Last time I wrote a post about just this park it was 2018. It was a short post with only two photos. This post is a bit different. A lot has changed since then. Something that has not changed is that I still believe this is one of the best places to walk in northern Ramsey County. I included this place in my “Hike in Place” series and I think it is time to revisit it with a post of its own. If you explore this place you can choose your distance. You can stay on the main wide trail or explore the narrow footpaths. The areas where you should not go are clearly labeled. Ramsey County Parks has information you may want to check before you go. Rules sometimes change.
There are swans living here. Three of us saw four swans here the day we chose this place to walk together to remember our friend who was the fourth in our group. On the east side where the stream goes through a culvert under the trail I almost always see deer. A little further south there are three benches that are great for watching the sunset.
I have walked here after a deep snow taking care to not mess up the cross country tracks. On the isthmus it is windy but beautiful and interesting to see how the water on one side of the narrow strip of land might be rough and the other side is more calm. There is a wonderfully gnarled old tree halfway between the parking lots that has inspired my artmaking. I think it is a cottonwood, but I am no expert. Correct me in the comments if you know its name.
When you begin at the north parking lot you can choose a two mile trek through the trees along the east side of the lake, or a one mile trek along the isthmus. If you choose to walk along the south side of the lake to create a loop trail, you will walk next to traffic for almost 2 miles. It is not a busy road but it is curvy without much of a shoulder in places. Drivers do not expect to see walkers and therefore I recommend caution if you choose that route.
Each time I see an article or book about places to hike in the twin cities, I am always surprised that this place is not mentioned. I guess because it is more of a walk than a hike. The main trail is paved most of the way. I see nothing wrong with a walk. The video below is 5 minutes along the footpath on the east side. I like to stop and look around. I do not mind if it takes longer.
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