Winchell Trail

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Location: Mississippi River Gorge between Franklin and Minnehaha Park

The Winchell Trail was named for American geologist Newton Horace Winchell. He settled in Minnesota in 1872. He taught geology, botany and zoology at the U of M.

The Winchell Trail runs about 5 miles round trip following the western bluff of the Mississippi River Gorge between Franklin and Minnehaha Park. This trail is believed to have been a Dakotah Trail. This is a natural trail that has been subject to erosion. It was repaired by the city in 1912 and again renovated by the Works Progress Administration (WPA). This was our cities first rustic trail.

This is a beautiful walk that will take you down to the river as well as through an oak savanna restoration project. This trail is often mentioned on “best walks and trails” websites. Wear your hiking shoes! This can be muddy and slippery and at some parts somewhat challenging! Enjoy the escape. It’s amazing that this nature is sitting right at our back door!

Photo: Carri Musil

Being Good Stewards

Location: West River Parkway and East 42nd Street

We had the opportunity to meet these amazing young men. Paul and Michael started their most recent canoe trip in Bemidji. They portaged around Saint Anthony Falls and we found them after they navigated their canoes and belongings out of the Mississippi, up the steep gorge.

They told us that they were on day 26 of this journey. Along the way, they’ve been removing trash from the river. Other projects they’ve been involved with have included traveling across the country cleaning up areas, such as the Appalachian Trail. They originally planned on just the Minnesota portion, but currently considering doing the entire length of the River. Please visit their Adventure Stewardship Alliance Facebook page, their instagram page @adventurestewardship, and their website Thank you Michael and Paul for sharing your story. Safe travels to you.

Photo: Carri Musil

Belle’s ToolBox


Location: 3400 42nd Ave

Belle’s ToolBox has an emphasis on creating something out of nothing. They use things that have been found along the way to give children a chance to explore the possibilities of science, nature, literacy, history, art, and community. Activities are geared mostly towards preschool children and older.

Photo: Carri Musil

The Flight of the Monarchs


The last release of the season. A little one-on-one time before the flight. This generation of monarchs, end of the season, will hopefully make it Mexico to winter and back again come Spring. This generation is different then the earlier season generations that only lay eggs and then have a 2 to 6 week life span vs the several months span of the final late summer generation.

Photo: Carri Musil


19th Annual Laughing Waters Bluegrass Festival


Location: Minnehaha Falls Park

The park was packed with people listening and dancing to bluegrass music. Food trucks, Surly truck and of course Sea Salt were taking orders. Once the rain came, we ended up 2 rows deep sitting on the stage. There was even a lady handing out donuts! And somehow it was even for more fun with the rain pouring down!

Photo: Carri Musil