5 Hikes worth your time in Walker – Guest Blogger trip101
5 Hikes Worth Your time in Walker, MN
Sporting a population of less than a thousand citizens, Walker, Minnesota has been gifted the rarity of ideal climatic temperatures and engaging outdoor recreation. Known for its Leech Lake, located within the protected Chippewa National Forest, it’s a Minnesota attraction that offers locals and visitors alike the chance to explore the third-largest lake of its kind in the entire state. This unsung staple in the “Land of 10,000 Lakes” is entirely worth your exploration, especially when you explore its network of hiking opportunities. Check out any one of our recommended trails in Walker, to explore the best corners of a vibrant town.
- Heartland State Trail
Forty-nine miles of total trail length between Park Rapids and Cass Lake make the Heartland State Trail one of Walker’s premiere attractions. It exists as one of the state’s first converted trails from a railway venture. All stretches of the trail are paved, making for easy navigation, whether you’re on foot, driving a snowmobile, or riding a bike. Select portions of the trail are also available for horseback riders, making it one of Minnesota’s true multi-use trails.
Look for the Heartland state Trail to eventually connect to the Paul Bunyan State Trail. While on the trail itself, you’ll find yourself the privileged recipient of pristine lake views, while you’re immersed in natural forests and quiet communities. Keep in mind that along the way, you are likely to spot some species of coyote and weasel, as well as bobcats or a black bear.
- Shingobee Connection Trail
The Shingobee Connection Trail shaved about ten miles off my trip the third day.
Seven solid miles of picture-perfect trail in Minnesota characterizes the Shingobee Connection Trail, one of Walker’s staple trailheads. Renowned for connecting the Paul Bunyan State Trail with the Heartland State Trail, the Shingobee Connection Trail is nevertheless a great hike in its own right.
You can check out a large portion of the Shingobee Creek without leaving the trail, because of the trail’s natural path. Gentle hills covered in trees offer adventurers all the shade they need while navigating the Shingobee Connection Trail, before depositing dedicated travelers at the very edge of the Chippewa National Forest. No matter the time of the year, there’s a reason to visit this trail, if only for the views you make your own.
- Migizi Trail
If you’re looking for a path that exists solely for the purpose of hiking and biking, then the Migizi Trail in Walker is the ideal solution. Paved but only authorized for non-motorized use, this trail takes you through many of the highlights of the Chippewa National Forest. You’re also gifted with sight of both Cass Lake and Pike Bay, for some excellent views of the water. Hikers and bikers of all skill levels are encouraged to try the Migizi Trail on for size. You can also bring your dog along for the journey, provided that your pet remains on a leash.
The trail itself derives its name from the bald eagle, or “migizi” in the Ojibwe dialect. Since the trail as officially established in 2003, it has existed to give hikers and bikers the opportunity to explore previously unexplorable corners of Walker. You’ll find a moderate amount of traffic along the trail during the majority of the year, but don’t let the friendly passerby stop you from enjoying a prime example of natural hospitality in Minnesota.
- Woodtick Trail
Quiet evening along the Woodtick Trail, Walker Ranger District #ChippewaNF
Different entirely from the Migizi trail, the Woodtick Trail in Walker, Minnesota allows you to drive your automobile directly through the local Chippewa National Forest. Now, you can enjoy the sights and the sounds of one of the state’s world-class protected forests, from the comfort of your own car! It’s a rare opportunity for convenient exploration that the region alone offers. Better yet, there’s no fee in order to use the Woodtick Trail, so you can venture onto the path free of charge.
Bring friends or the entire family along for the journey, in order to share the intimate, natural experience with those closest to you. The trail itself is roughly fourteen miles in total length, and is constructed alongside what once was a railroad grade in the 1890s. That rail path was originally used to transport logs to a local sawmill; however, today the Woodtick Trail allows you to venture through the Chippewa National Forest at a pace comfortable for your enjoyment. Feel free to exit the vehicle at any point to stretch, or to get a closer look at the nature that surrounds you!
- North Country Trail
Yesterday, crossed the NCT while biking the Walker loop. This is the crossing of the Paul Bunyan & Heartland State Trails by 6th Lake Rd. Deer flies are definitely out in force.
For those dedicated hikers that are looking for an assortment of diversified hiking styles and settings, all from the convenience of a single trail, the North Country Trail in Walker is the one for you. Discover everything from Native American sites to the remnants of a logging time gone by. There’s also evidence of the iron mining that took place along the water’s edge, viewable from several angles during the hike itself.
Fall for the portfolio of animal species that you can spot while hiking the North Country Trail! These creatures often include whitetail deer, timber wolves, and bald eagles. Keep in mind that moose, Canada lynx, and black bears have also been known to frequent the grounds surrounding the trail itself, so visitors are encouraged to be alert even while the enjoy their lush surroundings. From the aspen to the blue skies, there are more reasons than ever to find yourself hiking this special Walker trail.
Network of Walker Trails Set to Impress
Make the most of your visit to Walker, by sampling any one of the diverse trail network that the region offers. Fortunately, different trailheads, and even different sectors of the same trail, are of varying difficulties, so hikers, bikers, and even drivers can select the trail difficulty they most prefer to encounter. In an age where most attractions are not without an ever-increasing price tag, access to wide open nature remains free. Witness to authentic Minnesotan majesty at a pace most comfortable for you, and witness the healing effects of the sun on the skin while you make Walker’s best trails your home! For more destination guides and accommodation reviews, hotels and vacation rentals, check out Trip101.