As an employee of the University of Minnesota, most years I am treated to a scheduled Floating Holiday in which the campus is closed. It's usually the Friday of Spring Break and this year was the day after St. Patrick's Day and during March Madness. Since I wasn't hung over from green beer consumption and I don't watch basketball, the day was wide open with possibility and made even more fun because Scott took the day off to join me. Despite the snow and cooler temperatures, we decided to take a long walk (pretty much our default on vacation days).
We walked on the Grand Rounds Trail along the Minnehaha Creek, eastern side of Lake Harriet and the western side of Bde Maka Ska (Lake Calhoun). We left the Grand Rounds trail at W. Calhoun Boulevard and crossed Excelsior Boulevard and Lake Street to warm up at Rustica Bakery in the Calhoun Village Shopping Center. We continued our walk on the Midtown Greenway and exited at the Lake Street Transit Station where we hopped on a MetroTransit route 21 bus to Cedar Avenue. We then walked north on Cedar to 24th Street and used the pedestrian/bike bridge to cross Hiawatha Avenue. We stopped for lunch at United Noodle's Unideli and then picked up a Car2Go so we'd make it to the Mill City Museum by 2 p.m. to meet Janette Law, Director of Communications & Strategic Partnerships at the Minneapolis Parks Foundation. After a great conversation about our walk adventures around Minneapolis with Janette, we walked to Lakes & Legends Brewing Company in the Loring Park neighborhood. We returned home via MetroTransit bus route 156.
After our walk to Robbinsdale for Wicked Wort beers, Scott and I wanted to go the other direction and hit up Wabasha Brewing Company, one of a growing number of breweries in St. Paul. Walking to St. Paul has many benefits, including residents like Heidi who greet us at the border to ensure we felt welcome to our twin city!
After reading of our plans to walk to Wabasha, streets.mn founding board member Bill expressed interest in meeting up since the brewery is in his neighborhood. Thanks to my excessive tweet walking, our friends Ben and Erin discovered our arrival time to the brewery would work for them so they and their kids, Annie, Luke, and Charlie joined us. Later on, Rich and his son Noah joined us after they had their own walking adventure
Walk location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Starting at Lyndale Avenue South & West Minnehaha Parkway, we walked east on the Grand Rounds trail. At 5th Avenue South, we walked north on 5th Avenue South until 31st Street East. Then we zig zagged our way to Park Avenue and stopped at FIKA Cafe at the American Swedish Institute for lunch.
We continued on Park Avenue until we reached the Grand Rounds Trail at West River Parkway near the Mill City Museum where we made a pit stop.
We headed east on the trail and at 13th Avenue South, we cut over to the Dinkytown Trail and crossed over Northern Pacific Bridge Number 9.
We walked along East River Parkway to the Mayo Memorial Building and then crossed the Washington Avenue bridge to the West Bank campus where I had a streets.mn meeting in Blegen Hall.
Earlier in the week we made plans to meet Scott's sister Lisa and her husband Mitch at Wicked Wort Brewing Company in downtown Robbinsdale. When we woke up on Sunday, the sun was shining and around 40° so we both agreed walking to the brewery would be a great way to spend our morning.
We left our home at 9:45 AM and after a treacherous start to the walk due to icy sidewalks we decided to make our only pitstop at Bull Run Coffee Bar at 34th and Lyndale Avenue South. That seemed to give us the energy we needed to walk the remaining 7.5 miles to the brewery and we arrived at 1:00 PM.
After beers and lunch across the street at Nona Rossa's, we walked along the shore of Lake Crystal to pick up a Car2Go for our return trip home. It was a great launch to our 2016 walks. For our next beer walk, I'd like to change it up and head east to Wabasha Brewing Company in St. Paul.
Inspiration & Goals
The Nivens Family