The Minnesota River starts near the border of Minnesota and South Dakota. It flows southeast, then northeast, like a sort of backward check-mark on the lower half of Minnesota. The river is the southerly border of the City of Bloomington, a Minneapolis suburb, and shortly thereafter flows into the Mississippi. There are numerous paths along the river for hiking, biking, and horseback riding (and snowmobiling in the winter).
There are several trails along the river on the south side of Bloomington (both the Long Meadow Lake unit and the Bloomington Ferry unit). Starting at the Russell A. Sorenson Landing (on the end of Lyndale Ave in Bloomington), you can hike the Bluff Trail all the way to Old Cedar Ave. I hiked a portion of this trail last week. It meanders up and down the bluffs, making it a fairly interesting hike and a good workout. Despite its proximity to residential areas (people like to put houses on the high river bluffs), you often feel isolated – in a good way, of course.
The trail varies between wide and narrow. Sometimes big enough to walk 3 or 4 abreast, other times so narrow that you must walk single-file, but always well-traveled.
The path near Lyndale Ave. is sandy. As you move away from the boat landing, you move up the bluffs and out of the river valley.
I thought this old tree was cool.
Lots of green!
There were a lot of inlets and tiny tributaries.
And of course, the river itself.