Take a hike

“In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.” – John Muir; Environmentalist, naturalist and advocate for the preservation of wilderness in the United States
Imagine the warm feeling of the sun shining on your face, the wind wrestling your hair and the sweet melodious sounds of birds chirping in the trees.

These are all sounds you may experience on a hike, or even a brisk walk, at your local park or nature center.

Did you know that these experiences are not only enjoyable but also good for your mental and physical health?

Residents who live at the Wildflower at Lake Elmo, or even in the surrounding area, are blessed to live within a couple of miles of the sprawling Lake Elmo Park Reserve that has 2,165 acres (3.5 miles) of gently rolling hills, forest and prairie landscapes – 80% of which is protected wildlife.

The greater Washington County area has 4,400 acres of parks and trails where you can hike or walk including at Big Marine Park Reserve, Cottage Grove Ravine Regional Park, Hardwood Creek Regional Trail, Pine Point Regional Park, Point Douglas Park and Regional Trail, Square Lake County Park and St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park.

Now is the perfect time to go on a hike in the Lake Elmo Park Reserve that has 28.7 miles of trails. The spring season officially began on Saturday, March 20. The typically harsh Minnesota weather is warming up, green plants are popping up and wildlife is returning after a long hibernation.

Here are a few benefits you may get from going on a hike, according to the Natural Parks Services:

  • Building stronger muscles and bones.
  • Improving your sense of balance.
  • Strengthens your core.
  • Lowers your risk of heart disease.
  • Improves your blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
  • Decreasing the risk of certain respiratory problems.
  • Boosting your mood.
  • Calming anxiety.
  • Lowering risk or improving depression.
  • Improves social relationships and friendships when you hike with someone else.
  • Improving sleep quality.

So lace up those hiking boots; grab a buddy, family member or neighbor and get out in the great outdoors for wonderful hike.