Como Lake Hike April 25th & Highland Park Hike Tonight

The grass is greening, the birds are chirping, the leaves are budding and the frogs are making a racket. We’re on the doorstep of the pretty part of spring when every little (and big) thing seems to wake up, shake itself and get moving. Let’s get moving too so we can see spring making everything anew.

We’ve added a favorite hike on April 25 around Como Lake. Don’t miss it. And don’t forget the hike tonight in Highland Park from the Ford Dam overlook south past Hidden Falls!

April 25, 2019, 7-8:30 pm: Como Park Hike (St. Paul) – Hike Leader: Tom Ellerbe

Join the hiking group for a turn or two around charming Como Lake, the largest public park in St. Paul. Como Lake and Pavillion

Como Lake was named in the 1840s by Charles Perry, who farmed a tract of land on the shore of the lake. Perhaps he was homesick as he named it for the famed Lake Como, in the Italian Alps where he grew up.

Directions: From I-94 in St. Paul, exit onto Lexington Avenue & go north approximately 1.25 miles, past Minnehaha Avenue, to Como Park. Continue on Lexington Avenue as it winds through Como Park to the two parking lots for the Como Lakeside Pavilion at 1360 N. Lexington Parkway, one south & west of the pavilion near the fountain roundabout & one east & slightly north of the pavilion, closer to the golfing clubhouse. Park in either parking lot & meet in front of the pavilion.


April 18, 2019, Thursday, 7-8:30 pm: Mississippi River Boulevard Hike (Highland Park) – Hike Leader: Linda Quammen

Join the group on the St. Paul side of the Mississippi River’s scenic gorge. We’ll head south from the Ford Dam Overlook parking lot on the paved trail high above the river.muddy boots The leafless trees will allow great views of the river and the Minneapolis cliffside.

Directions: From Hwy. 62, take Hwy. 5 going East (NE).  Continue across the Mississippi River then immediately take the Shepard /River Road exit ramp. Continue curving right on the ramp, exiting onto Gannon Road. At the stoplight turn right onto Mississippi River Road. Continue north on it for a couple miles to a long strip parking area labeled Ford Dam Scenic Overlook, just south of the Ford Parkway bridge. We’ll meet in the parking lot. (If the lot fills there is another one just a minute to the south.)

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CANCELED: April 11, 2019 Mississippi River Boulevard Hike (Rescheduled to April 18)

Remember our last post, advising that early spring in Minnesota isn’t for the faint of heart? Well, Mother Nature is testing us again. And she’s won. Due to the snow. sleet, rain and wind (plus an abundance of caution) our April 11 hike is being moved to April 18. We fully expect the snow to have stopped by then. Really, we do.

CANCELED Due to Storm. (RESCHEDULED to April 18): April 11, 2019, Thursday, 7-8:30 pm: Mississippi River Boulevard Hike (St. Paul) – Hike Leader: Linda Quammen

Join the group on the St. Paul side of the Mississippi River’s scenic gorge. We’ll head south from the Ford Dam Overlook parking lot on the paved trail high above the river.fungus The leafless trees will allow great views of the river and the Minneapolis cliffside.

Directions: From Hwy. 62, take Hwy. 5 going East (NE).  Continue across the Mississippi River then immediately take the Shepard /River Road exit ramp. Continue curving right on the ramp, exiting onto Gannon Road. At the stop light turn right onto Mississippi River Road. Continue north on it for a couple miles to a long strip parking area labeled Ford Dam Scenic Overlook, just south of the Ford Parkway bridge. We’ll meet in the parking lot.


RESCHEDULED from April 11: April 18, 2019, Thursday, 7-8:30 pm: Mississippi River Boulevard Hike (St. Paul) – Hike Leader: Linda Quammen

Let’s try this once more. Join the group on the St. Paul side of the Mississippi River’s scenic gorge. We’ll head south from the Ford Dam Overlook parking lot on the paved trail high above the river.snowboot The leafless trees will allow great views of the river and the Minneapolis cliffside.

Directions: From Hwy. 62, take Hwy. 5 going East (NE).  Continue across the Mississippi River then immediately take the Shepard /River Road exit ramp. Continue curving right on the ramp, exiting onto Gannon Road. At the stop light turn right onto Mississippi River Road. Continue north on it for a couple miles to a long strip parking area labeled Ford Dam Scenic Overlook, just south of the Ford Parkway bridge. We’ll meet in the parking lot.

 

Mighty Mississippi River Hikes

Early Spring in Minnesota is not for the faint of heart. Cold, wet and brown, it’s a subtle treat best shared in the warm camaraderie of a group. We have a couple of hikes to share, centrally located along the Mississippi River and sure to warm you up.

April 2019 Hikes

April 4, 2019, Thursday 7:00-8:30 pm: West River Parkway Hike (Minneapolis) – Hike Leader: Chris Olson

fruiting green mossCome hike with the group along the mighty Mississippi River’s west side, starting near the Franklin Avenue Bridge. Part of the 52 mile long Grand Rounds Scenic Byway, the paved trail has separate paths for bikers and hikers.

