Best Nature in the City - 2009
Fort Snelling State Park
The Twin Cities area has an abundance of places to enjoy the outdoors: the Chain of Lakes, Minnehaha Falls, and countless bike trails along the Mississippi River. But if you head just south of Minnehaha Falls, you'll land smack in the middle of one of Minnesota's 66 state parks. The 2,931-acres of Fort Snelling State Park have 18 miles of hiking trails, five miles of surfaced bike trails, and 10 miles of mountain-bike trails. When the snow falls, the park maintains eight miles of groomed cross-country ski trails and three miles of hiking trails. During your adventures, you might encounter white-tailed deer, foxes, woodchucks, turkeys, coyotes, or turtles bathing in the sun. One of the focal points of the park is Pike Island, where the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers converge. The Mdewakantonwan Dakota believed this was the center of the Earth. When a day of sweaty activity has you burned out, take a dip in Snelling Lake. Float on your back and watch the airplanes fly over on their way to Minneapolis-St. Paul International, just across the highway.