Encompassing more than 1,500 acres, Belwin Conservancy is more than just one single point on a map. Depending on whether you’re meeting a field trip, looking for the bison, or coming for a hike, you’ll need a different set of directions. Chart a course for your next outdoor adventure below.
Public Hiking – Stagecoach Prairie Trails
Public Hiking – Tallgrass Trails
Open 365 days, dawn to dusk.
We recommend that hikers park at 15551 Division St., Afton, MN, 55001 (aka the bison observation platform parking lot) and access the trails from the trailhead on the north side of Division Street.
Public Hiking — Oxbow Trails
Open for the season
Oxbow Trails, located at 2398 St Croix Trail South, Afton, MN, 55001, opened on June 15th, 2023 and will be open until the first major snowfall. This free parking area is located just off of St. Croix Trail. This is the main parking area for the site.
Bison Observation Platform
Open dawn to dusk, May through October
Parking location: 15551 Division St., Afton, MN, 55001
Belwin Conservancy Office
Belwin’s main office is located at the Education Site, along with the Joseph J Casby Observatory and both Belwin Outdoor Science Classrooms.
Education Site address:
Belwin Conservancy Main Office
Normal office hours: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday. These hours are subject to change. As you enter the driveway from Stagecoach Trail, Belwin’s offices are located in a small building on the right. Park in the gravel lot across the driveway on your left and take the wooden staircase up the hill to access the office.
Classrooms: Belwin Outdoor Science Field Trips
Field trips through Saint Paul Public Schools (SPPS) and Belwin Outdoor Science take place primarily at the Education Site at 1553 Stagecoach Trail South, Afton, MN 55001, at the Hilltop and Wetlands Classrooms.
(This address is also home to Belwin’s main offices.)
Accessing the Hilltop Classroom
If you are coming to meet a field trip, enter the gravel driveway from Stagecoach Trail, pass the gravel parking lot on your left, and turn left at the sign. You will likely encounter a locked gate. Please call the main BOS number to gain access: (651) 744-7967
You’ll proceed up a long driveway through dense pines before arriving at the Hilltop Classroom. There are lots adjacent to the building, as well as overflow lots nearby.
NOTE: (When you first enter from Stagecoach, the small building to the right is Belwin’s Main Office, not the Hilltop Classroom.)
Accessing the Wetlands Classroom
The Wetlands Classroom is used primarily by Saint Paul Public Schools (SPPS) as home to the Belwin Outdoor Science (BOS) special education program. If you are coming to meet a field trip, enter the gravel driveway from Stagecoach Trail, pass the gravel parking lot on your left, as well as the driveway up to the Hilltop Classroom. Proceed straight down the gravel driveway. You will pass through a wetland area with an oak glen on your left. The Wetlands classroom will be about a half mile down the road on your left.
Open during events only.
795 Indian Trail S., Afton, MN, 55001
Joseph J. Casby Observatory
The observatory is located in a prairie on the south side of the Hilltop Classroom. To access the observatory, enter the gravel driveway at Stagecoach Trail, pass the parking lot on your left, and turn left at the sign. Proceed through the gate and up the hill to the Hilltop Classroom. Once at the top of the hill, park in the lot to the right of the building. The observatory is visible on the far side of the parking lot.
Open during events only.
1553 Stagecoach Trail, Afton, MN, 55001
Lucy Winton Bell Athletic Fields
Lucy Winton Belwin Athletic Fields are located south of I-94 on the Hudson Rd. frontage road at 15601 Hudson Rd. N., Lakeland, MN 55043.