Directions: From I-94, take the Riverside Ave. exit and proceed south on Riverside Ave. to Franklin Ave. Go east (left) on Franklin Ave. about three blocks to Seabury Ave. Meet on the corner of East Franklin Ave. and Seabury Ave. in Southeast Minneapolis.


RESCHEDULED to April 18 (due to storm). April 11, 2019, Thursday, 7-8:30 pm: Mississippi River Boulevard Hike (St. Paul) – Hike Leader: Linda Quammen

Join the group on the St. Paul side of the Mississippi River’s scenic gorge. We’ll head south from the Ford Dam Overlook parking lot on the paved trail high above the river.fungus The leafless trees will allow great views of the river and the Minneapolis cliffside.

Directions: From Hwy. 62, take Hwy. 5 going East (NE).  Continue across the Mississippi River then immediately take the Shepard /River Road exit ramp. Continue curving right on the ramp, exiting onto Gannon Road. At the stop light turn right onto Mississippi River Road. Continue north on it for a couple miles to a long strip parking area labeled Ford Dam Scenic Overlook, just south of the Ford Parkway bridge. We’ll meet in the parking lot.

First Spring Hike: Saturday Afternoon in Lilydale

Spring is officially here. Like life, spring’s short, so let’s get hiking! Balmy temps and sunny skies are forecast so think sunglasses and layers. But, melting snow means some wet patches on the trail so wear waterproof footwear or be prepared to have cold, wet feet!

March 23, 2019, Saturday 2:00-3:30 pm: Big Rivers Regional Trail Hike (Lilydale) – Hike Leader: Linda Quammen

Join us on a beautiful Saturday hike along the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers. From the paved trail we’ll see the river(s) on one side and the St. Peter Sandstone/Platteville Limestone/Glenville Shale rock formations on the other. Interpretive signs are located along the trail, as well.

birds near snowy edge of lake

Be Aware: Spring snowmelt and water seeps from the rock outcrops mean some water pooling (1-3 inches) on a few spots of the trail. Waterproof footwear is advised.

Directions: Take I-35E south to the Hwy. 13 exit. Turn left (east) onto Hyw. 13. Take Lilydale Rd., the first right after the overpass of 35E, down the hill. NOTE: There may be a sign stating ROAD CLOSED. ROAD OPEN UNTIL YACHT CLUB. Continue on past this, then 3/4 of the way down the hill take a left into the small trail parking lot.

Ding Dong The Polar Vortex Is Dead!

Come celebrate the end of the Polar Vortex (for now, anyway)! We’ll hike from the Visitor Center over hill and dale and around lakes and swales. The temps will be in the mid-30s with partly sunny skies. And, a pizza truck will be in the parking lot until 3 pm so what more could we ask for?

February 2, 2019, Saturday 12:30-2 pm: Lebanon Hills Regional Park Hike (Eagan) – Hike Leader: Linda Quammen

snow lake

Directions: Take I-35E south to the Cliff Road exit. Go east on Cliff Road 3.6 miles to the Lebanon Hills Regional Park entrance (at Hay Lake Road N. intersection), on the right (south) side. Follow the road to the Visitor Center & meet on the walkway just beyond the Visitor Center entrance door.

Warmest holiday wishes to you from Thursday Night Hikes!

Although our regular season of hikes is over we may offer a few daylight and/or weekend winter hikes. (Who can say no to sunshine and snow?) Check back here with us or follow the blog (see right-side panel of blog post) to stay up to date.

Thank you to everyone who hiked along with us this year. Please join us again next year!

red petaled flowers on braches

 

Post-Holiday Hassle Hike This Saturday Afternoon

Between Thanksgiving and Black Friday you may need to step away from the craziness of life for a dose of cool (okay, cold), calming nature. If so, our Saturday afternoon hike along the Mississippi River Gorge is the right path for you.

November 24, 2018, Saturday, 2-3:30 pm: Mississippi River Boulevard Hike (St. Paul) – Hike Leader: Linda Quammen

Join the group for our last “regular” hike of the March-November season. We’ll tramp above the scenic gorge of the Mississippi River (St. Paul side) heading south. The beautiful fall leaves are gone butfungus we’ll be able to see the river and its narrow, deep gorge all the better from our lovely paved path.

Directions:From I-94, on the western edge of St. Paul, take the Cretin/Vandalia exit & go south about 1.5 miles on Cretin Ave. to Summit Ave. Turn west (right) on Summit Ave. & continue to where Summit Ave. ends or “tees” into Mississippi River Blvd. On the southwest corner of the “tee” is Shadow Falls Park with a tall monument to locals who died in WWI & a small parking lot. Park in the lot or along Summit St. & meet at the edge of the parking lot toward the monument.