52 Hike Challenge // Weeks 21-30

With the exception of the one weekend I ventured out to Colorado for a weekend, this fall was all about exploring Minnesota and finding more local hikes. While I love to travel and explore new hikes across the world, weddings were a big (and expensive!) part of my fall, so I stuck around Minnesota the rest of the weekends I had free. Our Minny trails and parks might not be mountainous or elevation-climbing, but they sure are beautiful.

The Hikes

Week 21: Red Rocks Trail; Matthews/Winters Park; Denver, CO

Week 22: Interstate State Park; Taylors Falls, MN

Week 23: Loring Park; Minneapolis, MN

Week 24: Loring Park; Minneapolis, MN

Week 25: Minnehaha Falls and Minnehaha Off Leash Dog Park; Minneapolis, MN

Week 26: Loring Park; Minneapolis, MN

Week 27: Theodore Wirth Regional Park; Golden Valley, MN

Week 28: Birchwood Park; St. Louis Park, MN

Week 29: Marine Village Landing River Trail; Marine on St. Criox, MN

Week 30: Mill Marine; Marine on St. Croix, MN

Reflections

My favorite hikes during the best season on earth:

Red Rocks Trail // Matthews/Winters Park in Colorado. I was in Denver for a short weekend and I couldn’t make it all the way out to the mountains because of timing – I was so bummed. I got a recommendation to try Matthews/Winters park just outside of Denver.

Interstate State Park // Taylors Falls in Minnesota. My husband and I were bummed we came to Interstate before the beautiful fall season, but we had an awesome time nonetheless. We hiked on the rocky shore of the St. Croix River on a beautiful day and spent most of the car ride home talking about going back again soon.

Marine Village Landing River Trail // Marine on St. Croix, MN. This was a failed attempt to go to William O’Brien State Park up near Marine on St. Croix. We pulled up to the state park after an hour’s drive only to realize it was closed for the hunting opener. After I threw a small temper tantrum, we navigated to this adorable little town and found this historic trail that lead us through some of Minnesota’s mill sites and along the St. Croix river. I loved turning a bad experience into a new adventure!

I think I’ve realized my favorite part about starting this blog and doing this year’s #52HikeChallenge is how much I learn about Minnesota. I used to complain all the time that there was nothing to do in this state; I couldn’t wait to move out to Colorado or somewhere where I could hike all year round. While Minnesota still hasn’t gotten any warmer, I’m realizing that Minnesota has a few more hidden gems than I thought… and I’m discovering them one by one.

When I was in Colorado for week 21, I couldn’t help but get a little homesick, even walking through Red Rocks Trail. Although I strived to live in a more outdoorsy state, Minnesota has my heart – at least for now.

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