Bloomington, Minnesota

Walk the Prairie Loop at Richardson Nature Center

0.8 Miles Total - 70 ft gain - Loop Trail

Originally added by Joe Whitson

Just twenty minutes from downtown Minneapolis, Richardson Nature Center is the perfect urban escape. This kid-friendly loop through a restored oak savanna offers visitors a peaceful and crowd-free afternoon among prairie flowers and wildlife.

Begin your hike behind the Visitor's Center and follow the path to the left towards the Prairie Loop Trail. The path quickly breaks out of the woods into an open prairie, looping through the tall grasses and burr oaks. The pond with its boardwalk is a great place to see Canada Geese, Tundra Swans, and different ducks - ask at the visitor's center and they may give you seeds to feed the birds. The forested perimeter and tall grasses give the impression of remoteness, despite the park's location in the middle of a busy suburb. And don't forget to stop at the Bee Tree! This solitary oak hosts a hive in its hollow trunk and is very picturesque.

When you get back to the trailhead, make sure to stop in to the Visitor's Center. There are a ton of great activities for kids including live snakes, turtles, and other animals, a play place, and a flock of turkeys that hang out in the back. This is also the place to rent snowshoes if you visit in the winter.

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Tags

Chillin
Photography
Running
Snowshoeing
Hiking
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Forest
Groups
Lake
Picnic Area
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

great picnic spot

First warm day of the year my fiance and I hopped over here for a picnic. Plenty of places to put down a blanket with a great view. Really surprising that this gem is nestled well into the more urban parts of the south metro

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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