Hiking in Crosby Farm Regional Park

trees along mississippi river

Saint Paul/Ramsey County • No fee Crosby Farm Regional Park—indeed an old farmstead—offers almost seven miles of wooded, prairie and waterside trails just minutes from 35E and downtown Saint Paul. First, What I Didn’t Like I’ll admit my first impression of the park wasn’t high when I visited the restroom first thing. It had standing …

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Velo du Nord: Bike, Wellness & Coffee Shop

New in 2019 is Velo du Nord—a small locally-owned Afton business with an interesting combination of cycling, massage, homemade waffles and coffee! Most of us don’t automatically match those four things up together. But for co-owners Bjorn Selander and Sarah Engen, the combination is perfectly natural. Their ideas came out of their personal history and …

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Aqua-Bound: Award-Winning Kayak and SUP Paddle Maker

You’ll find Aqua-Bound’s kayak and stand-up paddles used all over the world. And they’re made at their factory right next door in Osceola, Wisconsin. I have a special place in my heart for this award-winning company: I’ve been writing for their blog since 2016, so I’ve seen a fair amount of their inner workings. They’re …

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Kayaking on Square Lake

Stillwater/Washington County • Daily or annual park pass needed The centerpiece of Square Lake County Park is 200-acre Square Lake, our kayaking destination on a gorgeous summer day. The Metropolitan Council has designated the park a regional “Special Recreation Feature” because of the lake’s outstanding water quality. It’s known as one of Minnesota’s clearest lakes—something …

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Hiking in St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park

Hastings/Washington County • Daily or annual park pass needed St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park is another park in Washington County along the beautiful St. Croix River. The park hosts almost 10 miles of hiking trails across varied terrain, including both forest and upland prairie. All but a mile of them are natural-surface, either grass or …

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Bending Branches: World-Class Paddles made in Osceola, Wisconsin

bending branches canoe paddle

The folks at Bending Branches, just across the river in Osceola, have been designing and manufacturing world-class canoe paddles since 1982. They’ve since added kayak paddles, kayak fishing paddles and stand-up paddle board paddles to their repertoire, and have loyal customers all over the world. I know this company well—I’ve been writing for their blog …

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