WELCOME to Thursday Night Hikes 2017!
Thursday Night Hikers are a diverse gathering of people interested in enjoying the many outdoor spaces of the Twin Cities. Hikes are held every Thursday night, 7 pm to approximately 8:30 pm, from March through late November.
Check below for new hikes added each month. Then, join us — there are no fees or reservations — just show up at the evening’s location. Hikes are moderately paced and typically cover about four miles. (We hike in all types of weather unless it becomes severe.)
July 2017 Hikes
July 6, 2017: Pike Island Hike (St . Paul) – Hike Leader: Chris Olson
Join the group for a hike around Pike Island, at the conjunction of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers, in historic Fort Snelling State Park. Pike Island is named for Lieutenant (later General) Zebulon M. Pike, who in 1805 made a treaty with the Dakota to purchase the tract on which Fort St. Anthony, later named Fort Snelling, was built in the years 1820-24.
The Dakota word “B’dote” means confluence and is the name for this place. It has the additional meaning as the place of creation or beginning of the Dakota people and for the world and life itself. Transliterated, “B’dote” became the name “Mendota” for the nearby town, the bridge, and the city.
Directions: From the west: Take Hwy 62/Crosstown Highway east to Highway 55, then proceed south on Hwy 55 towards the Mendota Bridge. Take the “Fort Snelling Historic Sites” exit (between the VA hospital and the Mendota bridge). Follow the signs to the Fort Snelling Historic Sites and park in the Fort Snelling Interpretive Center parking lot. Meet near the river overlook near the interpretive center.
From the east: Head west across the Fort Road/West Seventh Street/Highway 5 bridge from St. Paul’s Highland Park area and take the Highway 55 exit north. Take the “Fort Snelling Historic Sites” exit. Follow the signs to the Fort Snelling Historic Sites and park in the Fort Snelling Interpretive Center parking lot. Meet near the river overlook near the interpretive center. Note: The Fort Snelling Historic Site is different from the Fort Snelling State Park entrance which is off the Post Road exit from Highway 5, just west of the main terminal exit to the airport.
July 13, 2017: Central Park Hike (Roseville) – Hike Leader: Tom Ellerbe
Join the group for a hike around the varied lakes, woodlands, and wetlands of Central Park, the largest park in Roseville.
Roseville, Falcon Heights, Lauderdale, and part of St. Paul originally were Rose Township. Roseville was settled by farmers in the 1840s. The population of the township in 1860 was 499, and by 1880, it had risen to 877. Early immigrants to the area moved from the eastern United States, Germany, Prussia, Ireland, Canada, and Norway.
Directions: From State Highway 36 (which is an east/west highway located due north of the St. Paul Midway district), take Lexington Avenue north approximately 1/4 mile to County Road B2. Turn east (right) on County Road B2 and proceed east ½ mile to Victoria Street. Turn north (left) on Victoria Street and proceed ¼ mile to the park. There will be ball fields to the east (right) and a large parking lot to the west (left). We will meet in the large parking lot to the west.
July 20, 2017: Rice Creek Regional Park Hike (Fridley) – Hike Leader: Chris Olson
Join the hiking group for a hike along Rice Creek in Fridley.
Rice Creek flows through a series of lakes and marshes in southern Anoka and northern Ramsey counties, eventually joining the Mississippi near Fridley. Its drainage basin is in the southern portion of the Anoka Sand Plain, which was formed after the last glacier retreated from the region about 12,000 years ago.
Indians occupied Rice Creek throughout the last 12,000 years, but population increased dramatically during the Middle Woodland period (2,600 to 1,100 years ago). Henry Mower Rice (1816-1894), for whom Rice Creek was named, settled in Manomin, as the area was initially named, in 1849, In 1851, Abram McCormick Fridley (1817-1888), the person for whom Fridley was eventually named, settled in Manomin.
Directions: The parking lot we have historically used for this hike (Rice Creek Regional Park) is currently all dug up and behind a locked fence. The directions to the new parking lot are as follows:
From I-694, take the University Avenue exit and proceed north on University Avenue approximately 1.75 miles. Turn east on the 69th Avenue exit (but instead of taking a second right to 69th Avenue), continue straight on University Service Road. Take University Service Road to 71st Avenue and take a right (east). Follow 71st Avenue to its end which is a parking lot for Locke Park. We will meet in the parking lot.
July 27, 2017: Lebanon Hills Regional Park Hike (Eagan) – Hike Leader: Linda Quammen
Join us for a hike in Lebanon Hills Regional Park’s glacial moraine landscape containing almost 2,000 acres of woodlands, prairies, lakes, and ponds. We’ll be hiking much of the Voyagers Trail, including the newly completed bridge over Bridge Pond. (R.I.P. Crooked Bridge!)
The largest park in Dakota County, Lebanon Hills Regional Park is approximately 40% grassland. The remainder is wetlands and forests dominated by red oak. Flora and fauna are plentiful, including blazing star, pileated woodpeckers, swamp candles and white-tailed deer.
In the 1920’s, during Prohibition, this secluded area was exploited by bootleggers.With the passage of the 1974 Metropolitan Parks Act, the current regional park was formed and 99.5% of the land within the park boundaries was acquired.
Directions: Take I-35E south to the Cliff Road exit and go east on Cliff Road 3.6 miles to the Lebanon Hills Regional Park Visitor Center entrance, which will be on the right. Follow the road to the Visitor Center and meet in the parking lot close to the Visitor Center.
Afterward, you’re invited to join Linda at the Mason Jar restaurant’s patio for drinks, apps and conversation. The Mason Jar is on Cliff Road midway between Lebanon Hills and 35E, off Thomas Center Drive.