CANCELED – 10/18 Thursday Night South St. Paul Riverfront Hike

Sorry, folks. Due to unforeseen circumstances we’ve had to cancel tomorrow’s hike.

But, we have more hikes in store, including our October 25, 2018, Centennial Lakes Park Hike on Thursday (7-8:30 pm) in Edina. I hope to see you there!

The 24-acre park’s paved trails outline the lake, passing by a variety of delightful spaces. There is a park pavilion, an amphitheater, boating concession, maze, putting Mini-golf and Peddleboat at Centennial Lakes Parkgreen, swings and many other types of seating throughout the different sunny or shady areas. Myriad shops and restaurants are just a few steps away from the paths, as well.

Directions: From Interstate 494 in Bloomington, exit onto France Ave. Go north n France Ave. & turn right onto Parklawn Ave. Take the first left into the parking lot. You will see “West Elm” on the building at the north end of the lot. Park near that end (but don’t park against that wall as it is restricted) and we’ll walk down into the park together.

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Maple Madness Hikes Continue…

There’s still great hiking to be had this fall! Despite the white before the Winchell Trail hike today it all melted and we were treated to glowing orange and yellow maple leaf colors along the Mississippi Gorge. This week’s forecast is much warmer and sunnier–especially Thursday so come on out for Chris’ Riverfront Hike on the 18th or my Centennial Lakes hike on the 25th.

Canceled October 18, 2018, Thursday, 7-8:30 pm: 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.  Related image

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 Hwy. 52 exit south & cross over the Mississippi River to its south side. Take Concord St./Hwy. 56 exit & proceed south on Concord St./Hwy. 56 to northern South St. Paul. The trailhead parking is just past (south of) the Butler Ave. intersection, on the west side (right) of Concord St. and the pedestrian bridge spanning Concord Ave.


October 25, 2018, Thursday, 7-8:30 pm: Centennial Lakes Park Hike (Edina) – Hike Leader: Linda Quammen  

Come hike with the group at Edina’s Centennial Lakes Park.

The 24-acre park’s paved trails outline the lake, passing by a variety of delightful spaces. There is a park pavilion, an amphitheater, boating concession, maze, putting Centennial Lakegreen, swings and many other types of seating throughout the different sunny or shady areas. Myriad shops and restaurants are just a few steps away from the paths, as well.

Directions: From Interstate 494 in Bloomington, exit onto France Ave. Go north n France Ave. & turn right onto Parklawn Ave. Take the first left into the parking lot. You will see “West Elm” on the building at the north end of the lot. Park near that end (but don’t park against that wall as it is restricted) and we’ll walk down into the park together.

A Brook, a Creek and a Mighty River

Minnesota may be the land of 10,000 (plus) lakes but we have a heck of a lot of rivers, too. The first three hikes of October feature a brook, a creek and one mighty river (yeah, you know the one I mean).

We just can’t seem to get away from the water–but who would want to? Come enjoy the smell of the crisp air and the crunch of the colorful leaves underfoot as we gaze at those riveting ribbons of blue.

Please note the October 14 hike is on a Sunday afternoon–not Thursday evening–so we can all enjoy the October glory of the sugar maples studding the Mississippi River Gorge!

October 4, 2018, Thursday, 7-8:30 pm: Trout Brook Hike (St. Paul) – Hike Leader: Chris Olsontrout swimming

Join the hiking group along the Trout Brook hiking/biking trail in St. Paul, another “rails to trails” trail development. Trout Brook was named after Trout Brook Estate, owned by lawyer and railroad president Edmund Rice. The waterway was a tributary to Phalen Creek, flows through St. Paul, and is the outlet of McCarron Lake.

Directions: Take I-35E north out of downtown St. Paul to the Maryland Ave. exit. Go west (left) on Maryland about 1/2 mile & turn north (right) on Jackson St. Proceed on Jackson St. approx. 1/2 mile & turn west (left) on Arlington Ave. Go about 1/8th mile & park at the U. S. Post Office – Rice Street Station (40 Arlington Avenue East) parking lot, on the south side of the street.


October 11, 2018, Thursday, 7-8:30 pm: Westside Nine Mile Creek Regional Trail Hike (Hopkins) – Hike Leader: Chris Olson

park by waterTake a hike with the group on the western corridor of Nine Mile Creek Regional Trail to mix scenic creek views with cityscape scenes. The 15.3- mile hiking and biking trail meanders from Hopkins to Richfield.

Directions: We will meet at Hopkins Valley Park. From Highway 169 in the western suburbs, take the Excelsior Boulevard exit & proceed west to 11th Ave. Go south (left) on 11th Ave. to 7th St.  Turn east (left) on 7th St. to 9th Ave. Go south (right) on 9th Ave. Hopkins Valley Park parking lot is on your left, just before Westbrooke Way. We’ll meet in the parking lot.


October 14, 2018, Sunday, 4-6:00 pm: Winchell Trail Hike (Minneapolis) – Hike Leader: Linda Quammen

Tag along with the group for a Sunday fall color hike along the Mississippi River Gorge on the Winchell Trail. It’s a hidden gem, set into the hillside below the busy Grand Rounds bikeway. The paved and unpaved trail hugs the hillside that drops steeply to orange maple leafthe Misssissippi–very secluded and wild, perfect for our  “Walk on the Wild Side” group.

Directions:  Take Highway 55 south from downtown Minneapolis, exit onto East 44th St. & turn east (left). Continue on it until West River Parkway. Turn left (north) onto the parkway. Then, in less than a block, turn into the first entrance on the right: a small parking area for park users. If no spaces are available, park along nearby streets like East 44th St. or Edmund Blvd. & walk back to the parking lot where we’ll meet.

Tonight’s Cedar Lake Hike Canceled Due To Severe Weather

hard rain and water splash

Sorry everyone but Mother Nature is acting up again.

Our crystal ball (and several weather sites) show another heavy batch of rain peaking between 7 and 8 pm tonight, in addition to the tornado watch. So, better safe than sorry (and soaked).

Hope to see you at another hike in better weather!


CANCELED Due to Severe Weather  September 20, 2018, 7-8:30 pm: Cedar Lake Hike (Minneapolis) – Hike Leader: Chris Olson     

First Day of Autumn Hike!

Autumn is the season just made for hiking. Mellow days sandwiched between crisp mornings and evenings make any time the right time for a hike.

Sunday is the first full day of autumn so join us on a special Wood Lake Park afternoon hike at 4:30 pm. We’ll continue to socialize afterward with killer apps, famous pizza, wine and craft beer on hand at nearby Pizza Luce.


September 23, 2018, Sunday, 4:30-6 pm: Wood Lake Park Hike (Richfield) – Hike Leader: Linda Quammen

Let’s celebrate the new fall season with a hike along marshy Wood Lake’s earthen trails and floating boardwalks. We’ll see what’s still blooming in the Nature Center’s prairie and be on the lookout for hopping and flying friends. (Over 200 types of birds and 30 types of mammals have been sighted in the park.)

Afterward, we’ll head a block away to Pizza Luce, for some great apps, pizza or dessert. No food judgments here. (Buffalo wings and cheesecake–yum!)

WoodLakeNatureCenter

Directions: Take Cty. Highway 62, exit onto Lyndale Ave. & go south on it. Take the first left turn (Lake Shore Drive) after the intersection with West 66th St. Proceed about 400 feet to the Nature Center (735 West Lake Shore Drive) on the south (left) side of the road. Meet by the gates of the Nature Center’s main entrance.

A September To Remember

You can sense it: the faintest hint of fall is in the air & showing on the trees, shrubs & wildflowers. To hikers that says, “Get moving–there’re so many amazing hikes to fit in before the ground goes white!” Well, we’ve got the hikes so “Come on!”

