Thursday, August 20, 2015

Red River State Recreation Area: July 19th, 2015

The Red River State Recreation Area (hereafter known as RRSRA) is kind of an unusual park.  It's on the banks of the Red River in East Grand Forks, and it is new.  Up until the floods of 1997, there were houses and businesses on the 1,200 acres that are now parkland.

Hiking through the wilderness

The flood destroyed entire communities, and the danger of future floods required the residents to sell the land when the Army Corps of Engineers rebuilt the levees and other flood protection systems.  Now, instead of houses and businesses, there is a greenway with walking trails, fishing piers, a campground, and playgrounds on the riverbank.  The Hiking Club Trail follows the river for a few miles, and then loops back through the nearby neighborhood.

Highway 2 heading to Grand Forks, North Dakota

While we were walking along, we thought about all of the other State Parks that bordered another state - or, in some cases, country.  We could have waded to Canada from Franz Jevne, or swam to Wisconsin from any number of parks along the St. Croix River.  We were right across from South Dakota at Big Stone Lake, a mile north of Iowa at Lake Louise, and now we were right under the overpass to North Dakota.  So many scenic borders!

A fishing spot on the Red River of the North

You may think that it would be impossible to get lost on a well-marked, urban trail.  You would be wrong.  We got into a rhythm and completely missed our turn.  If you are going on this Hiking Club Trail, make sure you turn before you hit the big floodwall.

Turn HERE!

In the Lake Bronson post I said that there were four biomes in the state of Minnesota.  That is not true, it turns out that there are five.  The fifth state biome is that of the Tot Lot.  There must have been about 10 playgrounds along the RRSRA Hiking Club Trail.  I suppose that, if there was another flood, it would be easy to clean them off and go on as normal.  But it was strange to see SO MANY playgrounds - including one very impressive one near the SRA headquarters - in one place.

I hike across the dangerous swinging bridge

This is the super-impressive park.  If I were a kid, I'd be all over it.

There was some wildlife on the trail: we saw a ton of dragonflies, a few deer, and many grey squirrels.  There were also a lot of people out and about: joggers, bicyclists, people with strollers, lots of kids in the parks.  It looks like the RRSRA is well-used.

As for us, we used the RRSRA to hit a milestone: we earned our 175 mile patches.  ONE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY FIVE MILES, people!  There is only one patch left and it is a big one.  We're on track to finish off the Minnesota State Hiking Club trails this summer...we're already thinking of what to do next.  Hmm...

What'll we do next?

Total miles hiked today: 2.2 miles
Total miles hiked in 2015: 26.3
Total ticks today: Joe - 0; Elly - 0; Thunderdog - 0
Total ticks in 2015: 9

Countdown to All Miles: 17.4 to go

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