Pike Island is part of Fort Snelling State Park, and I wrote about visiting it as part of a long run last September. There's a wonderful trail on the island that, I learned in a spot of research today, was named the Twin Cities' best urban hike in 2011, and I was excited to show it to Josh.
The trouble about discovering marvelous places hours into a long run is that one's memory cannot always be trusted when trying to bring loved ones to said places a year later. Something you remember being "just a few minutes from here" could be a pretty long walk. Sometimes you access a place from a pedestrian-only path and have absolutely no clue how someone driving a car would find it. Sometimes you might try to steer a loved one away from the main (and correct) parking lot because you remember a "large paved road," which turns out to be a bike path. (My apologies to my patient, bemused husband.)
If you want to visit Pike Island, do not fear! Just park in the main Fort Snelling parking lot. It's easy, I promise.
Once we got there, it was easy to find the trail that led to the bridge to the island, and we started our loop. You can meander on a wide dirt path or along the Mississippi River - and eventually, if you walk all the way around the island, you get to see the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers. We explored the river first.
Then we hopped back up the riverbank and started down the trail.
I'd guess we saw about a dozen people along the three-mile loop. The skies started out cloudy, then all of a sudden it was completely clear, and then a few minutes later it was almost completely cloudy again. I was mystified. It was beautiful.
We took another family photo, but Debbie Downer on the left is looking a little morose. I think it's because he's used to being picked up lately only to be treated for his ear infection (sigh), so while he seemed to be thrilled with the hike, he wasn't very excited to be picked up for the photo.
The weather is definitely changing, and we made a resolution to squeeze little adventures like this into weekends this fall whenever we can.