Located only 30 miles southwest of Minneapolis, in Lake Waconia, “Coney Island of the West” is a relic of the days gone when city dwellers vacationed at nearby lake resorts. Beginning in the late 19th century, hotels, cabins, and dancehalls on the island attracted visitors from near and far. Today, only the crumbled remnants of these structures remain, overwhelmed by resurgent nature.
As development pressures have grown around Lake Waconia, The Trust for Public Land worked with a conservation-minded landowner to acquire and protect the island as an addition to the Carver County Lake Waconia Regional Park. The new parkland provides excellent opportunities for hiking, picnicking, camping, and fishing while also offering key habitat for a wide variety of wildlife, especially shorebirds.
Funding for this project was provided by Carver County, the Metropolitan Council, and a landowner who made a significant donation of land to make this protection possible.