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Recreational Opportunities Abound in Elk River

Recreational Opportunities Abound in Elk River Main Photo

1 Jul 2020


July is National Park and Recreation Month. Celebrate by getting out to play while respecting social distancing. Fantastic recreational opportunities abound in two of Elk River’s beautiful parks, Hillside Park and Orono Park. 

Parks and Recreation Add to a High Quality of Life

Elk River Parks and Recreation brings a great deal of value to the local community. The center is rich in diverse programs and facilities meant to encourage the enjoyment of the natural beauty in Elk River. 

Hiking, biking and kayaking are only a few of the warm weather activities awaiting visitors of local parks. Enjoying the outdoors is a natural mood enhancer, and it also has incredible immunity boosting benefits. Studies show that vitamin D, synthesized in the body by sun exposure, provides cancer-fighting benefits and improves bone health. What better way to boost health than by enjoying the great outdoors in Elk River?

In a time when COVID-19 is limiting social engagement, finding ways to safely enjoy local parks and outdoor spaces can benefit mental health and allow interaction while respecting social distancing.  

Outdoor Recreation Opportunities in Elk River

The Hillside Park and Orono Park are only two examples of the excellent outdoor spaces Elk River has to offer. An extensive list of parks can be found here

Hillside Park

Hillside Park in Elk River is home to six miles of challenging mountain bike trails and is widely regarded as one of the best mountain bike parks in the Upper Midwest. These scenic trails wind through eight acres of beautiful forest, providing a challenging work out for all ability levels.

Orono Park

The sizable Orono Park in Elk River offers 45 acres of recreational fun, including opportunities for fishing, swimming, water skiing, paddle boarding and playing volleyball. The park also includes a smaller dog park for furry friends to enjoy.

How to Respect Social Distancing While Enjoying Local Parks

The best way to avoid the spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses is to avoid crowded spaces and to wear a face mask. These tips may offer further guidance:

  1. Exercise with a family member or close friend. Keep recreational activities close to home, i.e., close to people you already regularly interact with or live with. 
  2. Stick with activities that maintain six feet of distance. Tennis, Standup Paddleboarding, kayaking and mountain biking are great examples of activities that naturally maintain space between individuals. 
  3. Avoid touching potentially contaminated surfaces like picnic tables or public water fountains. 
  4. Carry hand sanitizer or wash hands periodically. 
  5. Exercise during less popular times when the parks aren't as busy. Try to avoid visiting during lunch break or midday.
  6. Call ahead or visit park websites to make sure use is currently permitted. Most parks are allowing visitors but refraining from hosting events or allowing pavilion reservations. 

Learn More


The City of Elk River places a priority on maintaining clean and beautiful parks and green spaces for your enjoyment. Celebrate Park and Recreation Month by striving to spend more time outdoors during the month of July. Learn more about Park and Recreation Month by visiting: www.nrpa.org/July.

City of Elk River Economic Development
13065 Orono Parkway | Elk River, MN  55330
phone 763.635.1000