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June 10, 2016 - TCO

10 Gorgeous Summer Run Routes

Even if you’re a longtime resident of the Twin Cities or Western Wisconsin, chances are there are spectacular running and walking routes you still haven’t explored. We scoured “best of” lists online, polled avid runners, and learned everything we could about the most beautiful places to go for a run in the area.

Although it was difficult to narrow them down, we identified ten of the most gorgeous routes to run or walk this summer. Make it your goal to try them all!

10 Gorgeous Summer Run Routes

1 – Lake Calhoun – Minneapolis, MN
Location: Start along W Calhoun Parkway – http://goo.gl/oLvXxJ
Route: 3.3 miles around Lake Calhoun. Extend to include Lake of Isles (+3mi) or Lake Harriet (+3.7mi)
Tip: The east side is gorgeous during sunset, and with public beaches, picnic areas, and Uptown restaurants nearby, it’s easy to turn this route into a whole day trip!

2 – Lake Elmo Park Reserve – Lake Elmo, MN
Location: Lake Elmo Park Reserve, Loop A – https://washington.mn.us
Route: 3.8 miles, around Eagle Point Lake
Tip: Visit for free (no vehicle permit required) the first Tuesday of every month! (Jul 5, Aug 2, Sep 6, Oct 4, Nov 1, Dec 6, 2016)

3 – Minnehaha Falls to Minnesota River – Minneapolis, MN
Location:  Start at Minnehaha Park – http://goo.gl/2IjTtP
Route: 5.7 miles
Tip: Cool off by walking down by Minnehaha Falls. It’s one of the area’s premier landmarks!

4 –  Hyland Lake Park Reserve (link) – Bloomington, MN
Location: Start at Recreation Park Entrance – http://goo.gl/OT1HyC
Route: 2 mile loop around Hyland Lake, or extend to the Nature Reserve (+3mi)
Tip: The park (like all 3 Rivers Park District parks) features several family-friendly activities. Hyland is known for its skiing and snowboarding in the winter, but some summer activities include disc golf, geocaching, canoeing, and kayaking!

5 – Lake Como – St. Paul, MN
Location: Park near Como Dockside and Como Zoo – http://goo.gl/UkwWLV
Route: 1.7 miles around lake, extend to the zoo (+1mi)
Tip: Walk to the free Como Zoo! Or, check out the live music on Sunday afternoons (3pm) at Como Dockside.

6 – Interstate State Park – St. Croix Falls, WI
Location: Wisconsin entrance ($3-$11/vehicle) https://goo.gl/maps/k2HMwpCsSRM2
Route: Choose any hiking trail! (Trails link)
Tip: There is an Interstate Park across the St. Croix River in Minnesota, too. You can hike in two states in one day!

7 – Medicine Lake – Plymouth, MN
Location:  Park off 17th Ave – http://goo.gl/7KElTI
Route: 7.5 miles full loop
Tip: With plenty of free parking, picnic shelters with grills, and sand volleyball courts, it’s easy to turn your visit into a day trip. Keep an eye out for the planes that occasionally land on the water!

8 – Rice Marsh Lake – Eden Prairie & Chanhassen, MN
Location: Rice Marsh Lake is right off HWY 212 – Trail map route link
Route: 3.2 miles, loop around the lake.
Tip: There are two Rice Marsh Lake Parks, one in Eden Prairie and one in Chanhassen. Start at either park and make the full loop. Remember to stay on the trail, as the property south of the lake is MnDOT property.

9 – Harriet Island Park – St. Paul, MN
Location: Park at Harriet Island, across from Downtown St. Paul – http://goo.gl/WzefZy
Route: Run along the river, then turn around and come back the same way. It’s 3 miles to the Pool & Yacht Club.
Tip: After your run/walk check out what’s happening in nearby Downtown St. Paul!

10 – Stower Seven Lakes State Trail – Amery, WI
Location: Start in Amery and run to Bear Trap Lake and back – http://goo.gl/PW2ugX
Route: 5mi, crushed stone path
Tip: The Stower Seven Lakes State Trail runs from Amery to Dresser, through Nye, Wanderoos, and Deronda.

At Twin Cities Orthopedics, we’re dedicated to helping everyone enjoy a healthy, active lifestyle year-round. Our local neighborhoods are full of gorgeous places to run, walk, and enjoy the outdoors with the whole family, and we hope you’ll take advantage of these great routes this summer. Stay safe!

Thanks for reading!