Checkerboard Park (Chisago County)


Picnic table overlooking pond at sunset
Picnic table overlooking pond at sunset
Andrew Oftedal / P&TC

About the park

Minnesota outline with star at Checkerboard Park

A quiet pond and wildlife-rich wetlands welcome visitors to this off-the-beaten-path park near North Branch. Currently, Checkerboard Park is used primarily by locals and some travelers who have discovered it as a well-placed off-leash dog park along Highway 95.

The park is owned and managed by Chisago County. Park facilities include a restroom, large picnic shelter, playground, volleyball court, picnic tables, grills and an off-leash dog park. Visitors can enjoy a one-mile hike on a trail that winds through the woods and around the pond.

Our Work by the Numbers



undertaken by P&TC
for this park



of land saved
for this park



of park's total acreage
P&TC assisted in adding


$45 K

total value of
all land projects*

*Not adjusted for inflation (i.e., could equate to much higher value amount in today’s economy)

Park Map Showing Project Sites

Checkerboard Land Project Stories

1) Vital wetlands saved

TIMELINE: 2020-22


VALUE: $44,800 (at time of purchase)

LOCATION: Northwestern corner of park

The park staff have been working to add this ecologically important 40-acre property for more than a decade. It includes a marshland that connects with the park’s pond and lies adjacent to farmland. The landowner was receiving offers from a commercial sod farmer and other developers. If sold, any new owners would inherit an easement to allow building a road across park property, impairing the park’s ecological integrity.

Parks & Trails Council of Minnesota stepped up to acquire the property in October 2020 to secure it for the park. In April 2022, upon the county receiving a grant from the MnDNR, it was conveyed and officially added as parkland.

Land Projects at Other Parks or Trails

Tour more of the land projects we’ve undertaken for parks and trails.

Related Projects