Recently I found myself concurring with BIT|Hiker’s musings about the unsung merits of hikes that …are neither rigorous nor lengthy. Although some undoubtedly do, I’ve never thought of hiking as a competitive sport – where if you haven’t endured X miles with Y feet of gain you’re not in the league tables. The main point (to me at least) is to just get out into Nature and do something that’s good for your body, mind, and soul! 😁
Which is not to say that I don’t find tales of thru-hikes, long trails, and FKTs noteworthy and inspirational, because they are and I do. Some likely find them aspirational as well. And the ultralight gear developed for these endeavors has enabled me to stay in the hiking game longer than I could have hoped. But they’re also only a tiny fraction of the hiking universe and their existence shouldn’t take away from anyone enjoying whatever hike they’re capable of (or interested in) doing.
Which brings us, coincidentally 🤔, to the little hike we did today from Moir Park, along Nine Mile Creek (Bloomington’s Central Park), to the Minnesota River (and back). This is a preserved riparian corridor, with Interstate 35W to the east and much of residential Bloomington to the west. Yet down in the trees along the creek, it felt as though we were in some remote area far from any city.
We started at Moir Park, went east and then south along the creek on a paved trail, which became packed gravel south of W 106th Street all the way down to the Minnesota River. On the way back, we took the much narrower, dirt single-track that runs behind private homes on the bluff above the creek. At W 105th Street, we took a signed option to surface streets that lead to where we’d parked.
We go hiking and I take photos while we do so – in that order: hike first, photo second. So I don’t start a hike with any kind of theme in mind – either it’s just random snaps or Nature itself suggests one. Sometimes leaves. Sometimes mushrooms. Whatever. Today we got such a suggestion and it was for reflections (somewhere betwixt physics and metaphysics), so I went with that.
This proved to be a very enjoyable way to spend a lovely Fall morning. We got in 4.4 miles (7.0 km) of walking, with just 150 feet (46 m) of gain. And we were – again – amazed at how many bits of Nature are tucked away throughout Minneapolis and its environs! 😊 We ruminated (or perhaps reflected) on this during post-hike sustenance and libations consumed not far from the trailhead at Northstar Tavern. 🍔🍺😋👍
Thanks! I don’t think REI does this anymore, so we’re going to check locally for a guide service recommendation.
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I think my partner’s uncle was saying he used to do guided trips through REI. Not sure if they still do, but it seemed like there were quite a few outfitters in the area. I look forward to reading about it when you do make it over there!
The BWCA is on our to do list – if we can find a guided trip there. We were on the North Shore in 2017 and will likely spend much more time there next year, as there are 8 Hiking Club state parks there.
Reflection IV really speaks to me as an abstract piece of art! it almost looks like a painting. I was recently in Minnesota for a BWCA trip and we made a few stops at some state parks. Gooseberry Falls and an Overlook on the north shores of Lake Superior that made me think of your blog.
We just took Mom up to the trail on Roxy Ann a few days ago! She LOVED it. The viewpoint parking lot has been redone and several accessible curbs installed for easy transfers. We are planning to return with a picnic. 😁
Thanks! Nature does the art, I just take the photos. 😉 As I’ve noted, there are a lot of parks, reserves, and open spaces in and around Minneapolis. Many of them have paved trails that are easily accessible. You’ve probably already been there, but that short paved trail at Prescott Park (Roxy Ann) is the best accessible one I know of with a view.
These reflections are stunning! Love your variations on a theme. My Mom is in a wheelchair and finding outdoor activities, which she LOVES, can be challenging. Right now, a paved, accessible trail is more beautiful to me than a remote section of the PCT (on which I hope to someday establish the slowest known time.) Plus the price of gas makes those close trails even more appealing. 😭