Wargo Nature Center

It was back in early December when I was looking for a trail in the north metro area that I had not yet hiked. Wargo Nature Center in Lino Lakes, Minnesota is where I began my journey. My original plan was to explore the Wargo trails, check out the indoor portion of the Nature Center, and then walk from there to Rice Creek Trail North. I have hiked other sections of Rice Creek Trail and wanted to see more of it. Turns out that the walk from Wargo Nature Center to Rice Creek Trail involves walking along the road for over a mile. It is on a peninsula. I am not a big fan of walking along the road so I decided to just explore Wargo.

map of wargo nature center
This route was a little over a mile. The trail became ambiguous at the northern end of the loop. I think just me and the deer were using that portion. What looks like open water on the map is wetland. In early winter it looked like an open field.
snow on a wood deck in a wetland
At the north end of the loop I was not sure I was still on the trail until I came across this wood platform. My guess is that it is a place for groups to pause and observe wildlife.
tall brown grass against the sky
Selecting a point of view that really puts us in the landscape. In my art lately I have been interested in dense overlapping curving forms. This might be part of the reason why.
curved tree with snow
Another interesting overlapping curving form. Some people think trees like this look scary. I think they tell a story. What are the events that caused this tree to grow into this shape?
fallen tree and sign says "a natural event"
Looks like I am not the only one interested in why trees are the way they are.
two trees grown together, one is dead
Life and Death side by side.
I would like to know more about the story behind this one.
Lightning strike from long ago?
wetland in winter and a dock
There is some open water here. Rice Creek Chain of Lakes.
wood dock in a wetland, a bench, and canoes.
Canoe rental available. This is on my list for next summer. It is possible to travel a long way in canoe from here.
deck, lots of big sticks
Someone put a lot of time and effort into making this observation deck like a giant eagle nest. There are informational signs about wildlife and habitat.
observation deck in a wetland
Other observation decks are more plain.
wetland in early winter. flat open field.
This is a place where you can be part of a big open space.
Sometimes plain and empty is good.

I realize that I did not take any pictures of the child-centered nature areas or the inside of the building. This would be a good place to bring kids especially if you check their website ahead of time to see their schedule of programs. I was there late morning on a weekday and it was very quiet. I think on the whole property it was me, the park employee, and a plumber working on the restrooms. The main building was in view almost the whole time I was on this trail. In the summer when the leaves are on the trees it probably will seem more like being deep in the woods. Still, it is a lovely loop trail with great views of the lake and wetland. I was reminded that simple is good.

2 responses to “Wargo Nature Center”

  1. Love the photo of grasses at Wargo Nature Center. Tried to comment on FB posting but ouldn’t post – said it had been removed Just wanted to tell you how much I love the photo and think it would make a great painting.


    1. Hi Claudia!
      You are quick! I noticed a mistake in my post so I deleted and reposted it thinking that I could catch it before anyone noticed! Thanks for your kind comment.


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