After two trips west to hike in California’s High Sierra, it was time, once again, to resume our state parks quest here in Minnesota. We got to calling this one our Northern Exposure quest since most of the eight parks we visited are in Minnesota’s far north. As in, you can see Canada from several of them.

We got this part of the quest started by driving to Grand Forks, North Dakota and then across the Red River of the North to the Red River State Recreation Area.

When the Red and Red Lake Rivers flooded in 1997, the raging waters devastated neighborhoods in Grand Forks (North Dakota) and East Grand Forks (Minnesota). The damage was so great that the federal government bought and removed 500 homes and other buildings from the flooded area.

The resulting 1,200 acre (485 ha) greenway became today’s state recreation area. As we thought back to the Flood of ’97, we couldn’t help but feel for the people in central Florida that were soon to be flooded by Hurricane Ian. 😥

We start our urban hike from the Sherlock Campground
On top of the levee, Red River State Recreation Area, Minnesota
On top of the levee in Sherlock Park, 30 feet (9 m) above the river
Under US Highway 2, Red River State Recreation Area, Minnesota
Under U.S. Highway 2
Through a neighborhood
And back down through River Heights Park
We managed to find a dirt trail along the river
Sunlight through the willows
On the banks of the Red River of the North, Red River State Recreation Area, Minnesota
On the banks of the Red River of the North
Back under U.S. Highway 2
It was a gloriously sunny day 😎
Into the campground on what used to be the city streets of the Sherlock neighborhood

The Hiking Club Trail at Red River came to just 2.2 miles (3.5 km) with no appreciable gain. It isn’t exactly a wilderness hiking experience, weaving as it does across busy streets, through neighborhoods, over levees, under bridges, and along paved pathways.

But we did get to see the Red River up close and also got a sense of how high the water can get here as the levee top is 30 feet (9 m) above the river. The Red River rose again this year, flooding the campground, but the levee kept it from damaging the surrounding neighborhoods. 😁

The Hiking Club loop at Red River
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