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.)
June 2017 Hikes
June 1, 2017: Trout Brook Hike (St . Paul) – Hike Leader: Chris Olson
Join the group for a hike along the Trout Brook hiking/biking trail in St. Paul, another “rails to trails” trail development. Trout Brook flows through St. Paul, was a tributary to Phalen Creek, and is the outlet of McCarron Lake in the former Rose Township.
Trout Brook was named after Edmund Rice’s Trout Brook Estate, which was sold to the Northern Pacific in 1883. Edmund Rice (1819-1889) was born at Waitsfield, Vermont, came to Minnesota in 1849, was a lawyer and president of the Minnesota & Pacific RailRoad and the St. Paul & Pacific RailRoad.
Trout Brook and Phalen Creek, which drains Lake Phalen, joined together, and once formed a wetland at the Mississippi River. The bridging of this wetland was a costly headache for the City of St. Paul in the mid and later Nineteenth Century. Baptist Hill, an unwanted mound of glacial drift 50 feet high, in what is now Mears Park, was carted away to fill this wetland. In 1893, city engineer George Wilson undertook the task of burying the lower reaches of these streams, even though some other segments had been roofed over before this. Wilson’s handiwork still exists, distinguished by its Platteville Limestone rubble masonry walls and steel beam ceiling.
Directions: Take I-35E north out of downtown St. Paul to the Maryland Avenue exit. Go west (left) on Maryland about 1/2 mile to Jackson Street and turn north (right) on Jackson Street. Proceed on Jackson Street approximately 1/2 mile to Arlington Avenue. Turn west (left) on Arlington and go about 1/8th mile and park at the U. S. Post Office Rice Street Station, 40 Arlington Avenue East, parking lot, on the south side of the street.
June 8, 2017: Boom Island/Nicollet Island Hike (Minneapolis) – Hike Leader: Tom Ellerbe
Join the hiking group for an urban walk on the wild side around the environs of Minneapolis’ Boom Island Park.
Boom Island was the center of commercial activity in the “Upper Town” portion of St. Anthony. It was owned by Pierre Bottineau until he sold it to Franklin Steele in 1848. In 1849, Steele completed the original plat of St. Anthony, which eventually merged into Minneapolis. Franklin Steele was the father-in-law of Henry Hastings Sibley, Minnesota’s first governor as a state. An 1893 fire destroyed everything on Boom Island.
The hike route also includes Nicollet Island and the James J. Hill bridge over the falls of St. Anthony. St. Anthony Falls were the steepest drop on the entire river before the falls were significantly altered to provide water power for sawmills and grain mills early in Minneapolis’ history. The route passes by the outlet of Bassett Creek, Minneapolis’ best-known subterranean stream.
Directions: From downtown Minneapolis, take Washington Avenue north to Plymouth Avenue and take a right. Go across the river on the Plymouth Avenue Bridge to Boom Island Park. Park either in the Boom Island Park parking lot (a Minneapolis Park Board pay parking lot) or park for free on the street across Plymouth Avenue from the park on nearby Sibley Street Northeast or on nearby Ramsey Street Northeast.
June 15, 2017: Nine Mile Creek (Bloomington) – Hike Leader: Linda Quammen
Join the group for a hike in Bloomington along the scenic Nine Mile Creek as it races toward the Minnesota River.
Nine Mile Creek received its name from its distance measured southwest from Fort Snelling to where the Old Shakopee Trail crossed the creek. Peter Quinn (1787-1862) and his wife, Mary Louise Findley, a Metis Cree woman he married in Winnipeg, were the first inhabitants of Bloomington. They were employed by the Federal government in 1843 to teach farming skills to the Dakota. In 1849, they were followed by William Chambers and Joseph Dean, who ran the Bloomington Ferry. In 1852, the Goodrich, Whalon, and Ames families came to the area, naming it for their hometown, Bloomington, Illinois.
Directions: Take I-35W south from downtown Minneapolis to the West 106th Street exit in Bloomington, exit and go west (right) on West 106th Street to Morgan Avenue South and turn north. Continue on Morgan Avenue South to West 104th Street and Moir Park. The group will meet in the parking lot of Moir Park.along Morgan Ave.
June 22, 2017: Hidden Falls Hike (St. Paul) – Hike Leader: Chris Olson
Join the hiking group for a hike south along the Mississippi River from Hidden Falls in the Highland Park section of St. Paul.
In 1887, Hidden Falls Regional Park was selected by Horace W. S. Cleveland, a nationally known landscape architect and park planner from Chicago, as one of four major park sites for the city of Saint Paul. Plans for both Minneapolis and St. Paul park systems were originally developed by Cleveland in the late nineteenth century, who had the foresight to envision an interlinking network of scenic drives, parks, and river boulevards for the “United Cities”, and to understand the importance of preserving some of the natural features of the land adjacent to the cities’ lakes and rivers.
No improvements were made in Hidden Falls Park until 1936-1937 when the Works Progress Administration (WPA) under President Franklin D. Roosevelt carried out an extensive improvement program on the site. Featured in the park was a small spring-fed waterfall from which the park got its name. The waterfall is created by an underground aquifer fed by a large area of the county.
Directions: From I-94, on the western edge of St. Paul, take the Cretin/Vandalia exit and go south about 1.5 miles on Cretin Avenue to Randolph Avenue and turn west (right). Proceed on Randolph Avenue a few blocks to Mississippi River Boulevard and proceed south (left) on Mississippi River Boulevard under the Ford Avenue/46th Street Bridge, just past the Ford plant, to the park entrance, Hidden Falls Drive, just north of where Magoffin Avenue connects with the Parkway. This is the north gate to the park. Take Hidden Falls Drive down the hill to the parking lot and meet by the picnic shelter, near the northeast corner of the parking lot.
June 29, 2017: Langford Park Hike (St. Paul) – Hike Leader: Linda Quammen
Join the group for a hike in St. Anthony Park around the charming neighborhood encircling Langford Park.
The neighborhood’s largest park, Langford Park, is named for former Saint Anthony Park resident Nathaniel P. Langford, who helped create the world’s first national park, Yellowstone National Park.”
Directions: From Hwy 280 exit on Energy Park Drive and go east to Raymond. Take a left on Raymond followed by a left on Blake, and then a left on Langford. Park along the park or surrounding streets. We’ll meet at the southern end of the park.