Ft. Snelling State Park

Most people think I am a city girl, and they are right. But there is a small part of me that is a bonafide outdoors girl. I come by it naturally-my dad was the ultimate dapper woodsman after all. While most of my days are spent in the city, I am lucky enough to live in a state that is full of lakes, rivers, and some of the most amazing state parks in the country. With temps hovering in the 80’s this weekend (a rare treat this time of year), the hubby and I spent our time outdoors, soaking in the rays and taking advantage of the nature that surrounds the city, in Ft. Snelling State Park.
We discovered this gem last summer and it quickly became one of our favorite spots. Located across the highway from the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport, this 2931 acre state park is the perfect respite from city life. Ft. Snelling, which was built in the 1820’s on a bluff above the convergence of the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers, controlled exploration, trade, and settlement, and still stands today. The land below was home to generations of Dakota and is now the state park. The park offers picnic areas, a playground, a beach and golf course, 18 miles of hiking trails, 5 miles of surfaced bike trails, 10 miles of mountain bike trails, plus cross-country ski and snow shoe trails, and also offers canoe and kayak rentals. We spent Saturday kayaking the Minnesota river, something you never get to do this time of year because of flooding.

20120319-100453.jpg
Yes, I have my own kayak. Even tho the temps were high, we still needed to wear jackets and use the spray skirts because the water is very cold. The water here is pretty calm and you can watch all the planes taking off and landing at the airport.

20120319-100658.jpg
We actually saw someone water skiing! I find this a little dangerous because the water is full of hidden debris like trees, but it was pretty cool to see.

Sunday we ended up at the park again and decided to hike around Pike Island. This is where the two rivers come together and is about 3 miles around. There were tons of boats on the Mississippi side and lots of hikers. Pike Island is usually under water this time of year, but a lack of snow this winter has kept the water levels low.

20120319-101053.jpg
There are many tress along the Mississippi that have hollowed out trunks. Pretty cool!

20120319-101215.jpg
There are such pretty views of the rivers along the trails. We walked mostly on the beach, but I had to climb to this bench on the hill. Wonderful view of the Mississippi.

20120319-101420.jpg
That’s a marina across the river. I think we have found a new kayak spot here along the old Miss. Lots of great beach area too (mainly because of low water levels).

20120319-101640.jpg
Walking the beach on the Minnesota side. It was much sunnier over there!

20120319-101728.jpg
At the point on Pike Island. This is where the two rivers converge. The Minnesota is on the right and the Mississippi on the left.

We had such a fantastic weekend here and I highly recommend a trip there if you live in Minnesota. You do need a state park pass (you can purchase there), there is no camping or alcohol allowed, but it is the perfect day spot for all your outdoor activities.
For more information, please visit Minnesota DNR

Advertisements

3 Comments

Filed under lifestyle

3 responses to “Ft. Snelling State Park

  1. Jo

    Great blog! I love reading about your activities. Sounds like you had a wonderful weekend.

  2. Ame

    Looks so fun!! We will have to check out that side of the park 🙂

  3. jyebert@mindspring.com

    Wonderful place to observe all kinds of insects, including fireflies! That is where Nick and I took a class with a naturalist!
    Great pictures, Megan!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s