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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking for parks in the area between the river and Northfield area, mainly along the 35W stretch (so, Burnsville, Savage, Apple Valley, Prior Lake, Lakeville, Farmington, Elko, Northifeld, New Prague) that have a lot of nature, preferrably water with a nice beach, nice playground with shade for the moms, trails, picnic area with grills etc. It does not need to have all the things listed (lots of nature and beach are important though).<br><br>
If you have a link, that would be great.<br><br>
Thanks,<br>
Josefina.
 

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Cleary Lake is a great spot! It has just about everything you mentioned and a cute little 9 hole golf course. I would say it is about 5-10 miles off of 35 towards Prior Lake.<br><a href="http://www.threeriversparkdistrict.org/parks/park.cfm?pid=4" target="_blank">http://www.threeriversparkdistrict.o...park.cfm?pid=4</a>
 

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Thanks for the recommendation. I went there once in the winter with lots of snow on the ground so i didn't really have a chance to explore much. It's righ tnext to dh's work, so I will check it out again.<br><br>
Any other great parks, anyone?<br><br>
Josefina.
 

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The Carleton Arboretum is really nice, right in Northfield. There are two areas, the Upper and Lower Arb. I forget which is which, but one is on the west side of the campus, right by north Hwy. 3. It has unpaved trails, lots of woods, and the Cannon River goes through, with some semi-beachy spots. The other section is more east of campus with paved trails. Some Carleton buildings intermix around the edges here, so you don't feel completely away from civilization, but the paved trails are nice sometimes with baby in tow.<br><br>
I'm in a new moms' walking group that haphazardly meets MWF at 1:00 at the Goodbye Blue Monday coffeehouse downtown to go for strolls around the Carleton area, usually with a stretch through the Arb. It's kind of a "if you come that day-- great, if you don't--you don't" kind of thing, so you never know who or how many may actually show on a given day. It's usually pretty small, considering it's fairly limited to in-town stay-at-home moms. If you ever feel like showing up and coming along, consider yourself invited! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"><br><br>
Stacy
 

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Thank you Stacy! I would love to join you guys sometime soon. We just bought a second car so I can get around more easily. I live by the retirement center and I did try walking once to downtown--a bit too far<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">.<br><br>
Josefina.
 

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Hey Josefina-- I thought of a few more local parks you might enjoy:<br><br><a href="http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/nerstrand_big_woods/index.html%3Cbr%20/%3Ewww.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/sakatah_lake/index.html%3Cbr%20/%3Ewww.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/frontenac/index.html%3Cbr%20/%3Ethesciencecentermnp.org/index.html%3Cbr%20/%3Ewww.rbnc.org/" target="_blank">www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/nerstrand_big_woods/index.html<br>
www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/sakatah_lake/index.html<br>
www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/frontenac/index.html<br>
thesciencecentermnp.org/index.html<br>
www.rbnc.org/</a><br><br>
These last two, the Maltby Nature Preserve in Randolph and River Bend Nature Center in Faribault, have lots of educational programs you might be interested in.<br><br>
Also going south on Hwy. 3 halfway to Faribault there is a little known park east of Hwy. 3 on County Road 9 going a mile or two past a junkyard down to the Cannon River that is actually rather nice, there's a beachy clearing down by a spot on the river across from a neat limestone bluff, the trails are rather "rustic", shall we say? It has a few crude camp sites as well, can't remember if there are BBQ grills.<br><br>
Take care, Stacy
 
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