fatbike trails in winter, singletrack in summer. Better kayak access.
Separate pavement into walking and wheeled trails.

Dale V 10 months ago

With increased usage, making paved multi-use trail one-way might be good idea. Would like to see a fat-bike/summer unpaved bike trail. Most of the unpaved summer hiking ski-trails are very underused and perhaps could be an option. Northwest access trail at Revere/Eagle Creek Ave/170th St is sorely in need of a redo for traffic, bike and pedestrian safety.

Dave P 11 months ago

LOVE the park - I am a 25 year user from Prior Lake. I bike and golf in summer, walk year round, ski and snowshoe in winter. My biggest concern: I would like to see important improvements to water access. Like others have said, the water access for personal kayaks, canoes and paddle boards is way too limited now. The boat launch across from the beach is poor and needs a complete overhaul, including widening the access along with a sandy bottom from which to enter the water on foot/small craft, just like the beach area currently at boat rental area (which I have been scolded by staff to not use my first and only time early morning when no one was around! really? )

Lynne about 1 year ago

I would like to see greater sustainability efforts at Cleary Lake. At a minimum, there should be recycling receptacles outside the visitor center, throughout the picnic areas and in the campgrounds. It would also be great if the park supported and promoted Scott County's newer organics recycling initiative and offered organics recycling. Considering the mission of Three Rivers is to "promote environmental stewardship" it's disappointing that Cleary and other area Three Rivers Parks lack even basic recycling.

It would also be great if Three Rivers lowered the cost for EV charging. The current rate is over 3x what I pay to charge at home, which I think explains why the EV charging spots are almost always open. If this was a quick charge station, you could get by charging a higher rate, but not for a Level 2 charger like this which many businesses and organizations like Dakota County Parks provide for free.

Tom S about 1 year ago

I've been xc Nordic skiing in Cleary Park since 1980. It's my favorite place to ski. There were two tracked ski tracks available so two people could ski side by side or have one person going faster and the other going more slowly without changing tracks. About a dozen years ago that all changed with widening the trail to accommodate ski skaters. One of the Nordic tracks was taken away. Now there's just one Nordic track. It has totally changed the experience. Ski skaters often cross over the Nordic track and mess up the one good track. Ski skaters need about 7 or 8 feet to ski with one person. Nordic skiers need half that for two skaters.

I request that this Master Plan include areas that are just for a double tracked Nordic ski trail. There are large areas of the park that are unused that could be developed. Those new trails could also be used for hiking in the summer.
A second request is for snow making capability at Cleary. We often have ski trails that are unusable because of lack of snow. Thank you. Please contact me. I'd like to visit a meeting.

Barbara M about 1 year ago

We love skiing and hiking at Cleary Lake. We'd like to have car camping options.

Jim MB about 1 year ago

There needs to be access to the park and trails from the south near the dog park off County 68. Currently access is prohibited on the road by the maintenance area. There are considerable neighborhoods to the south and folks there must either drive to the park or brave the narrow and dangerous county roads on foot or bicycle to the main entrance.

John B about 1 year ago

Please create a safer paved trail. Bicyclist and rollerbladers do not abide by the signaling requirement when passing and they also go very fast.

Please keep the back hiking trails open during the summer.

Dave about 1 year ago

I have run around it a couple times a week for many years as a marathon runner. I’ve got to know several familiar faces of runners and bikers. It is one of the few places we can get out for safe miles for training. Navigating around strollers and dogs either on long leads or not on a leash at all can be a problem at times. My two favorites are the water fountains and the nature there, but wish it was easier for people working out and people out with families to share the space.

Spencer about 1 year ago

Have more restoration events: reduce the Buck Thorn!
Consider adding an education wing/barn & house a herd of goats (for both education & restoration use throughout Three Rivers Parks)
Continue to increase the rain gardens to improve water quality in Cleary Lake.

Lori about 1 year ago

Great place for party's and family gatherings.

Al about 1 year ago
Page last updated: 11 Mar 2022, 11:50 AM