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LENGTH 20 miles
DIFFICULTY easy, mostly paved, some dirt
DATE HIKED NOVEMBER 12, 2016
MAIN FEATURES Grand Rounds, Eloise Butler Butterfly Garden, Lake Harriet
We had one more 20 miler to do this year and this fall and unseasonably warm. We knew this would probably be our last weekend before the snowfall and decided to go for it. Unlike the last 20 mile hike using some of the same trails Urban Hike – Luce Line + Sebastian Joe’s, we started this hike at Victory Memorial Park at the Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway. It’s an enormous urban park that takes you right into the heart of Minneapolis.
The trail is mostly paved, but has dirt and wooded options though Theodore Wirth Park. Since I have had a few toenail casualties on longer trails this summer and this is mostly paved, I skipped the hiking boots today and went with running shoes.
Our path took us through the Golf Course, Wirth Beach, the Eloise Butler Butterfly Garden, Quaking Bog, over 394, Cedar Lake, Lake Calhoun, Lake Harriet and back. It was just the two of us today, so we made great time.
This trail is one of the things I love most about living in the Minneapolis area. Within just a few minutes, you have easy access to acres of nature with a beautiful view of the Minneapolis Skyline in the distance. Theodore Wirth Park is compatible in size to New York’s Central Park and that doesn’t even include the Chain of Lakes and Luce Line trails that connect directly to the system.
This is also a great trail for completing your Boy Scout Hiking Merit Badge 20 miler. Yay!