Jun 24, 2013 at 9:13 am #1304543
IAT?Aug 6, 2013 at 3:18 pm #2013030
my housemate just moved to Minneapolis (like last week), she talked to me about looking for some hiking friends eventually. I should get her to get on this forum…Aug 13, 2013 at 1:06 pm #2014964
I'm on the forum! And I'm in Minnesota. I'd be down for a trip, but don't know what the area has to offer at all.Aug 15, 2013 at 5:19 pm #2015633
I was going to start a similar thread but noticed this one instead. I live in MN and usually have 4 days off every week. The days are totally random but if you or anyone else is looking for a very energetic backpacking partner then let me know.
Most of my solo trips consist of me leaving my house on my touring bike loaded up with gear and stealth camping for the night at one of my many secret locations. Hiking, biking, climbing, hammocking, it doesn't matter to me (and I love all four seasons). I haven't been on the SHT for a while so that sounds great and I would really love to check out the IAT at least once this year.Aug 16, 2013 at 7:30 am #2015775
I would say that at least in most of southern MN, if you like outdoor pursuits it's a great place for canoeing, road biking, and running (also apparently hunting and fishing). Not a ton of places for actual multi day backpacking–there simply isn't room to roam–but there are a lot of bike trail camps and the DNR has campsites on several great rivers. If I could afford another major piece of gear now, the thing that would improve my ability to get outdoors the most would definitely be a canoe. XC ski trails abound in winter, if you're into that.Aug 16, 2013 at 9:25 am #2015815
Ryan, I agree with you totally. If I could afford a kayak then all of the rivers (and there are a lot!) would become trails that lead to great camping destinations. I suppose that is the same as cycling too. The roads are basically a giant trail system that can give similar adventures to hiking in the woods.
To the OP. If travelling up north is out of the question creativity goes a long way. There are TONS of options for camping close to the cities that allow you to get out in nature.Nov 11, 2013 at 8:21 pm #2043564
For you (especially southern) Minnesotans, I'm giving a couple more resources/recommendations. I would love to hear what others have been up to, so's we can all learn from one another.
Root River: I spent a couple great days on the Root this summer from near Chatfield to Rushford. I followed the route info given in Paddling Southern Minnesota (A Trail Books Guide) by Lynne and Robert Diebel. Travel much faster than I'm used to on flat water, which was fun. Public camping available at DNR sites. The book itself is a great resource, saving lots of planning time for novices. Most valuable are the sketched maps with stops and mileage and the recommended water depths for different waterways.
Whitewater State Park: I've camped here twice, once more casually and once just last weekend with a more hiking-oriented friend. We covered most trails in the park in a half-day, so again not much for hiking distance, but the quality of rare, ridge-top southern MN hiking was very good. The camp is down in the valley, most trails are up in and atop the sheer bluffs and are surprisingly scenic. Best bluffs I've seen in southern MN outside of the Mississippi, and the scenery is a bit more in-your-face than most even on the Big Muddy. The Whitewater is a trout stream.
Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park: Another small park. This is one I've only visited briefly, but I'm writing in anticipation of warmer weather when they run a many-hour "wild cave tour"/spelunking for qualified groups. Fortunately I know an employee there who will be leading these crews next summer. Something unusual for our area if you're looking for variety. The "tourist" cave is also very special for being in this part of the country.Feb 11, 2014 at 6:46 pm #2072426
@glenn64Locale: Snowhere, MN
I've wanted to hike the SHT ever since I saw it while on a bike camping trip from Hinckley to Silver Bay and back. That was quite a few years ago now, and I was never much of a hiker until a couple years ago. I'm probably still more of a camper than a hiker, but I'm improving and my base weight is finally under the 10 lb mark. I WILL eventually make it thru the SHT, even if it takes a few years!
Being in a north Metro burb, everything seems a drive to get to, so I tend to stick close to home. Wild River state park has around 35 miles of hiking trails, although many are multi use, meaning horse usage. It's only about 40 miles from the Cities, so I've overnight bike camped a few times, as well as driven there and hiked in to the half dozen hike in only sites.
When using hike in only sites, the park lets you gather wood for campfires, opposed to not allowing gathering when camping at a drive in site. Seems obvious I guess, who'd pack in firewood?! But thought it worth mentioning. I pack a silky pocketboy saw when camping there. There's also a separate trailhead at a park upriver from the main park. A state park sticker is still required to park there. It's about an 11 mile hike to the main park, and another 3-4 miles to the hike-in campsites. There is one hike-in site before the main park as well. Makes for a nice day hike or overnight in/out, mostly along the St. Croix river. No bluffage or anything exciting, just a nice easy, local stroll through the woods. There is also one first come first serve free federal hike-in campsite a short way from the satellite park, but I found that trail loop highly infested with wood ticks. 2 miles and I lost track after 30 ticks I stopped to pick off my shoes. That was before I Permethrin'd (sp?) my shoes tho. Could've just been the time of year I did that loop too. I just know I didn't go THAT way again!
I work weekends, so I always solo hike/ride during the week. If anyone does 3 season 2-4 day weekday hikes, or bicycle trips, give me a holler. I'm no "big-miler", but I won't hold an average rider/hiker back either… Just yer average Joe here lolMar 19, 2014 at 10:58 pm #2084463
If anyone who loves to bike also owns a Packraft, a great trip idea would include both as well as camping along the way if you'd choose to do so. Google the Root River Trail. This is about a 55 mile, beautifully paved bike path that rolls through SE MN's gorgeous bluff country along the Root River. The trail runs from Harmony, MN to Houston, MN.
There are several camping options along the way, as the trail repeatedy passes through quaint towns you'll just want to check out. There are also straight-up campgrounds scattered along the length of the trail. One could park a car in Houston, jump on your bike with your packraft and camping gear and head south of the Root River Trail all the way to Harmony. Spend a night camping in Harmony and then set the packraft afloat on the river, leaving your bike secured behind to be collected later. Paddle/float until you want to camp again or keep going all the way to Houston. When you reach the end, jump in your car and go back to collect your bike.
An added benefit…believe it or not, SE MN seriously has VERY FEW mosquitoes to bother you along the way. You do have to learn about the river prior to taking on this trip in a packraft or canoe. There is a dam or two you need to know about along the way.
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