You may not believe we found solitude on one of the first warm, sunny days at Lake Harriet in Minneapolis, but it is possible, I promise!
Now that we have a young one of our own, we are constantly trying to remember things that we did growing up in the Twin Cities. One thing that I have fond memories of is the Como-Harriet Streetcar at Lake Harriet. I had been checking their website this spring, anxious for them to start operating for the season. On Saturday, they started rolling!
There aren’t many opportunities to jump aboard a fully-restored streetcar from over 100 years ago, but the fine folks with the Minnesota Streetcar Museum operate out of both Excelsior and here at Lake Harriet. At Lake Harriet, about one mile of track remains from a past era where streetcars were part of daily life in the Twin Cities.
For only two bucks per person, with children three and under free, we enjoyed the fifteen minute ride, narrated by a friendly operator at each end. Enjoy the breeze through the open windows and learn a little history to boot! You can even get off at the Lake Calhoun stop and enjoy the beach there, too, before riding back to the depot at Lake Harriet.
We had seen a dirt path leading into the woods on our way to the streetcar station, so we walked over past the playground and found a sign for the Roberts Bird Sanctuary. Based on how busy the area is, I had two expectations: first, the trail would be crowded, just like the paved trail a hundred yards away along the lake, and second, there certainly wouldn’t be any birds!
How wrong I was on both points! As we stepped down the flight of stairs into the woods, the bustle of the Chain of Lakes faded away pretty quickly. Sure, you could always hear the cars, but otherwise, there was definitely some solitude. We probably only saw a half dozen people in our half-hour meander. As a bonus, there were birds! A few feet in, we saw a bird, and then another, and soon, they were all around us. It would be a great place for a bird lover! Learning to identify birds is definitely something I would like to do more someday.
Roberts Bird Sanctuary
We didn’t make it to the end of the trail, but I believe it opens up at the other end into a nicely landscaped garden area with flowers and benches. Overall, while the trail does parallel an ugly fence overlooking a beautiful cemetery, we were very pleased to find a neat, quiet place tucked away from the busy Chain of Lakes.
Do you have a secret sanctuary in the Twin Cities? Care to share? Leave a comment and let us know!
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