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Oct 08

Enjoying Autumn with your Owatonna Parks and Trails

Posted on October 8, 2020 at 9:59 AM by Jessica Abrahams

Author: Jessica Abrahams, Administrative Technician

While it’s always hard watching summer come to an end, I think most of us can agree fall is a great time of year.  Who doesn’t love the beautiful colors or cooler temperatures?  Fall is a great time of year to get out and explore your Owatonna parks and trails!  Here are four reasons to get out now and see what you can find, right here in Owatonna.

1) The weather!  I think this is the main reason I love fall so much.  Our family loves to spend time outdoors and fall's temperatures make it the best season to do so.  The air feels refreshing and no one’s complaining about the heat while we’re out enjoying the Owatonna parks and trails.  I’ve always enjoyed all temperatures we’re lucky to experience in Minnesota (yes, even the cold temperatures) but it is nice to not have to wear too many layers or feel sluggish because of the heat, and just enjoy some temperate weather.

2) Beautiful scenery.  Next, there’s the beautiful fall scenery and the beautiful colors of the leaves.  It always amazes me to see what beauty nature can provide all on its own.  The fall colors are just one more reason to get outdoors and visit a local park or trail; you won’t be disappointed by what you see.  

3) No more bugs.  You no longer hear the buzz of mosquitos!  Also, most of the pollen has cleared up and you won’t find many other annoying pests.  Overall, the outdoors is a more comfortable, inviting place to explore.

4) Your dog loves fall too!  Dogs across area are breathing a sigh of relief now that the temperatures are dropping.  With his/her fur coat no longer a burden, your dog is looking forward to joining you on those nature walks.  Additionally, it’s a great time of year to visit the Owatonna Dog Park to let your pooch run free and possibly make a new friend.

While many fall activities and events aren’t the same as in years past, we’ve got a variety of ways to keep you active, engaged and to have fun this fall.  Check out what we’re offering this autumn season.

Virtual Costume Contest
Post a picture of your ghost or goblin in their Halloween costume on our Facebook page or email it to: by 11/2. The costumes will go to a vote and the top 2 will receive an electric scooter!  Prizes donated by Harland’s Tire & Auto Center.

Park Passport
The Park Passport program is an initiative of Owatonna Parks and Recreation to promote healthy lifestyle choices.  The program encourages families and individuals to explore our parks and trails and exercise by walking the mapped trails. The program is FREE and all access to the parks is FREE!

  • Get your passport on the Park & Rec website or at the Park & Rec Office.
  • Visit the parks listed and find the hidden password.  Parks will have a small sign mounted to a post along the trail.  The signs are approximately 2’-4’ from the ground.  Each sign has a word on the back.  All signs will be up from September 23 to October 21.  
  • Reveal the phrase!  Write the hidden password for each park/trail in the appropriate box to reveal the message.  Submit your completed passport by October 26.
  • Enjoy your time in the parks!  The ten Passport Parks and Trails are Mineral Springs Park, Leo Rudolph Nature Reserve, Dartts Park, Buxton Trail, North Straight River Parkway, Kaplan’s Woods Trail, 18th Street Trail, Manthey Park, Muckle Trail and Kaplan’s Woods Parkway.  A completed passport equals 11 miles of trail walking.

Dog’s Got Talent
Does your dog have talent?  Show us!  Submit a video by October 26th, either by Facebook messenger to Owatonna Dog Park or by email to:  Winner determined by Facebook popular vote.  Check out Owatonna Dog Park's Facebook page for more details.  Prizes sponsored by Farmer's Feed & Pet Supply.

Park Clean Up Kits
Help us keep Owatonna’s parks beautiful!
  • Sign up online on the Park & Rec website.
  • Pick-up your bucket of supplies at the park shop.
  • Clean-up a park or trail using our pickers & garbage bags.
  • Leave the trash near a garbage can & drop-off the bucket at the park shop!

Brooktree Golf Course
It’s a great time of year to get a round of golf in and Brooktree is offering fall rates.  Visit their website or call 5007-444-2467 for more information.

West Hills Social Commons
West Hills Social Commons recently re-opened!  Current hours: Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8:00am-4:00pm. We are offering a limited amount of programming for our Adult Leisure Pursuits members. Please check the website, Facebook page and the newsletter. If you have any questions, please call Dani Bakken at 507-774-7110.  

West Hills Tennis Center Hours  
The Tennis Center at West Hills recently re-opened!  Current hours: Monday-Thursday: 3:00pm-9:00pm; Tuesday/Thursday: 8:00am-11:00am; Friday: 3:00-7:00pm; Saturday: 8:00am-12:00pm; Sunday: 12:00pm-4:00pm.  For information call the Tennis Center at 507-444-4290.

Stay Connected

We offer a variety of ways for you to stay updated and connected. 

  • Follow us on Facebook on the following pages:
    • Owatonna Parks and Recreation
    • West Hills Social Commons
    • River Springs Water Park
    • West Hills Tennis and Fitness Center
    • Owatonna Dog Park
  • Visit our website: