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7 COOLest Twin Cities Area Hiking Trails

Posted on May 19, 2017Rick Welter

A Family Enjoying a Hiking Trail

One of great benefits of living in the Twin Cities is that you never have travel far to enjoy the great outdoors. This is especially true when it comes to finding a great hiking trail.

Now that winter is behind us at last, it’s time to strap on your hiking boots and enjoy mother nature. Regardless of where you live in the Twin Cities metro, or what types of hiking trails you prefer to take on, there’s a trail that’s right for you.

Without further ado, we offer up seven of the Twin Cities’ COOLest hiking trails that you can enjoy exploring this spring and summer.

1. Lebanon Hills Regional Park

Location: Eagan

Website: https://www.co.dakota.mn.us/parks/parksTrails/LebanonHills

Lebanon Hills Regional Park

(Photo Credit: Dakota County Parks website)

If you tally the network of trails that spiral throughout Lebanon Hills, there’s just about 20 miles worth. Lebanon Hills offers visitors lots of different routes to take as they weave their way through, and there are maps stationed around the park to make navigation effortless.

In addition, there are trails designated for horseback riding and mountain biking for those that prefer a quicker pace.

With 2,000 acres of woods and several lakes, hikers at Lebanon Hills will enjoy seeing plenty of wildlife as they make their way through the trails. There’s also a campground site in the park.

2. Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge

Location: Bloomington

Website: https://www.fws.gov/refuge/minnesota_valley/

Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge

(Photo Credit: Minnesota Valley NWR Twitter)

The Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge is a sprawling 14,000 acres surrounding the Minnesota River in Bloomington. With all the wildlife dwelling in and near the refuge, bird watching and fishing are popular activities.

As far as hiking, there are several trails located within the refuge. Most of which begin near the visitor’s center, which is located on the north side of Long Meadow Lake.

3. Fort Snelling State Park

Location: Saint Paul

Website: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/fort_snelling/index.html

Fort Snelling State Park

(Photo Credit: alltrails.com)

Fort Snelling has a lot to offer visiting hikers. There are 18 miles of trails, two rivers, a lake, an island and a 197-year-old military landmark. That’s a rather full package.

The trails at Fort Snelling are flat and offer tremendous views. A particularly popular trail is the one that circles around Pike Island. Throughout the trails there are historic site markers for the history-buff hikers to enjoy.

4. Wood Lake Nature Center

Location: Richfield

Website: http://www.cityofrichfield.org/around-town/wood-lake-nature-center

Wood Lake Nature Center

(Photo Credit: Wood Lake Nature Center Facebook page)

Though it’s the smallest option on our list, the Wood Lake Nature Center offers a unique experience. The three-mile trail features boardwalks that cascade over lakes and marshes that will make you forget that you’re in Minnesota.

The marshes also bring in a flurry of waterfowl, including egrets, green herons and great blue herons.

5. Afton State Park

Location: Hastings

Website: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/afton/index.html

Afton State Park

(Photo Credit: Minnesota DNR website)

Representing the southeast Saint Paul metro, Afton State Park runs along the St. Croix River and delivers a visual treat to the hikers who visit. Their trails tally 20 miles with views of the river, ravines, bluffs and beautiful prairies.

Afton is a wonderful place to combine your hike with a picnic, as the many scenic vistas make for a wonderful place to take a break from hiking and enjoy a quick lunch.

6. Minnehaha Regional Park

Location: Minneapolis

Website: https://www.minneapolisparks.org/parks__destinations/parks__lakes/minnehaha_regional_park/

Minnehaha Regional Park

(Photo Credit: Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board website)

Minnehaha Regional Park boasts one of the highest number of guests on our list, with 850,000 guests strolling through the beautiful park each year. What brings them in?

The park has a jaw-dropping 53-foot waterfall, the Longfellow house, several statues and historical markers, dozens of picnic tables and a disc golf course. As for the hiking, the park has a great trail that winds south along Minnehaha Creek all the way to the Mississippi River, eventually connecting with Fort Snelling State Park.

7. Hyland Park Reserve

Location: Bloomington

Website: https://www.threeriversparks.org/location/hyland-lake-park-reserve

 

Hyland Park Reserve

(Photo Credit: Three Rivers Park District website)

 

The Hyland Park Reserve is a great option for hikers who want a challenge. Visitors of the 2,500 acre reserve will be met by rolling hills and steep climbs.

Another notable feature of Hyland Park is that there are dozens of different loops and footpaths meandering off of the main trail, which allow hikers to either add distance to their hike or to turn back earlier than expected if the hills get the best of you.

After an afternoon of hiking in the brisk heat, you’ll want to return home to a fully functioning A/C. Is your air conditioning unit due for some much needed repairs? Learn more about air conditioning repair for all cooling types and models from Welter Heating.

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7 COOLest Twin Cities Area Hiking Trails

Posted on May 19, 2017Rick Welter

A Family Enjoying a Hiking Trail

One of great benefits of living in the Twin Cities is that you never have travel far to enjoy the great outdoors. This is especially true when it comes to finding a great hiking trail.

Now that winter is behind us at last, it’s time to strap on your hiking boots and enjoy mother nature. Regardless of where you live in the Twin Cities metro, or what types of hiking trails you prefer to take on, there’s a trail that’s right for you.

Without further ado, we offer up seven of the Twin Cities’ COOLest hiking trails that you can enjoy exploring this spring and summer.

1. Lebanon Hills Regional Park

Location: Eagan

Website: https://www.co.dakota.mn.us/parks/parksTrails/LebanonHills

Lebanon Hills Regional Park

(Photo Credit: Dakota County Parks website)

If you tally the network of trails that spiral throughout Lebanon Hills, there’s just about 20 miles worth. Lebanon Hills offers visitors lots of different routes to take as they weave their way through, and there are maps stationed around the park to make navigation effortless.

In addition, there are trails designated for horseback riding and mountain biking for those that prefer a quicker pace.

With 2,000 acres of woods and several lakes, hikers at Lebanon Hills will enjoy seeing plenty of wildlife as they make their way through the trails. There’s also a campground site in the park.

2. Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge

Location: Bloomington

Website: https://www.fws.gov/refuge/minnesota_valley/

Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge

(Photo Credit: Minnesota Valley NWR Twitter)

The Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge is a sprawling 14,000 acres surrounding the Minnesota River in Bloomington. With all the wildlife dwelling in and near the refuge, bird watching and fishing are popular activities.

As far as hiking, there are several trails located within the refuge. Most of which begin near the visitor’s center, which is located on the north side of Long Meadow Lake.

3. Fort Snelling State Park

Location: Saint Paul

Website: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/fort_snelling/index.html

Fort Snelling State Park

(Photo Credit: alltrails.com)

Fort Snelling has a lot to offer visiting hikers. There are 18 miles of trails, two rivers, a lake, an island and a 197-year-old military landmark. That’s a rather full package.

The trails at Fort Snelling are flat and offer tremendous views. A particularly popular trail is the one that circles around Pike Island. Throughout the trails there are historic site markers for the history-buff hikers to enjoy.

4. Wood Lake Nature Center

Location: Richfield

Website: http://www.cityofrichfield.org/around-town/wood-lake-nature-center

Wood Lake Nature Center

(Photo Credit: Wood Lake Nature Center Facebook page)

Though it’s the smallest option on our list, the Wood Lake Nature Center offers a unique experience. The three-mile trail features boardwalks that cascade over lakes and marshes that will make you forget that you’re in Minnesota.

The marshes also bring in a flurry of waterfowl, including egrets, green herons and great blue herons.

5. Afton State Park

Location: Hastings

Website: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/afton/index.html

Afton State Park

(Photo Credit: Minnesota DNR website)

Representing the southeast Saint Paul metro, Afton State Park runs along the St. Croix River and delivers a visual treat to the hikers who visit. Their trails tally 20 miles with views of the river, ravines, bluffs and beautiful prairies.

Afton is a wonderful place to combine your hike with a picnic, as the many scenic vistas make for a wonderful place to take a break from hiking and enjoy a quick lunch.

6. Minnehaha Regional Park

Location: Minneapolis

Website: https://www.minneapolisparks.org/parks__destinations/parks__lakes/minnehaha_regional_park/

Minnehaha Regional Park

(Photo Credit: Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board website)

Minnehaha Regional Park boasts one of the highest number of guests on our list, with 850,000 guests strolling through the beautiful park each year. What brings them in?

The park has a jaw-dropping 53-foot waterfall, the Longfellow house, several statues and historical markers, dozens of picnic tables and a disc golf course. As for the hiking, the park has a great trail that winds south along Minnehaha Creek all the way to the Mississippi River, eventually connecting with Fort Snelling State Park.

7. Hyland Park Reserve

Location: Bloomington

Website: https://www.threeriversparks.org/location/hyland-lake-park-reserve

 

Hyland Park Reserve

(Photo Credit: Three Rivers Park District website)

 

The Hyland Park Reserve is a great option for hikers who want a challenge. Visitors of the 2,500 acre reserve will be met by rolling hills and steep climbs.

Another notable feature of Hyland Park is that there are dozens of different loops and footpaths meandering off of the main trail, which allow hikers to either add distance to their hike or to turn back earlier than expected if the hills get the best of you.

After an afternoon of hiking in the brisk heat, you’ll want to return home to a fully functioning A/C. Is your air conditioning unit due for some much needed repairs? Learn more about air conditioning repair for all cooling types and models from Welter Heating.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

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