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Local municipal-run Parks & Recreation Departments oversee a range of recreational programming and special events, plus a number of community parks and facilities. Spending a day outdoors is a pleasure in the SouthWest Metro, as residents have plenty of open space, trails, recreation centers and amenities such as playground equipment, athletic fields, and courts at their disposal.

The area is also served by Three Rivers Park District, which manages the extensive Carver Park Reserve in Victoria. The park reserve hosts a large wildlife population and features four lakes, the Lake Auburn Campground and an extensive trail system that weaves around the historic Grimm Farm site, the King Waterbird Sanctuary and the Lowry Nature Center. The trails are designed for hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling and equestrian use. In addition, the trail system provides a link to the Southwest Hennepin Regional LRT Trail.

The SouthWest Metro boasts acres upon acres of the state-operated Minnesota Valley State Recreation Area as well. This site preserves part of the Minnesota River Valley and offers the scenic multi-use Minnesota Valley Trail, which runs along the Minnesota River. People come to the trail for biking, hiking, cross-country skiing, horseback riding, mountain biking and snowmobiling. The state recreation area is also ideal for campers and nature and wildlife enthusiasts.

The communities of the SouthWest Metro and their neighbors host a number of outstanding golf courses, both public and private. Golfers of all skills levels find the area’s well-maintained courses and quality amenities quite appealing when it comes to spending a day on the greens. Dahlgreen Golf Club in Chaska is a challenging public 18-hole championship course set in a country park-like environment. Sloped fairways, changing elevation and the presence of many stately, mature trees provide for a testing day out. In addition to the course, guests can take advantage of the stocked pro shop, lessons from Head Golf Professional & Lead Teaching Professional Jacob Hindermann and The Willows Bar & Restaurant, which is perfect for dining out or hosting a variety of special events.

In addition to Dahlgreen Golf Club, Victoria hosts the Deer Run Golf Club, Chanhassen invites players to Bluff Creek Golf Course and Watertown features the Timber Creek Golf Course. Plus, Chaska is home to the Chaska Town Course and Hazeltine National Golf Club, which hosted the 2009 PGA Championship, along with other well-known national tournaments.

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