It is almost June. In Minnesota that means we are in our shortest season: spring. It seems that overnight we went from slush and ice to green plants and baby animals. I especially enjoy wind on my face with the scent of lakewater. The water is not ice and the wind is not cold. It is a welcome contrast.
Signs everywhere remind us to social distance and I appreciate that. In my experience, people on the trails are considerate and give each other space. There are lots more people on the trails than ever before and I think that is a good thing. Nature is healing.
Here are some trails in the Northern Suburbs of St. Paul, Minnesota.
Paved bike trails intersect with grass cross-country ski trails. Rice Creek winds through this park. Dirt trails make the miles more like a hike, less like a walk. Long Lake Park in New Brighton has miles of trails in a variety of surfaces: paved, mowed, and dirt surfaces. There is also a boat launch, beach, a few playgrounds, picnic shelters, and a Railroad Museum. Something for everyone. I was there today and intended to walk every trail in one hike, but after 6.8 miles (11 km) I decided that was far enough. My estimate is that it is possible to walk 10 miles (16 km) within this park without repeating your loops.
A nice spot to watch wildlife. Distance markers every tenth of a mile on the paved trail. Plenty of casual trails here. Minnesota’s largest Butternut tree! Resevoir Woods Park in Roseville has about 2 miles of paved trail and a few additional miles of dirt paths. There is a pedestrian tunnel under Dale Street. I like that. If you want a longer suburban hike, you could combine this walk with a walk in Roseville Central Park which is just one mile north on Dale Street or Victoria Street. To find Minnesota’s largest Butternut tree, you will need to venture onto Resevoir Woods’ dirt paths. It is close to the northwest end of the park. There is something about standing next to a centuries-old living thing that is humbling.
10 mile suburban hike Snail Lake Blvd in spring Island Lake Park Valley Park at the south end of this hike standing on a culvert in Valley Park Grass Lake trail in autumn Grass Lake is the wetland in the northeast portion of this hike. Shoreview City Parks, Roseville City Parks, and Ramsey County Parks are included in this 10 mile (16 km) suburban hike. The parks in this area are such a treasure. This hike included Island Lake Park, Bobby Theisen Park, Crepau Nature Reserve, Lake Judy Park, Valley Park, Lake Owasso County Park, and the Grass Lake portion of Snail Lake-Vadnais Regional Park. My husband hiked this one with me as he prepares for a longer hike later this summer that he hopes does not get cancelled. I know that there are lots of people starting to return to their normal traveling. I’m not yet comfortable with that risk yet. Hopefully I’ll be exploring northern Minnesota trails this summer. In the meantime I am enjoying finding new places close to home and planning more 10 miles suburban hikes. I hope everyone reading this is finding their joy today.
Here is a deer I met at Valley Park.