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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

winter in minnesota : our hike in nerstrand big woods state park

the second day of april! my ankle is still in rough shape, so i took a day off from biking & lifting yesterday. hoping to get back into it today.

one of my '101 things in 1001 days' is to visit 15 minnesota state parks.
blake & i are mpr [minnesota public radio] members. this winter, we doubled our monthly donation & as a thank you, we received a year-long state parks pass.

a couple weeks ago, i had the day off, so we loaded up the dog, put on heavy sweaters & headed out to our first state park of the season.

nerstrand big woods is located outside of northfield, minnesota ; about 45 minutes south of minneapolis.
the weather was beautiful [sunny & 35*] & still quite a bit of snow on the ground.
when we hike with daphne, we use a 50-foot rope. we give her plenty of room to run around & smell, but she is still connected to us. since shes still a puppy [and a bit of a maniac] ; i am not convinced she would come back to us if she saw another dog // squirrel // rabbit. maybe in the future, but not yet. plus, not everybody loves dogs, so i wouldnt want her to scare a hiker // runner.

big woods has a bunch of trails covering the park. there were 3 trails that started at our entrance. two of those trails were only groomed for skiing, so we took the third trail. our hike was a bit under 3 miles. 
we are super excited to take daphne camping this spring // summer. minnesota is such a beautiful state & there really are state parks everywhere. the goal is to hit 15, but honestly, i would love to hike 20-30 of them between now & the fall.
we will see ;)

how about you?
do you have a favorite state park?
any suggestions for hiking // camping with a pup?
you can see some of daphnes other adventures here.