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LENGTH 5 miles
DIFFICULTY Accessible for all abilities with a few hills
DATE April 23, 2017
MAIN FEATURES Quaking Bog and Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary
Here’s another local gem, Theodore Wirth Park’s Quaking Bog and Eloise Butler Trail! This section of the park also has a pretty rad single track bike trail and commuter/road bike paved trail. Fun for all!
I had to go on a trial hike for an upcoming Glacier prep hike with the Scouts. I had been to Theo Wirth a few times, passing through on our 2- 20 miler hikes last summer, but had not spent much time inside of this section of the park.
The best place to meet is at the Wirth Beach Parking lot. From there, we crossed Glenwood Ave and entered near the Eloise Butler Garden. We took this hilly route South through dense forest, game trails and the distant sound of I-394.
From there, we crossed Theo Wirth Parkway, and headed back North for a little bit to enter the BOG. I couldn’t stop thinking of the BOG OF ETERNAL STENCH from the movie Labyrinth. In fact, I said it out loud enough times to even annoy myself a little. Go watch that movie right after you read this post! Do it for me, do it for David Bowie!
The Bog did not disappoint! FYI-It did not stink at all and we didn’t see a single mosquito while we were there, but I imagine both of those things will change as the temperatures climb. It was beautiful and embodies everything I love about spring in MN. There were tiny little wildflowers popping up in unexpected places, a carpet of moss, a soft earthy smell and the mystery of hiking ON TOP OF A BOG! The only quaking that happened was when one of my friends stepped off the path for a second to avoid some mud and started sinking! We all cracked up and I imagined for a moment that we were suspended over quicksand. Seriously, don’t step off the trail. It will mess up the bog and you might sink into the abyss!
After our bouncy hike over the Bog ,we entered back onto the Eloise Butler Trail to explore the South Side. We didn’t make it into the garden, but will save that for next time. I hear its pretty amazing. Will update if we get to it with the Scouts.
It was a satisfyingly hilly hike and we hit 4 miles by the time we got back to Wirth Beach, so a nice loop around Wirth lake put us at an even 5 miles. We talked and dreamed of our trips to Glacier this summer and a new adventure to the BWCA.
Hike #18 of my 52 hike challenge…spent on a sunny day with friends, breaking sweat up a couple of hills, surrounded by nature and escaping the BOG OF ETERNAL STENCH!