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GARDENGIRL54's Photo GARDENGIRL54 Posts: 803
5/2/11 1:57 P

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I love this topic b/c I can definitely relate. Living in a relatively flat area of Iowa - lots of corn and bean fields - I envy those who can take a day and hike somewhere fantastic. Because being outdoors is so enriching, I enjoy some of our county park which are within a 5 mile drive - or the city parks when time is even shorter. I used to take the kids with me when they were younger until they declined saying that "nature really wasn't their thing". Hopefully, they will come back to these walks as they mature....
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RENATA5's Photo RENATA5 Posts: 3,442
5/1/11 2:29 P

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Silverbirch65, I grew up in the Twin Cities (and have become a Wisconsin transplant) .. some of my favorite urban hikes in my previous urban life were:

Springbrook Nature Center
Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden
Walkway along the Mississippi (parallel to Shepherd Road)
Lake Como

I've not been to Minnehaha Creek .. although I'd love to photograph it during the winter when the falls are frozen.

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4/27/11 2:30 P

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I was inspired to write this post after a phonecall from my mother, who had just spotted a wild turkey in her backyard. Now, I know that there are places where flocks of 70+ turkeys are not uncommon, but consider that she lives in Cambridge, MA--a city snuggled right next to Boston, and definitely not a rural area.

Where there is a wild turkey... there's probably enough scrub and green cover to make being out and about have at least a hint of wildness to it.

Not that I don't drool over the descriptions from those among us lucky to live within a stone's throw of rough and variegated ground. I loved the thread about women walking alone here, where the issues ranged from potential human threat factors to "hey, let's face it, it's nice to have a companion when you drop fifty feet off a trail and are stuck on a ledge with no cell phone service." I love being out (and alone) in wild places, and I won't pretend my (mini) dachshund could act as anything like a deterrent to a determined attacker--would that I could have any of those issues a concern for me locally! :-)!

But being out on a landscaped parkway, with clouds of lilac blossoms blocking the view of the cars on both sides... there's something heady and positive in that too.


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JAMES731's Photo JAMES731 SparkPoints: (0)
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4/26/11 7:30 P

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Sometimes, just a flat out Urban Hike is a great experience. you discver parts of your town that maybe you miss in a car. i don't think by its definition that hike's have to take place in the wild, I think they can be on the mean streets too.

I loved your post, thanks for the reminder!

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MTODRYK's Photo MTODRYK Posts: 103
4/26/11 6:54 P

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Excellent Point. We often don't think about areas like that. In our city of Yucaipa there are foothills with hiking trails. The kids love to go hiking on those just as much as the "big mountains"

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SILVERBIRCH65's Photo SILVERBIRCH65 SparkPoints: (0)
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4/26/11 5:42 P

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This thought came to me reading the "What's your local hiking area?" thread. The posts seem to zig-zag between those of us who live in spectacular, varied landscape, and those of us who are, uh, "feature-challenged" in our local area and have to drive a lot to see landscape with any variety to it.

That said, people are spending, in general, a lot less time outdoors and a lot of wildlife and flora have returned to the cities. Thank god for rivers, is all I can say...

Here in the Twin Cities (Minnesota) most of the interesting walking focuses on river bluff areas. My favorite short walk is in a ravine alongside Minnehaha creek, below the "famous" falls (famous via the Longfellow poem, but really they are not that impressive). You can walk out on the trail on one side of the creek, and back on the other--with a glorious view of the mighty Mississippi (not so mighty where it runs through the cities) at the end.

I really appreciate these pockets of wildness hidden in an urban area.


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