Crow-Hassan Park Reserve
Location: Rogers, MN
Management: Three Rivers Park District
Trail Surface: Sand, Dirt
Environment: Prairie, Oak Forest, Small lakes and ponds (no water crossings)
Degree of Difficulty: Easy / Moderate
Cell Phone Reception: Excellent
Parking: Plentiful, no charge
Dog Rules: Dogs on Leash
Far and away one of my favorite hiking destinations, Crow-Hassan Regional Park encompasses sprawling prairie with wooded areas and ponds. There are 10 miles of dog-friendly hiking trails, but I tend to do the same track every time I visit. It’s that good! My favorite route, highlighted on the map below, is about 3 miles and about 1.5 hours to complete. I tend to take my time and make stops, especially at the lake to let the dogs cool off.
From the parking lot, head north through the woods. This is a nice shaded deciduous forest primarily consisting of oaks. The mosquitos and deer flies can be vicious in the summer, so bring bug spray! Once you get out onto the prairie, though, the wind is plenty of deterrent to keep the bugs off. After about half a mile, you’ll exit the trees and walk out onto the open grasslands. The view is wonderful, and there isn’t a soul around. It’s the perfect place to let all your cares and worries slip away as you feel the wind in your hair and the sun on your face.
The trail you’re on is a horse trail, so the sand can sometimes become deep. I’d definitely recommend hiking boots to avoid getting sand in your shoes. It’s a great calf workout! Depending on which day/time you visit, you may or may not encounter people on horseback. If you do, please step to the side of the trail, bring your dogs in close, and let the horses pass by. It is helpful to talk to the riders as they approach so that the horses don’t interpret you as a scary bystander. If your dog hasn’t seen horses or is unsure, have some treats handy and feed continually as the horses pass by. This will lead to a positive experience for your dog.
Choose Your Loop
As you enjoy the grasslands, you will come to a trail intersection. If you continue straight, you’ll go on the shorter loop. If you take the furthest right, you can increase your trail time by taking a longer loop. The trail to the right is a nice quiet one that goes back behind a grove of trees. Sometimes you can see deer. After meeting back up with the main trail, continue on down to the lake. There is a small, offshoot trail to the right that takes you down to the water. My dogs LOVE this spot, and I bring a tennis ball in my pack for them to retrieve. This is a wonderful little swimming hole! If you’re not feeling like an ambitious hike, you can leave the parking lot and go down the road for a more direct route to the lake. There are picnic tables back on the main trail that overlook the lake, and this is where I always take a short break for a snack and some water. You can look out over the water and enjoy the breeze on your face. Sometimes there are swans or geese visiting.
Eventually, the trail meets up with a service road that takes you back to the parking lot under large oak trees. By the end, you should have a tired, happy dog!! I’ve been coming here often for the past year and a half. Every season is beautiful, and it is always a fulfilling hike!
Notes: I almost always take a daypack on this trail. It’s really important to keep you and your dogs hydrated, so I bring water and a popup travel water bowl. I also bring a snack like an apple or granola bar for added fuel. Bug spray for me and specific dog-friendly bug spray for the dogs (Mica is particularly sensitive allergically to mosquito bites) and sunscreen also go in the pack. Wear layers because you’ll likely shed a few along the way and bring sturdy hiking boots or shoes you don’t mind getting sand in. Please take care to stay on the trail, even if there is mud or standing water (rare on this trail), because deviating affects the natural landscape and widens the trail unnecessarily. Always pack in pack out, which means clean up dog waste and bring all trash back with you to the trailhead.
Trailhead: This is a large parking area which usually has one or two horse trailers. There are pit-style restrooms and a water hand pump. There are picnic tables for resting and a display with trail/area information.
How To Get There
Pictures From the Trail!