It’s official—spring has sprung in the Twin Cities! The birds have arrived, trees are budding and the locals are all about getting outside! In honor of Earth Day coming later this week (April 22), today’s #MNMondays feature is all about an ideal place to enjoy nature without leaving Minneapolis—a walk (or bike) around Lake Harriet.
Part of the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes Regional Park, Lake Harriet is circled by a 2.75-mile pedestrian trail and slightly larger bicycle trail, which connect to the larger trail system along the shores of Lake Calhoun and Lake of the Isles. Picturesque and relaxing, visitors can see a variety of birds and duck species as well as a plethora of trees and foliage. There’s also a marina for non-motorized watercraft, canoe rentals, multiple fishing piers at various points around the lake and two swimming beaches. Plus, a rose garden during the warmer months!
In addition, there’s the Lake Harriet Bandshell with live performances throughout the summer, and Bread & Pickle—a walk-up eatery with casual dining options and plenty of tables for waterfront dining (and an indoor restroom).
While all of the lakes within the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes Regional Park are nice, I find Lake Harriet particularly appealing because it’s a bit more relaxed and slightly more secluded than the trails around Lake Calhoun. It’s a lovely walk around the lake with nice breezes and plenty of wildlife sightings—plus there’s a tree with a fairy door—how many lakes offer that?
It’s also a nice spot to relax by the waterfront while enjoying a snack from Bread & Pickle or to hop on the vintage Como-Harriet Streetcar Line for a summertime ride over to Lake Calhoun.
All in all, Lake Harriet is the perfect place to relax, enjoy nature and unplug from the daily grind without leaving the Minneapolis city limits!