Thursday, May 28, 2015

Urban inline - new options from Bohemian Flats to the U of MN

I still miss the Minneapolis Friday Night Skate.

One day, maybe, inline skates will return. I've got maybe 10-20 years of legs left.

In the meantime Minneapolis trails keep getting better. The old skate was close up to Friday night traffic, but soon we might be able to do a trail free version.

Yesterday Ben and I explored the trails from Bohemian flats to Stone Arch bridge, upstream of the trail segment still blocked by the 2014 mudslide repairs (maybe finish this summer?).

That part of the trail is improved but not entirely new. What's new is there's now a sweet connection to the 10th Avenue University of Minnesota foot bridge (Google doesn't show it yet). Nice surface, nice views, no traffic.

if you squint at this panorama on the East Bank U you can see the footbridge to the right. You can also see trails that head up to Dinky Town (mid) and out somewhere far away (left)

For example...

Sure looks like we could string something together with the Cedar Lake trail out to Loring Park.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Mississipi River trails - and especially the urban section

A few weeks after a somewhat confusing river bottom mountain biking trip #2 son and I explored a portion of the urban bike/walk trail upstream of Meeker island on the east bank…

We entered from here, an unofficial but currently unmarked entrance on East River Parkway, north of St Anthony Ave by Shriners Hospital

The park below is best known locally as a male hookup spot — going back to 1930s if not earlier. Over the past 7 years it's become more popular with families, runners and cyclists.

It’s the downriver (south) end of East River Flats Park,  and, confusingly, it’s in Minneapolis (obnoxious city, it spills way into the St Paul side of the Miss).

If you continue downstream you cross into Saint Paul’s Desnoyer Parks neighborhood. We found old river trails that include lost CCC park trails and walked on into the new Meeker Island Park dog park

There’s a bit on history of the first lock and dam there, confusingly there’s no island now. I assume construction ate it.

The best guide to this somewhat mysterious area is the Mississippi River Field Guide, follow it downstream looking at “left descending bank". 

Thanks to great responses from the Facebook Page of the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area I’ve found additional resources that help with general Mississippi river exploration …