September 6, 2018, 7-8:30 pm: Nine Mile Creek Hike (Bloomington) – Hike Leader: Linda Quammen 

Come along with us for a hike in Bloomington alongside scenic Nine Mile Creek. The paved & unpaved trail stays close to the creek & crosses over on several bridges 2 bridges over Nine Mile Creekallowing awesome views of the twists, turns & frequent rapids formed during its race to the Minnesota River.

Fun Fact: Nine Mile Creek received its name from its distance measured southwest from Fort Snelling to where the Old Shakopee Trail crossed the creek.

Directions: Take I-35W south from downtown Minneapolis to the West 106th St. exit in Bloomington, exit & go west (right) on West 106th St. At Morgan Ave. South turn north (right) & continue on Morgan Ave. South, past West 104th St to the Moir Park parking lot off Morgan Ave. where we’ll meet.


September 13, 2018, 7-8:30 pm: Hidden Falls Park Hike (St. Paul) – Hike Leader: Chris Olson

Join the group for a hike from Hidden Falls south along the Mississippi River in the Highland Park section of St. Paul. The park is named for the small spring-fed waterfall trickling over a rock ledge in a secluded area of the park.Forest trail

Directions:  From I-94 on St. Paul’s western edge, take Cretin/Vandalia exit & go south about 1.5 miles on Cretin Ave., then turn west (right) onto Randolph Ave. Proceed a few blocks then turn south (left) onto Mississippi River Blvd. & continue (under the Ford Avenue/46th Street Bridge, past the Ford plant), to the park entrance road on the right, Hidden Falls Drive, which is just before (north) Magoffin Avenue. This is the north gate to the park. Take Hidden Falls Drive down the hill to the parking lot & meet us by the picnic shelter, near the NE corner of the parking lot.


September 20, 2018: Cedar Lake Hike (Minneapolis) – Hike Leader: Chris Olson     

Take an urban hike with us from Bryn Mawr Park under Highway 394 & along the trails of lovely Cedar Lake. The lake, about 170 acres & over 50 feet deep, is wrapped in greenery and offers iconic views of downtown. Cedar Lake

Directions: Take I-394 to Penn Ave. exit & go north on Penn Ave. about 100 feet to an immediate right turn, 8th Avenue SE. Turn right & park on the street as soon as you see Bryn Mawr Park. (If you miss the first turn, the second right turn, on Mount View Avenue, also works, with a right turn on Oliver Ave. South to come back to the park.) Meet by the first ball field in Bryn Mawr Park.

Super Park Hikes for August

These 3 hikes cover the Twin Cities from North to South. Come to one or hit them all with us and enjoy the height of summer in the great outdoors!

August 16, 2018, 7-8:30 pm: Snail Lake Park Hike (Shoreview) – Hike Leader: Chris Olson

Take a hike with the group along the many miles of varied parkland bordering Snail Lake in northern Ramsey County.Lake

Directions: Take I-35 E or I-35W to I-694 north of St. Paul to the Victoria Street exit. Proceed north on Victoria Street approximately 1/2 mile to 4191 Snail Lake Boulevard and turn east (right). Proceed on Snail Lake Boulevard to Snail Lake Park, on the north side of the road. Meet in the parking lot of Snail Lake Park. Note: There is a short stretch of this hike that is wet and muddy so wear appropriate footwear.


August 23, 2018, 7-8:30 pm: Como Park Hike (St. Paul) – Hike Leader: Linda Quammen

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.


August 30, 2018, 7-8:30 pm: Lebanon Hills Regional Park Hike (Eagan) – Hike Leader: Linda Quammen

Prairie with Dogbane & Oxeye flowersCome with us for a nature hike through prairies and woodlands, past lakes and ponds in Lebanon Hills Regional Park’s glacial moraine landscape. We’ll view some of the Star Prairie being restored as well as woodlands around Portage Lake.  

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 stars, pileated woodpeckers and white-tailed deer.

Directions: Take I-35E south to the Cliff Road exit. 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 down to the Visitor Center and meet in the parking lot close to the Visitor Center.