BEST PLACE TO JOG - 2004
Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden
It's all a matter of scenery and challenge. Take the running path west along Cedar Lake to the beaches; early in the morning you can watch the sunrise. Continue to the bridge crossing 394 and you'll enter Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden, where a serpentine stretch takes you up and down and round a quaking bog to the pond thick with lily pads, through arches of elm bordered with May apple. Run on to fields of black-eyed susans and daisies to a steep slope. It's the kind of run that surprises you with dips and turns, unable to see the end until you're upon it. If you set off early enough, you'll have it all to yourself. If it's high noon, you'll be sheltered from the sun. Keep running west and you'll follow the golf course, further still, north to Memorial Park--a long, wide, green swath in the midst of family homes. Head back and you'll end up looping Lake of the Isles, the hub of summer activity and a true urban park: see lovers embrace on the stone bridge near Dean Parkway, watch willows bend gracefully at the shore, observe candy-colored kayaks skimming the water, and eye kids on three-wheelers racing moms with strollers. Cross under the bridge to Lake Calhoun and finish at the pavilion for a well-deserved ice cream sandwich.