Lebanon Hills is a complex park, and the names and web site descriptions are misleading.
There are park divides into 3 regions divided vertically from west to east by John Cake Ridge Road and Pilot Knob Road:
The East Park is a large and wet region east of Pilot Knob and South of Cliff Road. This section has canoe and hiking trails in the summer, and ski trails in the winter. The Carriage Hills entrance is north of Jensen Lake. (Fall 2011 Trail Map). There are other entrances at Holland Schulze Lake.
The West Park would be better named the West and Middle Park. The middle section between Johny Cake and Pilot Knob is primarily equestrian with some hiking trails. in the winter there is cross country skiing there.
The "West" "West" Park is west of Johny Cake. This is mountain biking and hiking in summer, cross-country skiing in winter.
Alternatively, think of it this way:
- Mountain biking: strictly the far West section. Enter off Johny Cake Road at the northern tip of the far west section.
- Equestrian: the middle section
- Canoe: the East park, probably enter at Jensen Lake for the portages.
- Hiking: All three, but the East looks best. I think the Jensen Lake entrance is a de facto local dog park.
- Nordic Skiing: East park, especially around Schulze, Portage and Marsh Lakes. Main trail access is at the Schulze Lake visitor center (though as of Fall 2011 that is under construction) but I bet Jensen Lake is nice too. From Jensen Lake you can ski across (under Pilot Knob Road) to the equestrian section, they'd be wide trails in winter with some nice runs. I wonder if people (illegally) skijor there. The far West section looks to have the most exciting nordic skiing and has skating trails.
- Fishing: Holland Lake off Lexington and Cliff Road has a dock.
I recently wrote a post about the trailhead upgrades at the mtb section of the park on my blog MN Bike Trail Navigator. http://mnbiketrailnavigator.blogspot.com/2012/02/new-upgrade-project-underway-at-lebanon.html?m=0
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