Welcome to Schaper Park, home to Minnesota’s first outdoor fitness challenge course, an all-inclusive playground and an access point to the Luce Line Trail.
At this Artventure stop, you’ll find “Freddie” the fox. Freddie is fearless and loves mountain biking. He’s always up for a trail ride – and showing off his tricks. The park’s other inhabitants better watch out!
Fun Fact: The land for Schaper Park was donated to the City of Golden Valley by the Schaper Manufacturing Company, which was headquartered in Golden Valley for many years. In 1948, Herbert W. Schaper transformed a fishing lure into a “Cootie,” a creature with 6 legs, which he then turned into a million dollar game. He would then go on to create other blockbuster games, including Ants in the Pants and Don’t Break the Ice.
Schaper Park Challenge Course
If you have budding American ninja warriors in the family, Schaper Park is the place to be. The outdoor fitness challenge course is designed for ages 13+ and includes obstacles that participants navigate over, under, and through as they race the clock. You can even race against one another in the 40-yd dash, complete with official times.
For the slightly less adventurous types, there is an all-inclusive, 100% accessible play structure designed to meet the needs of kids and families of all ability levels.
Schaper Park is also home to two softball fields (youth and adult), a sun shelter, a shelter building that offers programmed activities and public restrooms.
Hiking & Biking
Hikers and bikers will enjoy the fact that the Luce Line Regional Trail runs straight through Schaper Park. A nine-mile section of paved trail travels from Theodore Wirth Regional Park, through Golden Valley and on to Plymouth. The full Luce Line State Trail is 63 miles in length and extends west into rural Minnesota, terminating at Thompson Lake in Cosmos. Traveling west, Medicine Lake forms a backdrop to wooden bridges that overlook the Bassett Creek marshlands. The trail then passes through suburbs and wooded stretches, across wetlands, near lakes, through tallgrass prairie remnants, and into the countryside over varying surfaces. To the east, the trail links to the Minneapolis Grand Rounds Scenic Byway trail network and skyline views of Minneapolis.
Mountain bike enthusiast will want to stop at Theodore Wirth, which is home to miles of trails and is one of the premier mountain biking locations in the metro area, boasting more than 12 miles of single-track trails, covering all levels of difficulty from beginner to expert.
Theodore Wirth Regional Park
Theodore Wirth is a 759-acre park that offers year-round activities that the whole family with enjoy. In addition to miles of hiking and biking trails, Theo Wirth is home to the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary, which features over 600 plant species and 130 bird species. At the park’s Quaking Bog, a 5-acre acid bog tucked into the wooded hills of the park, you’ll observe dragonflies, frogs and songbirds as you cross a series of boardwalks floating over islands of sphagnum moss.
Theodore Wirth is also home to Wirth Lake and a fabulous beach, which features a floating swimming dock, a fishing pier, a sand volleyball court, a picnic area, a playground/tot lot, dressing rooms and restrooms.
One of the oldest public golf courses in the state, Theodore Wirth Golf Club offers players some of the most scenic views of the Minneapolis downtown skyline. Bassett Creek flows through the front nine, along with a few man-made lagoons, while the back nine features rolling hills and mature trees.
For a mid-day break or a casual family outing, try the Par 3 course, which is nestled among secluded woods and verdant greenery. Or fling some discs on Wirth’s 18-hole Disc Golf course, which runs along the Par 3 course. The tree-lined fairways and rolling elevations are perfect for beginning and intermediate players.
Mill Valley Market
Hungry parkgoers can enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner at Mill Valley Market, a casual grab & go eatery located at The Trailhead building in the heart of Theodore Wirth. They’re known for their locally sourced, organic offerings with gluten-free and vegan options. For breakfast, try their egg sandwich, avocado toast or Belgian waffles. They also serve soups, salads, grain bowls, sandwiches, bison and veggie burgers. For beverages, choose from coffee, tea, cocoa, juice, pop, kombucha, draft beer, wine, and seltzers. When the weather is nice, sit out on the patio and enjoy live music on most Friday nights.
Teresa’s Mexican Restaurant
For additional dining options, head west a short way on Hwy 55 to Hwy 100. Go north to Duluth St and you’ll find Teresa’s Mexican Restaurant, which features authentic Mexican cuisine with classic dishes such as tacos, burritos, enchiladas, flautas, arroz con pollo and more, plus flavorful margaritas.