It’s a about a 45 minute drive from Lake Carlos to Glendalough State Park. It was still warm(ish) and partially sunny by the time we reached Glendalough but the wind had risen substantially – gusts were topping 30 mph (48 km/h). Little whitecaps were forming on Annie Battle Lake. Hats flew off and had to be chased down. It was safe to say that Summer was leaving the building…by blowing open all the doors.

This park started life in the early 20th Century as a private summer retreat and game farm. In 1941, its land and the lodge, were sold to John Cowles, one of the owners of the Minnesota Tribune. The lodge hosted notables such as President Dwight D. Eisenhower, President Richard Nixon, and Vice President Walter Mondale during its time. In 1990, the Cowles family donated everything to the Nature Conservancy and they then donated it to the state in 1992.

The 3.3 mile (5.3 km) Hiking Club route here is very straight forward – it’s just a loop around Annie Battle Lake. Some parts are paved; otherwise it’s mostly wide dirt or grass. We walked clockwise around the lake, starting from the lodge.

Starting out on the bike path
Continuing on a dirt track
Looking southwest across Annie Battle Lake, Glendalough State Park, Minnesota
Looking southwest across Annie Battle Lake

On the east side of the lake, we came to an information plaque that said the large black dot we could see in a tree way across a field was, in fact, a massive Bald Eagle nest. 🦅 This one had been in use for 20+ years. An earlier one had gotten so big it collapsed the tree!

Tiny dot (arrow) is a Bald Eagle nest
The nest
Crossing below the south end of the lake
Clouds over now golden prairie grasses
Glendalough Lodge (arrow) from the southern end of Annie Battle Lake, Glendalough State Park, Minnesota
Glendalough Lodge (arrow) from the southern end of Annie Battle Lake
Annie Battle Lake
Through a grove of oaks
Looking south along the creek connecting Molly Stark and Annie Battle Lakes, Glendalough State Park, Minnesota
South along the creek connecting Molly Stark and Annie Battle Lakes
North along the creek
Heading back along the western side of the lake
Shifting clouds
An old apple tree
Edible but oddly tart
Continuing on…
Good-bye summer…you’ll be missed 😢

Although windy, this latter half of the day had offered a little sun and hadn’t been particularly cold. We were able to preserve the illusion that summer would never end. 😕 But by the time we’d finished the hour drive to Fargo, it was cloudier, colder, and no less windy. Summer was gone. But it had been a good one and we hope to spend time with it again next year. 😁

Our Hiking Club route around the lake
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