Sometimes I go out for a walk that isn't quite enough to make my list, but has the potential if I had walked longer, or not been stopped by flooded trails and other obstacles. I thought it might be worth noting these from time to time as a lot of these are great places to explore.
The Eloise Butler Wildflower path is within Theodore Wirth Parkway. We've been here a number of times, but I think it's best to come in the spring when more flowers are in bloom. We went the day after our Interstate Park hike hoping to get in some more steps. It was another hot day so walking around this garden was perfect since there is a lot of shade. I'd hoped to continue on the trail outside the wildflower garden, but it was just too hot which made this 'hike' a little too short to make the list. Make sure to bring your bug spray and binoculars - there are plenty of benches to stop and watch the birds at.
Riley and I attempted to check out this park while Jesse was out of town. It was the first time I really used my AllTrails app and I was happy to have it. We initially followed a trail, but then was blocked by a huge tree that came down over a walking bridge. We doubled back and I studied the app where I was able to identify another trail… which actually brought us to the hidden falls. Not sure if I would have found it on my own. I’d love to go back to this area after the bridge is repaired to explore the rest of the trail that we weren’t able to get to. The only downside to this trail was that there were a ton of bird sized mosquitoes near the falls.
I’ve been back and forth about whether I would call this a hike or not. I did put in 2 miles worth of walking, but it’s in a very compressed area so it’s not like I felt I went very far. This path mostly consists of boardwalk next to Methodist hospital and across Louisiana Blvd connected by a paved path. It’s a little hidden gem situated near the hospital and industrial buildings. The birds are plentiful here and you might momentarily feel like you are farther out in the country if it wasn’t for the hum of the cars on the nearby roads and lawn mowers blaring away.
This trail is 1.4 miles which is why it didn’t make the main list, but it’s near our house and one that we’ve walked many times. Bass lake once was actually a lake, but was drained and then used as a dump. It was followed by a movement to preserve the area in some way. It’s now a wetland, and while it might not live up to it’s original glory, it is a beautiful walk where we often see a variety of birds.
Purgatory Park has about 2.2 miles worth of trails, but we did the 1.2 mile loop off the parking lot. I really liked this trail, but it was sooo hot this day. The trail is well maintained, and lightly traveled (at least when we were there). When I originally set this hiking challenge, I thought I would be doing more hiking on the outskirts of Minnesota or backpacking, but I’ve found that it’s introduced me to all sorts of fantastic trails close to home.
We found this trail while driving around Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota. This trail was short and fairly easy, but was steep and had me huffing and puffing for a bit. We walked up the trail side to see the fire tower and the view and then walked down the service road just in time to miss the rain. We were able to see a bison snoozing in the grass on our way down which was a bonus you don’t have on every trail.
While on vacation in South Dakota, we took a walk around Sylvan Lake which is only about 1 mile. It does, however, have a number of trails that lead off of it so you could make it a much longer hike. While most of the path is paved, there are a lot of large rocks that you will be tempted to climb on so it’s still important to wear good sturdy shoes. We love this area so much that it’s our second time visiting as a family.
So I might not be getting in the big hikes, but we are still out walking and exploring the places around us and that’s what counts.