September 7, 2017: Wood Lake Park Hike (Richfield) – Hike Leader: Tom Ellerbe
Join us for a hike around the varied environs of the Wood Lake Nature Center in Richfield.
Wood Lake is a lake that has turned into a freshwater marsh over recent decades. The Wood Lake Nature Center is a 150-acre park with walking trails that include a 600-foot long floating boardwalk through the marsh. More than 200 different kinds of birds and 30 different kinds of mammals have been sighted in the park.
Directions: Take County Highway 62, exit on Lyndale Avenue, and go south on Lyndale Avenue to Lake Shore Drive, which is the first left turn after the intersection with West 66th Street. Turn West (left) on Lake Shore Drive and proceed about 400 feet to the Nature Center (at 735 West Lake Shore Drive) on the south side of the road. Meet in the parking lot by the main entrance to the Nature Center.
September 14, 2017: Northern Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary Hike (Maplewood) – Hike Leader: Chris Olson
Join the hiking group for a hike in St. Paul’s Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary. The Nature Sanctuary was opened in 2005 with the help of many stakeholders, including the DNR and National Park Service. Once a barren, ecologically damaged site, ongoing cleanup and restoration are bringing back prairie, oak savanna and floodplain forest ecosystems.
The park’s namesake, Congressman Bruce Vento (1940-2000), was a 12-term Democrat from St. Paul who championed environmental and homeless causes, including efforts to ban oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, preserve tropical rain forests, and make it easier for the Hmong who fought with the U.S. in the Vietnam War to become U.S. citizens.
Directions: Take I-94 to I-35E in downtown St. Paul and proceed north on I-35E to the Larpenteur Avenue/Wheelock Parkway exit. Proceed on the frontage road to Larpenteur Avenue, the second street connected to the exit off ramp, and turn east (right) on Larpenteur Avenue. Continue on Larpenteur Avenue to Parkway Drive (the third stop light after leaving the freeway) and then go northeast (left turn) on Parkway Drive. Parkway Drive becomes Frost Avenue after crossing Arcade Street/Highway 61 in Maplewood.
Park at the Flicek Park parking lot, 1141 Frost Avenue, which is about 7/8ths of a mile from the junction of Highway 61 and Parkway Drive/Frost Avenue. Flicek Park is primarily a set of baseball fields with a parking lot and is located on the north side of Frost Avenue, just across from a pontoon boat sales room and a dog grooming facility.
September 21, 2017: Minnehaha Park Hike (Minneapolis) – Hike Leader: Linda Quammen
Join us for a hike through Minnehaha Park, past the famous falls, and on the scenic trails along Minnehaha Creek and above the Mississippi River.
Minnehaha Park is 193 acres in area, with a 53-foot waterfall and limestone bluffs with river overlooks. Oak, elm, silver maple, basswood, hackberry and cottonwood trees dot the landscape as well as native shrubs and wildflowers.
Directions: From Hiawatha Avenue/MN Highway 55, south of downtown Minneapolis, proceed to 46th Street and turn east and immediately past the Holiday Gas Station, turn south onto the strip mall access road. Continue along the strip mall access road to the south end of the mall. The group will meet just south of Pet Supplies Plus. The trail to Minnehaha Park is about ½ block south.
September 28, 2017: Rice Marsh Lake Hike (Eden Prairie/Chanhassen) – Hike Leader: Chris Olson
Join the group for a hike along Rice Marsh Lake to Lake Susan, in western Eden Prairie / eastern Chanhassen. Rice Marsh Lake and Lake Susan are shallow lakes, each about 80-90 acres, and part of the Riley Purgatory Bluff Creek Watershed District.
Directions: Go west on I-494 to Highway 5. Continue west on Highway 5 to Dell Road, about 8/10ths of a mile west of Eden Prairie Road. Go south on Dell Road about 6/10ths of a mile to Rice March Lake Park, just south of the intersection with Erin Bay/Cascade Drive. Meet in the parking lot.