August 3, 2017: Sibley House Hike (Mendota) – Hike Leader: Chris Olson
Join the group for a hike along the Mississippi River–west from the Henry H. Sibley House Historic Site in historic Mendota, northern Dakota County.
Henry Hastings Sibley (1811-1891) was one of the most prominent names in early Minnesota history. He was a fur merchant at Mendota, the first governor of the State, and one of the original Regents of the University of Minnesota. His house was the office for his fur trading business, while its location, Mendota, was once considered for the capital of the State. After years of neglect, the house was purchased by the Daughters of the American Revolution, restored by them, and operated as a tourist site for almost 50 years. The site is currently managed by the Minnesota Historical Society.
Directions: Meet at the Mendota Trail parking lot ¼ mile west of the Sibley House historic site in Mendota. Go south across the Mendota Bridge, then go east on Highway 110 to the North Highway 13 exit and go north on Highway 13 to Mendota. The bike trail parking lot where we will meet is midway between St. Peter’s Catholic Church (to the west, with a tall steeple on the top of the hill) and the Sibley House historic site (east, towards the bottom of the hill, in the middle of “downtown” Mendota.)
August 10, 2017: Thomas Lake Park Hike (Eagan) – Hike Leader: Linda Quammen
Join the group for a hike around scenic Thomas Lake Park and along the High Line Walking Trail in Eagan.
Thomas Lake Park’s paved trails loop around ponds, prairies, woodlands and Thomas Lake itself. The prairie’s 19 acres contain both native remnant and restored prairie that is actively managed to bring the land back to its original prairie quality. Over 80 species of prairie forbs (wildflowers,) 17 species of prairie grasses, and 12 species of trees can be found in the park.
Directions: Take I-35E south to Pilot Knob Road exit. At Pilot Knob Road turn south (right) then continue just past the intersection with Wilderness Run Road. Thomas Lake Park entrance is on the right side. Meet in the parking lot.
August 17, 2017: Lake Harriet Hike (Minneapolis) – Hike Leader: Tom Ellerbe
Join the group for a hike around scenic Lake Harriet in west Minneapolis.
Lake Harriet was named for the wife of Col. Leavenworth, Harriet Lovejoy Leavenworth, who was married in the winter of 1813-14. Fort Leavenworth in Kansas and a city and county there were named in Col. Leavenworth’s honor.
Directions: Take I-35W South out of downtown Minneapolis to the West 46th Street exit. Proceed west (right) on West 46th Street ten blocks to Lyndale Avenue and turn south (left) and go four blocks to West 50th Street. Proceed west eight blocks on West 50th Street to the Lynnhurst Park parking lot, just north of the Lynnhurst Recreation Center, and just west of where Minnehaha Parkway, Humboldt Avenue South, and West 50th Street come together.
August 24, 2017: South St. Paul Riverfront Hike (South St . Paul) – Hike Leader: Chris Olson
Join the group for a hike on a “rails-to-trails” trail along the Mississippi River in South St. Paul.
South St. Paul was once home to the largest stockyards in the world. Four major brands had meatpacking plants here, including Swift & Company and Armour & Company. World War II brought peak years to the industry when the plants had government contracts to supply military needs. By the l970’s, the market had decentralized and the sprawling plants became obsolete. The last to close was Armour in 1979.
Directions: From I-94 towards the east end of downtown St. Paul, take the Highway 52 (old Highway 3) Lafayette Freeway exit south and cross the Mississippi River to the south side of the Mississippi River. Take the Concord Street/Highway 56 exit and proceed south on Concord Street/Highway 56 to the north end of South St. Paul. The trailhead is located about 100 yards south of the intersection with Butler Avenue, on the west side (right) of Concord Street, underneath the pedestrian bridge spanning Concord Avenue and the adjoining rail yard.
August 31, 2017: Luce Line Trail Hike (Plymouth) – Hike Leader: Chris Olson
Join the group for a hike along the Luce Line Trail, a “rails to trails” trail developed and maintained by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, in Plymouth.
Luce Line Trail stretches 63 miles from the western metro suburb of Plymouth to the small town of Cosmos in west-central Minnesota. It was originally built as the Electric Short Line Railway from downtown Minneapolis to west central Minnesota by Colonel William Luce. The original intent of the line was to capture the farm to market traffic originating in central Minnesota and to provide transportation for people to downtown Minneapolis via electrically propelled trains. Passenger service on the railroad ended in 1947. The track was officially abandoned by the railroad in 1972 and was taken over by the State for a recreational trail in 1976.
Directions: The parking lot for the trail is located in Plymouth, off of 10th Ave. No. and Vicksburg Lane. Take I-494 to the Carlson Pkwy. Exit and go west on Carlson Pkwy. briefly, then turn right on Gleason Lake Rd. Continue on Gleason for a little more than a mile, and turn right on Vicksburg Lane. Continue on Vicksburg about ¾ mile. The entrance to the Luce Line is on the left, at 10th Ave. At the Cimarron Ponds housing development, turn as if to go into the development, then veer to the left to the parking lot.