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Hike: Minnehaha Falls

Posted Apr 13 2010 12:00am

Hike: Minnehaha Falls (MN)
By Arlene

*****

“By the shores of Gitche Gumme, By the shining Big-Sea-Water” By the shores of Minnehaha Creek is where I found myself today hiking in Minnesota (my 3rd official state while blogging for Heather). Expecting snow in early April, I was pleasantly surprised to have a warm spring day for my first Minnesota hike. Despite many trips to the Twin Cities, I have never been to Minnehaha Falls which begins with a tribute to Longfellow’s famous couple.

Hiawatha and Minnehaha

The trail begins at the base of Minnehaha Falls. The basin in the photo below has been carved by the water eroding the soft sandstone under the tougher limestone at the top of the basin. This was the only snow I saw the entire day!

Minnehaha Falls

There are two trails on each side of Minnehaha Creek as it flows to the Mississippi River. One side is a wide, easy path; the other path is closest to the Creek, and while it is muddy in places, it gave me great views of downy woodpeckers, bathing goldfinches, and the first wildflowers of spring in the Minnesota woods.

Bloodroot in bloom on the recently snow-free trail

The hike today reminded me how green Seattle is in early spring and made me wonder about how powerful the greening of Spring must be for Minnesotans. While I could catch a few glimpses today (some green buds on trees and the bold  yellow forsythia), the world still is predominantly brown. What joy the next month will bring as Minnesota forests go from winter dull to springtime color. I would love to do this same hike a month from now when the shores of Gitche Gumme Go Green.

Minnehaha Creek

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