Fort Snelling State Park

After I dropped off my mother at the Minneapolis airport, I decided to find the closest place to go for a long walk. I did not know that this park was closed for most of the summer. Flooding was the issue. It is located at the place where the Mississippi River and the Minnesota River converge. The Dakota call it Bdote. There is a lot of history here. If you visit, please learn all you can at the visitor centers and read the informational signs. It is all very important.

Read more about the Park and current trail conditions here:

Read more about the history of this place here:

Or here:

Most of the trails are on Wita Tanka, also called Pike Island. If you do not already know the appalling history, Wikipedia’s summary is a good place to start. I tried to have an attitude of respect as I walked here.

Now, let’s get to the trails.

old stone fort and overgrown wild plants and a path
The historic fort is only open on Saturdays at this time of year, in the summer it has more hours. This path past the fort is much more overgrown than I remember.
aster and goldenrod flowers
It is overgrown with beautiful flowers that the bees were enjoying.
trail closed sign
Each time I came to a “trail closed” sign, I went a different way. I must have missed one because at one point I came across one of these signs from the back side, meaning that I was already on the section that was closed. Oops.
tree stump
I love seeing life return to old stumps and fallen logs.
yellow catepillar and a leaf
Hello! What kind of creature is this?
trees in a flat green area
Most of the island looks like this: a flat carpet of low greenery and lots of trees.
sandbar extending into a river
Out at the furthest point the Minnesota River flows into the Mississippi.
waves at edge of a river
Interesting wave patterns at the point.
trail going under a freeway structure
Back on the mainland, the Mississippi River Trail goes under the highway. This bike trail goes for many miles in both directions.
stairway going down into the woods
Back up by the fort, I found another way down to the island. Maybe another day.
wood deck with a bench in the woods
This lovely place to rest was right next to that stairway.
feet in grey athletic shoes on a wood deck.
Whew! It was a warm day on Sunday. Stopped to rest.
paper paintings on a table
Before heading home, I stopped off at the studio and had some paint time. Good for the soul.

I just read that Fort Snelling State Park is set to re-open tomorrow, Tuesday, September 17, 2019. When I was there on Sunday the buildings were closed but some trail segments were available. I am glad it is opening so people that go there to enjoy the nature can also learn more about it. This is a great week for it, our weather has been warmer than usual. I saw a few trees starting to turn orange when I was in Central Minnesota last weekend. Fall in Minnesota is glorious. Come and see.

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