No matter where we go, Ben and I love to explore and discover beautiful places to hike or bike. Since moving to Minnesota just one week ago, we’ve done our best to get out and explore as many parks and hikes as we can squeeze in. Here, I wanted to gather our favorite hikes in and around the Twin Cities — places we really enjoyed hiking and can foresee hiking again and again!
Afton State Park. Afton State Park provided our favorite hike so far. Situated on the Saint Croix River — the border between Minnesota and Wisconsin — there are beautiful views of the hills, bluffs, and river. The state park offers campsites, beaches, hiking trails, biking trails, and more. We loved how we were able to see hills, prairies, forests, and water all in one sweaty and fun hike! Following our hike, we drove to the city of Afton — a very quaint city with restaurants, coffee shops, and boutiques.
Carver Lake Park and Beach. Carver Lake Park and Beach has beautiful trails for walking, hiking, and biking. (Ben is especially excited about the 5 miles of single-track mountain biking trail!) We really enjoyed our hike, because there were so many different trails throughout the park — many of which were shaded and offered really beautiful scenery. To be able to end the day at the beach is also really fun!
Tamarack Nature Preserve. Located in the heart of Woodbury, Minnesota, Tamarack Nature Preserve has beautiful trails and wooden bridges over marshy areas. Because the preserve is in the city, we heard city sounds until we ventured deeper in the woods. A few minutes in, we really enjoyed the scenery and the blend of forests and marshes. Because we live in Woodbury, we really appreciated the convenience of visiting the preserve.
Fish Creek Bluff Preserve. The 1-mile paved trail is perfect for a walk, hike, or run. There is a really awesome lookout, diverse trees and plants, and really beautiful scenery.
As Ben and I become more familiar with Minnesota, I am excited to add more hikes to our list above! In the meanwhile, I hope if you’re living in or visiting Minnesota, you enjoy these hikes as much as we did!
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I'm Kelly Zugay — a Saint Paul, Minnesota-based small business owner, podcaster, and content creator.
By day, I am co-founder of With Grace and Gold and host of Brand It, Build It Podcast.
Here, since 2013, I've explored and shared about lifestyle, plant-based, vegan recipes, home building and decor, and travel — and I am truly so glad you're here!