Maplewood State Park (Minnesota) 04-Nov-2022

Grass Lake, Maplewood State Park, Minnesota

At over 10,000 acres (4,047 ha), Maplewood is one of the larger parks in the state’s park system. Thanks to glaciers and the Alexandria Glacial Moraine, it features lots of rolling hills and many lakes of varying sizes. About 25 miles (40 km) of hiking trails, including the 6.6 mile (10.6 km) Hiking Club route, wend there way over and around these hills and past several of the lakes.

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Jay Cooke State Park (Minnesota) 07-Jul-2022

After an excellent dinner (Lake Avenue) and a restful night in Duluth, we drove south to Jay Cooke State Park, which surrounds a section of the St. Louis River (Lake Superior’s largest U.S. tributary). The park is named after Jay Cooke, a prominent financier who helped fund the Union side in the Civil War and railroads in the Upper Midwest after the war. There are 50 miles of trails within the park – including a section of the Superior Hiking and North Country Trails – but we decided to hike the Silver Creek Trail loop, which is also the Hiking Club route.

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Minnesota! (May 2022)

When we were younger, we moved around quite a bit, mostly for school or work or because of changes in family circumstances.  Didn’t think too much about doing so – just went with the wanderlust and all that.  Even in Portland, Oregon, where we managed to settle for almost 20 years, we lived in two different houses.  So, when talk turned to moving yet again – primarily for family reasons – it didn’t seem like doing so would be all that hard.  Well, it was and it wasn’t.

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Oak Leaf Loop (Sheyenne National Grassland) 28-Sep-2021

The Sheyenne National Grassland sits about 40 miles (64 km) southwest of Fargo, North Dakota. It’s the only national grassland on the tallgrass prairie; The National Park Service manages another remnant of this prairie type in Kansas. Tallgrass prairie once covered 170 million acres (68 million ha) of North America, but within a generation most of it had been transformed into farmland. Today less than 4% remains intact.

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