Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Guided tours
Backcountry camping
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Chester Woods Park is a popular Olmsted County park located east of Rochester, Minnesota. Recreational activities enjoyed by visitors include picnicking, camping, hiking, bicycling, horseback riding, water sports, swimming, and fishing.

There are about 15 miles of primitive trails that lead visitors through a variety of natural habitats in the undeveloped areas of the park. Horseback riding is allowed on some of these trails.

In the winter, there are 5 miles of groomed trails for cross-county skiing. The trails allow for both classic and free-style skiing. Snowshoeing and fat tire biking can also be enjoyed during the winter. There are no ski or snowshoe rentals available at the park.

Fishing on Chester Lake is a popular activity. Anglers can fish from the shore (there are several fishing docks available) or by boat. The types of fish found in the lake include crappie, bass, panfish, catfish, and northern pike. There is a boat landing in the park. Be aware that gas power boat motors are not allowed, electric trolling motors only. The park offers canoes, paddle boats, paddleboards, and kayaks for rent. Chester Lake has a swimming beach and beach house with showers that is open from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend.

There are many handicap accessible features at Chester Woods Park including campsites, a fishing dock, and a paved trail. One unique offering at the park is Action Trackchairs. These Action Trackchairs are “ultimate all-terrain wheelchair!”; they allow users to venture onto the park’s trail system despite uneven terrain. The Action Trackchairs available for use for free.

The park has a drive-in campground with a total of 50 sites. There are 41 sites that have electric hookups with 50-amp service. There are two wheelchair accessible sites in the campground with electric service. There are also two camper cabins in the campground and two canoe-in campsites in the park.

Unlike Minnesota state parks, there is no fee to enter the park. The Chester Woods Park official website can be found here.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Wide variety of activities available.


Bugs can be annoying at times.


ADA accessible
Vault toilet
Boat ramp(s)
Family friendly
Flushing toilets
Rental facilities
Dump stations
Picnic tables
Near lake or river
Horseback riding
Potable water
Covered picnic areas


Nearby Lodging + Camping


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