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.
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.
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.
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