Plan Your Visit

Rapids Lake EVC

Information for the Wetland Management District Headquarters

The Minnesota Valley Wetland Management District headquarters is located at the Rapids Lake Education and Visitor Center, between the cities of Carver and Jordan, Minnesota.

Minnesota Valley Wetland Management District Headquarters
Rapids Lake Education and Visitor Center
15865 Rapids Lake Rd. (formerly Carver Highlands Dr.)
Carver, MN 55315
Phone: 952-361-4500
TTY: 1-800-877-8339

**GPS USERS**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.

Education and Visitor Center Hours  

  • Labor Day - Memorial Day: Tuesday - Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
  • Memorial Day - Labor Day: Tuesday - Sunday, 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Points of Interest

There are 29 Waterfowl Production Areas on the district that offer great opportunities for wildlife viewing and observation in Blue Earth, Dakota, Scott, LeSueur, Rice, Sibley, Carver, Steele, and Waseca counties.

Lincoln Waterfowl Production Area has recently been restored and provides prairie and wetland habitat for shorebirds, waterfowl, deer, and grassland songbirds. Cobb River Waterfowl Production Area is a diverse unit containing prairie, wetland, and floodplain forest habitat. This unit is a prime example of the transition zone between northern tallgrass prairie and the forested floodplains of the Cobb River. Designated parking areas on this unit offer a beautiful hilltop view of the wetlands and surrounding prairie.

Know Before You Go

Be prepared, as you may encounter flooding, wet or muddy areas, thorny vegetation, and rough ground during your visit. During warm weather, wear bug spray and sunscreen and bring drinking water. Waterfowl production areas are open to hunting and we recommend wearing blaze orange during hunting seasons.

The Rapids Lake Education and Visitor Center is closed on all federal holidays as well as Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. Hours are subject to change due to weather-related or other periodic closures. 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)
  • 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)