Is hiking is the extreme version of walking around?
Sometimes, you want to walk. And taking a walk through a neighborhood just isn't going to cut it. This installment of City Pages Summer Guide will help you take a destination walk: one with beautiful scenery, extra leg-action requirements, and little creatures watching from a distance.
But first, in case you missed the rest of our Summer Guide coverage:
Now, onto our roundup of where to hike in the Twin Cities metro area:
Afton State Park
20 miles turf; 4 miles paved; .75 miles self-guided. 6959 S. Peller Ave., Hastings, 651-436-5391; dnr.state.mn.us.
Baker Park Reserve
19.8 miles total, paved and unpaved. 2309 Baker Park Rd., Maple Plain; 763-694-7860, threeriversparks.org.
Banning State Park
17 miles turf; 1 mile paved; 1.8 miles self-guided. (Hwy. 23 and I-35), Sandstone, 320-245-2668; dnr.state.mn.us.
Big Rivers Regional Trail
5.14 miles paved. (Hwy. 55 to Mendota Heights Rd., west 1/2 mi. on the road to trailhead), Mendota Heights; 952-891-7000; co.dakota.mn.us.
Bryant Lake Regional Park
3 miles total, both turf and paved. 6800 Rowland Rd., Eden Prairie, 763-694-7764; threeriversparks.org.
Carver Park Reserve
25.7 miles total, both turf and paved.
7200 Victoria Dr. (Lowry Nature Center), Victoria, 763-694-7650; threeriversparks.org.
Charles A. Lindbergh State Park
7 miles turf. 1615 Lindbergh Dr. S., Little Falls, 320-616-2525; dnr.state.mn.us.
Cleary Lake Regional Park
7 miles total, both paved and unpaved. 18106 Texas Ave., Prior Lake, 763-694-7777; threeriversparks.org.
Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park
4.6 miles total, both paved and unpaved. 10360 W. River Rd., Brooklyn Park; 763-694-7790, threeriversparks.org.
Crow-Hassan Park Reserve
17.6 miles of turf. 12595 Park Dr., Rogers, 763-694-7860; threeriversparks.org.
Eagle Lake Regional Park
1 mile unpave, 1 mile paved trail. 11000 Bass Lake Rd., Plymouth, 763-694-7695; threeriversparks.org.
Elm Creek Park Reserve
Over 50 miles of hiking trails, both paved and unpaved. 12400 James Deanne Pkwy., Maple Grove; 763-694-7894, threeriversparks.org.
Fish Lake Regional Park
3.3 miles of hiking trails, both paved and unpaved. 14900 Bass Lake Rd., Maple Grove; 763-694-7818, threeriversparks.org.
Fort Snelling State Park
18 miles total. 101 Snelling Lake Road, St. Paul, 612-279-3550; dnr.state.mn.us.
French Regional Park
10.4 miles total, both paved and unpaved. 12605 Cty. Rd. 9, Plymouth 763-694-7750; threeriversparks.org.
Gale Woods Farm
3.5 miles of crushed limestone trails. 7210 County Rd. 110 W., Minnetrista, 763-694-2001; threeriversparks.org.
Hidden Falls regional Park
6.7 miles of paved trails next to the Mississippi River. 1313 Hidden Falls Dr., St. Paul, 651-632-5111; stpaul.gov.
Hyland Lake Park Reserve
17.8 miles of trails, both paved and unpaved. 10145 Bush Lake Rd., Bloomington; 763-694-7687, threeriversparks.org.
4 miles turf; 3 miles self-guided; .5 miles wheelchair-accessible. 307 Milltown Rd., Taylors Falls, 651-465-5711; dnr.state.mn.us.
Lake Maria State Park
14 miles turf, 2 miles self-guided. 11411 Clementa Ave. NW, Monticello, 763-878-2325; dnr.state.mn.us.
Lake Minnetonka Regional Park
Over four miles of paved trails. 4610 Cty. Rd. 44, Minnetrista, 763-694-7754; threeriversparks.org.
Lake Rebecca Park Reserve
15.6 miles of both paved and unpaved trails. 9831 Rebecca Park Trail, Rockford, 763-694-7860; threeriversparks.org.
Minnesota Valley State Recreational Area
47 miles turf; 6 miles paved; 4.5 miles self-guided. 19825 Park Blvd., Jordan, 952-254-5774; dnr.state.mn.us.
Murphy-Hanrehan Park Reserve
21.4 miles total, both paved and unpaved, featuring the hiking-only Wood Duck trail. 15501 Murphy Lake Rd. (Cty. Rd. 75), Savage, 763-694-7777; threeriversparks.org.
North Mississippi Regional Park
1.6 miles paved, with guided nature hikes and outdoor explorations throughout the summer. 5700 Lyndale Ave. N., Minneapolis, 763-694-7790; threeriversparks.org.
University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum
6 miles paved; 8.25 miles turf. 3675 Arboretum Dr., Chaska, 952-443-1400; arboretum.umn.edu.
Willard Munger State Trail
Trail runs 70 miles from Hinckley to Duluth. The paved 18.3 mile Gateway state trail traverses Phalen Park. 651-296-6157; dnr.state.mn.us.