I was fairly certain we weren't going to go hiking during the month of July. I had looked at the monthly forecast and it was pretty much high 80's for the entire month. I don't function well hiking in the heat, but Jesse suggested we find a place to hike this day and I agreed as long as we went early in the morning.
I selected to hike along Minnehaha Falls Creek since it is somewhat close to our house and I'd been wanting to show Jesse this trail. He's been to the falls many times, but hadn't explored very far down the creek.
Hike #: 11
Trail: Minnehaha Regional Park
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Trail surface: paved, dirt, crushed stone, boardwalk, paved (there are a lot of paved trails at this park, but we did not take those on this hike - also a great area for biking).
We started out at the falls and headed down the west side of the creek towards the Mississippi. I'd done this hike some years ago on a photo walk and then took Riley last year, but always wanted to bring Jesse on this hike as well. The west side trail is a little more varied as it's crushed rock, boardwalk, and dirt and tree roots. You hike past several walking bridges and eventually come to the sandstone bluffs and then the Mississippi River. It's a lush and beautiful area, but has been tarnished by vandalism - the worst was seeing trees that were spray painted with peace signs and such. Why do people feel like they need to do that?
There is normally a beach along the Mississippi, but the water level is really high right now so the beach from the walking bridge on was totally engulfed with water. In the past, we'd walk down the beach to a large concrete drain area (not sure what else to call it) to check out the graffiti, but we skipped it this time. I love this hike because it does have a bit of a rugged feel to it, but it's clearly an urban path. What I don't like is that people leave garbage everywhere - especially along the beach area. I get the feeling that people live here as well. Lets just say that this is not a beach area that I would let my kid take her shoes off and run around on.
Luckily, someone piled some rocks in the water which allowed us to get to the bridge and take the trail on the east side of the creek. This trail is a well maintained, wide, crushed stone path that heads back towards the first bridge we came across... which is also a popular spot for families to splash around in the creek.
We always come to this park early because it can get busy fast (I'd suggest going before 10 to get a decent parking spot). Besides trails and the falls, there is a restaurant, playgrounds, bike rentals, and lots of picnic areas - an overall great park to explore.
*pictures were taken with either the Lensbaby edge 50 or the Sigma 14 mm.