Chester Woods Park



Collage of Chester Woods Pictures 


The mission of Olmsted County Parks is to foster an appreciation of the natural world through environmental education, natural resource management, and public participation in the stewardship of our park lands. 


Learning life-long lessons in natural places. 


All County Parks buildings and offices are currently closed until further notice. All classes and education programs are cancelled through the summer.

Walking Trails and Horse Trails are open for use. Please practice social distancing while using the trails. Watercraft Rentals are currently not available.

Park Hours: 5:00 AM to 10:00 PM

Highway 14 drainage project detour map near Chester Woods Park

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) is replacing two large culverts on Highway 14 near the entrance of Chester Woods Park.  Coming from Rochester, please follow the posted detour.  MnDOT has posted signs with arrows to help with access to Chester Woods Park.  For more information, please go to MnDOT’s webpage.

Chester Woods Beach and Beach House Hours: 10:00am to 6:00pm Daily

Physical Distancing (six-feet of distance between you and individuals that are not part of your immediate household) is a high priority for beach-goers and masks are recommended, especially inside the beach house.


Chester Woods Park Existing Boat Launch Parking Lot Construction Press Release (60.3 KB)

The Campground is open. Restrooms will also be open with a minimum cleaning routine of 2x/day.

For the protection of all Olmsted County park visitors and to help slow the spread of COVID-19, the Olmsted County Parks department has implemented a new touchless payment system to pay for firewood, park passes, and more.


To access the touchless parks payment system, simply use the camera function on your phone and hold it up to the QR code. When the website for the QR code pops up, click it and you will be taken to the new parks payment website. From there, you will select either Chester Woods Park or Oxbow Park. 

If you are unsure of how to use QR codes, you may simply visit this website: 

Are mobility issues keeping you from enjoying Chester Woods Park?  We have a trac chair available for check out if you have mobility issues.  This would allow you to enjoy Chester Woods Park and all it has to offer.  Please call the park to reserve.


All vehicles entering the park are required to display either an annual or daily entrance permit/park pass. Annual or daily entrance permits, rentals, or camping fees can be paid for at the park entrance by cash, check or credit card.

$5.00 daily or $25.00 annually.
$5.00 daily or $20.00 annually for Senior Citizens
(65 or older).

Park passes may be purchased at Chester Woods Park or at 2122 Campus Dr SE, Suite 200.


Disabled American Veterans get in free of charge.  Please call the Veterans Service Office: 507 328-6355



On July 19, 2017 Chester Woods was hit by an EF0 to EF1 tornado, along with straight line winds.  Below are some photos of the damage that Chester Woods Parks sustained during the storm.

Chester Woods Tornado Damage 1_opt.jpg 

CW Tornado Damage 2_opt.jpg       CW Tornado Damage 3_opt.jpg

CW Tornado Damage 4_opt.jpg 


Chester Woods Park is located on the headwaters of Bear Creek in the rugged bluff country of Southeastern Minnesota.  There are approximately 12 miles of primitive trails winding through a variety of inviting natural habitats in the undeveloped areas of the park.  A mile long hard surfaced trail links the campground, boat launch, fishing pier, and picnic areas.  Motor vehicles and bicycles are restricted to improved roads and designated trails only.

  • Purchased from private developers to assist in the flood control project for the City of Rochester, Chester Woods was finished in late 1994. Federal funding was used in the construction of the park and dam. Total cost of the project was approximately $5,000,000.

Flora and Fauna

  • Whitetail Deer

  • Wild Turkeys

  • Remnant Communities of native prairie plants are scattered throughout the park. These remnants are managed to reduce invasion by other species and encourage propagation of the prairie. 


Chester Woods Park
8378 Highway 14 East
Eyota, MN 55934
Phone: 507 328-7350


 Clean Rochester's Water One Garden At A Time

The link above takes you to the Rochester Stormwater website where you can learn about making a 'rain' garden.