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Minneapolis Hikes for the Whole Family

Now is a great time to start heading out on some hikes with the whole family. While it may still be chilly, a good hike will warm you up quickly, and the cooler air may make you feel like going for longer, because you’re not getting overheated as quickly as happens in the summer. Fortunately, there are a number of great hikes for the whole family near your homes in Woodbury MN, so put on those hiking boots, or at least some sturdy shoes, and get out and enjoy a hike that the whole family will enjoy. Just don’t forget social distancing when passing others out on the trails.

  • Minnehaha Falls/Minnehaha Creek Trail. Located in south Minneapolis, this popular site is an easy hike for just about anyone in the family. It’s even ADA accessible, except for the gorges trail below the Falls. What you’ll find here is 10 miles of trails, a 53-foot waterfall, a regional park so that you can also enjoy a family picnic, and the 1.8-mile Minnehaha Creek Trail. Open year round, there are also four botanical gardens and the giant sculpture, Cottontail on the Trail, by artist Jeff Barber.
  • Nicollet Island/Boom Island Trails. This time in northeast Minneapolis, you’ll find another family friendly and easy trail with plenty of things to see and do along the way. Nicollet Island, on the Mississippi River north of Saint Anthony Falls, features a 2.1-mile loop trail. Boom Island, connected by a pedestrian bridge, serves up stunning river views, and also includes paved walkways and bike paths. There’s even a miniature lighthouse on the north side of Boom Island.
  • Minneapolis Sculpture Garden/Loring Greenway Bridge/Loring Park. You don’t have to leave the city to find some great area walks. This family friendly option is approximately 1.6 miles long and is ADA compliant. Open all year, you can take in some famous city sights, such as the iconic Cherry sculpture by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen as part of the Sculpture Garden. The Loring Greenway Bridge connects to Loring Park, where you’ll find gardens, the Berger Fountain, and a nice place to rest.
  • Anthony Falls/Stone Arch Bridge. Located in Northeast Minneapolis, this 1.8-mile Heritage loop trail is partially ADA accessible and open year round. This is a great chance to combine exercise, some local and natural history, as well as entertainment. The Heritage loop trail includes history of the area, including buildings, nature, and the river. There’s also the nearby Mill City Museum. The Mississippi River & National Recreation Area includes the St. Anthony Falls waterfall, as well as a lock and dam that has occasional tours. The picturesque Stone Arch Bridge can be crossed by biking or walking, and you can finish off on Historic Main Street, where you’ll find shops, theater, live music, festivals, and more.
  • Fort Snelling State Park/Pike Island Loop/Lake Nokomis Trail. For something that is a bit more challenging if you want, this collection starts in one part at the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers, while Lake Nokomis Trail starts in Minneapolis. In all, there are five miles of paved trails, 18 miles of gravel trails along the rivers, the Pike Island seven-mile loop trail, and the Lake Nokomis 2.5 mile loop trail, which features some beautiful wildflowers. The paved walkway areas are ADA compatible and everything is open year round. Besides hiking, there’s also biking, and even snowshoe and cross-country ski trails in the winter. You’ll also find Snelling Lake, which has a fishing pier that is open when weather permits.

This is just a handful of the numerous parks, hiking trails, and more surrounding Minneapolis. All are easy enough in most areas for the whole family and most include areas where you could have a picnic or just stop and enjoy the scenery or learn something about the area. We’ve all spent a lot of time in our homes in Woodbury MN this year, and getting out for a nice walk or hike amid nature is a great way to shake off the cobwebs and enjoy the beauty of the region. Happy trails!

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