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They rhythmic biological events as they relate to climate.

Phenology: Local Hike Suggestions

For me, nature is the only place that feels 'normal' during these pandemic times. With all the uncertainty, right now I know this: anytime my brain is swirling, my kids are bursting with energy, I have the need to scream or cry - we step outside, and everything seems to melt away. 

When this all began, John Latimer took to the Season Watch page on Facebook, asking for people to share their favorite local places. What came out of it is this phenomenal list of places literally minutes away, to places all over the state that are now on my list to check out. I have taken my kids to four of the spots on this list, and I'm here to tell you, they are all outstanding. 

Do you have a favorite local hike or sit spot? Send yours to - we'll continue to update this list as we get more suggestions.

Get outside, breathe in some fresh northern Minnesota air, listen the birds (saw my first robin this week!) and settle that mind. 

Button Box Lake - west of Togo

Lake Bemidji State Park Bog Walk- Bemidji at 3 Island Park beyond the boat landing

Wilton Hill - west of Bemidji

Suomi Hills- north of Grand Rapids

Samuelson Park- Gheen, near Little Fork River, Cty Rd 75 off of 59

Ely's Peak Trail- Duluth, in the Magney-Snively Natural Area, view of area lakes, bit of a peak  and an old abandoned rail tunnel

Big Falls City Park - Big Falls, on the Bigfork River

French Rapids- Brainerd, views of the river, small lakes, ski trails

LaRue Mine Pit- Keewatin

Three Island County Park- north of Bemidji, snowshoe, hiking, skiing

North Country Trail in Itasca State Park- Bemidji, old growth pines

Big Bog- North of Washkish

Jay Cooke State Park - by Duluth, swinging bridge close to trail

Neilson Spearhead Center Trails- south of Bemidji, near Lake Plantagenet

Legion Trails - Grand Rapids, by the high school

Sax Zim Bog- south of Hibbing

Chase Point Trail at Scenic State Park - Bigfork, quick trail, then head up to the Fire Tower Trail, and onto Pine Lake, great hiking and beautiful pines!

Rotary Park / Buffalo Hills Trail- Brainerd, right in the heart of Brainerd/Baxter, along the Mississippi

Jon Rowe Memorial Forest - Grand Rapids, drive up Hwy 38 to Cty Rd 49, take Cty Road 325 to the right

Robinson Park- Sandstone, old sandstone quarry

Banning State Park- Between Finlayson, Sandstone and Askov

Lake Rebecca State Park- north of Delano

Ft. Snelling State Park - Minneapolis

Minnesota Valley Wildlife Headquarters- Bloomington

The music director at KAXE since 2014, Kari (pronounced Car-ee) Hedlund reviews music on the daily. She also hosts New Music every Wednesday (2 and 10 p.m.) and Sunday (noon), along with the KAXE Morning Show on Thursdays.
As a mail carrier in rural Grand Rapids, Minn., for 35 years, John Latimer put his own stamp on a career that delivered more than letters. Indeed, while driving the hundred-mile round-trip daily route, he passed the time by observing and recording seasonal changes in nature, learning everything he could about the area’s weather, plants and animals, and becoming the go-to guy who could answer customers’ questions about what they were seeing in the environment.
Heidi Holtan is KAXE's Director of Content and Public Affairs where she manages producers and is the local host of Morning Edition from NPR. Heidi is a regional correspondent for WDSE/WRPT's Duluth Public Television’s Almanac North.