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Rochester Local

Rochester MN Guide to Cascade Lake Park

cascade lake park

Cascade Lake Park is located just 2.5 miles from downtown Rochester. The City of Rochester first developed the Master Plan for Cascade Lake Park in 2004 and in 2019, the first phase opened to the public. In the fall of 2023, construction was completed on a pavilion space, an amphitheater (both available for rent, details below), and an expansion of the playground area. This construction fulfills the majority of the vision of the park.

While Rochester has over one hundred parks, Cascade Lake Park is definitely one you’ll want to check out! 

Address: 88 23rd Avenue SW, Rochester M, 55902.

Directions: Going West on 2nd Street from Highway 52 South, the park is on the right, behind the Shorewood Senior Living Campus.

Hours: Open during daylight hours: 6 AM to dusk. 7 days a week

Park/Beach Rules:

  • No swimming outside the designated swimming area
  • No alcoholic beverages are allowed in the beach area
  • No smoking in the beach area
  • No glass containers in the beach area
  • No dogs in the beach area

Amenities

Playgrounds

Cascade Lake Features two playgrounds, each with accessible walkways and a focus on inclusive design. The newest playground was completed in the late summer of 2023 and added 20,000 square feet of playground space.  The playgrounds are specifically designed for ages 5-12 with a designated area within the newest playground, especially for ages 2-5.

cascade lake park
The newest playground at Cascade Lake Park was completed in the late summer of 2023

The playgrounds also feature poured-in-place rubber surfaces underneath many of the play elements and walkways between the play structures for added safety.  The play structures themselves are made of Robinia wood — this durable wood is common in playground equipment as it is extremely durable, does not splinter, does well in extreme weather conditions, and does not get hot in the summer.

cascade lake park
cascade lake park
cascade lake park

Look for the sandstone carving wall in the northeast corner of the newest playground!  Made out of blocks of local sandstone, there is a rubber-poured surface leading up to the wall for universal access encouraging all to leave their mark on this unique piece of living art.  Go ahead, write on the walls!

cascade lake park
Playground Elements and Map from the Cascade Lake Park Playground Site Plan

Next year during the growing season, you’ll also find a sensory garden with a variety of plants that will provide various textures, smells, and feels.  Don’t miss this part of the park!

cascade lake park
Wide walkways make it easy for scooters, walkers, wheelchairs, strollers, and more to navigate the playground.
cascade lake Park
Sensory Garden Elements from the Cascade Lake Park Playground Site Plan

 

There is a large wooden playground structure with netting for climbing. Younger kids might find the large structure difficult to climb on, so they’ve added a smaller set for little kids. 

photo by Blair Sharp
Be careful, the slide is metal, so it can get extremely hot when the sun hits it! | photo by Blair Sharp

Hit the Beach!

cascade lake park
Cascade Lake Beach | photo provided by the City of Rochester MN

The beach at Cascade Lake is fenced in but there is no lifeguard on duty. There is no shade provided at the beach, so keep that in mind when you’re planning your trip. Remember to bring appropriate life jackets or puddle jumpers and keep a close eye on your kids while swimming. Check out this post for more tips to keep your family safe while swimming.

photo by Blair Sharp

Just outside the beach area, there is a water pump to get the sand off your feet, it has a fun water-play feature too!

If you’ve spent any time in Rochester you know that where you find water, you can find geese…and what they leave behind! So be careful where you walk and don’t feed them. Feeding the geese makes them think that they are welcome, but the city is trying to prevent them from becoming established at the park.

Please make sure to follow all posted signs regarding water & swimming safety. 


cascade lake park

Natural Areas and Relaxation

Cascade Lake Park has several areas for nature exploration or simply enjoying a quiet moment watching the world go by. Check out the tree stump walking path and see if your kids (or you, because we’re all kids at heart) can make the jump from stump to stump! Use the steps or the stumps to climb up the small hill to get to the slide. 

If your kids like music, play a tune on the musical instruments as you walk through the natural vegetation areas.  Make sure to find all of the friendly faces on the trees!

cascade lake park
cascade lake park
cascade lake park

We particularly love these Adirondack Chairs.  Grab a cup of coffee from a local coffee shop, meet a friend, or enjoy a moment of quiet to yourself, and enjoy the view. The city has done an excellent job with the gardens at Cascade Lake Park, no matter where you sit, your view is lovely.

cascade lake park
a perfect spot to enjoy the view

 

Another fun place is the checker tables!  BYO checkers or use rocks you find around the park!

 

cascade lake park
a path with stones made to represent water leads you to another natural exploration area

 


Get Moving

photo by Blair Sharp

Cascade Lake Park is connected to the City of Rochester’s trail system. The trails at the park connect with two different neighborhoods via walking bridges.

photo by Blair Sharp

Get some exercise on the paved trail or go for a walk on one of the paths. There is also a large grassy area that can be used for various activities.


 

Facilities

With the completion of the Cascade Lakeside Building and the Canfield Amphitheater in the fall of 2023, there are now three facilities available for rent at Cascade Lake Park.

Cascade Lakeside Building

cascade lake park
Cascade Lakeside Building | Cascade Lake Park

Cascade Lakeside Building is a great venue for families, and organizations, meetings, receptions, parties, and weddings, or any group of up to 100 people. Daily rental of the building is available from April – October each year.

2024 Rates:

Weekday (Monday – Thursday): $500 + tax

Weekend (Friday – Sunday): $800 + tax

If you are interested in renting out Cascade Lakeside for an event, check date availability and make a reservation on an open date of your choosing. The reservation fee is required when placing a reservation. Contact the Parks and Recreation Department at (507) 328-2525 for reservation details and to make reservations.

 

Canfield Amphitheater

cascade lake park
Canfield Amphitheater | Cascade Lake Park

The Canfield Amphitheater is a great venue for concerts and community events. The amphitheater includes 100 amp and 400 amp power services each with camlocks, multiple hanging points in the ceiling, front of house concrete pad, and over 1,200 square feet of performance space.

2024 Rates: $350 + tax

If you are interested in renting out Canfield Amphitheater for an event, check date availability and make a reservation on an open date of your choosing. The reservation fee is required when placing a reservation. Contact the Parks and Recreation Department at (507) 328-2525 for reservation details and to make reservations.

 

Cascade Lake Picnic Shelter

cascade lake park
Cascade Lake Park Picnic Shelter

Cascade Lake Park Picnic Shelter is a great venue for smaller events. Daily rental of the building is available from May – September each year. The shelter includes picnic table seating for 50 and access to power in the shelter.

2024 Rates: $150 + tax

If you are interested in renting out the picnic shelter for your special event, you can check on date availability and you can make a reservation on an open date of your choosing. Please note the reservation fee is required when placing a reservation. Contact the Parks and Recreation Department at (507) 328-2525 for reservation details and to make reservations.


Cascade Lake Park is a fun and educational place for you and your family to enjoy. Cascade Lake Park has something for everyone.   See you there!

 

This post was first published in 2019

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