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 firstname.lastname@example.org - 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