Rapids Lake Education and Visitor Center


The Rapids Lake Education and Visitor Center is also home to the Minnesota Valley Wetland Management District 

 You can find many activities to enjoy at the refuge. Visit our Visitor Activities page for some ideas, and review our Rules and Regulations to be aware of prohibited activities. 

The Rapids Lake Education and Visitor Center is CLOSED on all federal holidays. Hours are subject to change due to weather-related or other periodic closures. Weather-related closures are listed on our Facebook page. 

Federal holidays include:
  • New Year's Day (January 1)
  • Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. (3rd Monday in January)
  • Washington's Birthday (3rd Monday in February)
  • Memorial Day (Last Monday in May)
  • Juneteenth Independence Day (June 19)
  • Independence Day (July 4)
  • Labor Day (1st Monday in September)
  • Columbus Day (2nd Monday in October)
  • Veterans Day (November 11)
  • Thanksgiving Day (4th Thursday in November)
  • Christmas Day (December 25)
  • Rapids Lake visitor center is closed December 24-January 1

Education and Visitor Center Hours

Hours of Operation: 

Walk-up Information Desk:

  • Summer 2021 Hours: Fridays and Saturdays, 12-4 p.m.



15865 Rapids Lake Rd. (formerly Carver Highlands Dr.)

Carver, MN 55315

Phone: 952-361-4500

TTY: 1-800-877-8339 



Type the center address in to your GPS.  If you type in "Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge", Google, Bing, and Mapquest will bring you to the refuge's Louisville Swamp Unit in Shakopee, MN. 

Driving Directions from Hwy 169:

From Hwy 169 in Jordan, proceed north 3.5 miles on County Road 9 across the Minnesota River (where it becomes County Road 11) to Carver Highlands Drive and turn right. Continue onto Rapids Lake Road.  Follow to the visitor center.

Driving Directions from Hwy 212:

From Highway 212, exit on Jonathan Carver Parkway (County Road 11) and turn south. Proceed 2.5 miles, continuing on County Road 11 by turning left. Proceed 1.9 miles and turn left on Carver Highlands Drive. Continue onto Rapids Lake Road.  Follow to the visitor center.