We were looking for a trail near my dad's house that we could visit after having lunch with him and decided on this one after discovering the other one was a 6 mile loop (that I'm sure Riley wouldn't be up to). We've all been to Clifton E French Regional Park before where we've hung out at the beach, played at the playground, and I've taken pictures of my niece here. The parking lot is a bit of a walk from the beach so during parts of the season they provide a shuttle which I've learned is the way to go as I never liked the trail to the beach. It's paved and next to the road... and not well shaded. The sun bounces up off the asphalt and makes it an uncomfortable experience so the shuttle is the way to go.
But this trip was about finding some trails to walk and I knew there were more than the one to the beach. When we got there, we reviewed the posted map and headed off down a paved trail past the partially built playground (they've done a bunch of work at this park recently and are finishing up on the new playground). Turns out this path is a faster and more interesting way to the beach! Bummed that I didn't know this all those previous times, but glad I know it now. Unfortunately, it still loops around to the part I was familiar with. Walking on hot, fairly new asphalt is not a fun hike. I did see a trail spur that was a dirt path and attempted to veer off in that direction, but the signs said no hiking - apparently they were for cross country skiing. Other people were walking on them, but Jesse suggested we honor the signs so we did.
Hike #: 5
Trail surface: paved
Location: Plymouth, MN
Later when we were at home, I pulled up a trail map for here and discovered there are all sorts of dirt paths for hiking, including the one we avoided. I'm annoyed by all of this so I'm hesitant to go back, but I also want to find the trails that I went there to hike in the first place... and I promised Riley a visit to the new playground when it's done.