River Bend Nature Center-Faribault-Minnesota

Today’s hiking adventure began at River Bend Nature Center.

As we began our adventure, we couldn’t help but notice all the colors of Spring! From the green grass and leaves to the purple, white, pink and yellow wildflowers. The energy of the park was vibrant and alive.

Not too long after we started our hike, we had to stop and put on our rain gear. Dark clouds appeared overhead and the rain began to fall.

For some reason, both of our internal navigation systems were off today. Every trail we thought we were on took us to a different destination then we read on the map. This park had surprises for us.

One side of the park borders the Minnesota State Prison. There were giant metal fences on one side of the trail and beautiful park land on the other. We continued on the unpaved trail.

The trail led to a tunnel. It was called the Teepee Tonka Tunnel. The sign stated it was established in 1937 as an old root cellar. Of course, we had to go through it.

Once through the tunnel, colorful wildflowers lined the edges of the trail.

We stopped on the bridge that crosses over the Straight River. Trains crossed over the bridge in the distance. A lone goose sat on the bridge watching the rushing river below.

The trail continues on the other side of the bridge, however, the River Bend trail system ends. We decided to turn back and take the trail closest to the river. River trails never disappoint!

A single red Columbine grew alongside the trail.

We spotted another tunnel but decided against going into it. We stayed on the river trail until we reached Teepee Tonka Park.

We looped around the park and it brought us back to where the lone goose was hanging out on the train bridge. And yes, the goose was still there. We found a tall set of stairs and decided to see what lay atop of the hill. We spotted deer at the top. We could not locate any trails, so back down the steps we went.

The trail laid parallel to the train tracks. We momentarily diverted from the trail to the train tracks.

We then crossed under the train tracks.

We continued along the trail.

The Straight River is anything but that. We hiked alongside the river and then crossed over it again.

At this point I decided that this park is now one of my favorites. The variety of landscapes and trails are amazing! Even in the pouring rain, the beauty of this park spoke to me! Little did I know what else this park was about to show me.

Lots of mushrooms! We even found a turkey feather.

There were many trails to hike on, some wide and some narrow. The narrow trails led within the forest area. A little slippery at times due to the rain and incline of the trail.

We looped back across the bridge over the Straight River and under the train tracks. There were several trails to choose from. As always, we chose the trail closest to the river. Wow! The river current was strong.

We continued on the trail taking in all the views of the river.

We made our way back to the Nature Center. As we were leaving the park, we saw a sign for a waterfall. We parked at the nearest lot and hiked back to see the waterfall.

Today’s hiking adventure was 10 miles.


2 thoughts on “River Bend Nature Center-Faribault-Minnesota

  1. The rain enhanced the vibrant spring colors! That river current was swift! I’m interested to learn the name of the cluster of frilly blossoms.

    Liked by 1 person

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