Nearly seven miles of well-maintained trails await outdoorsy types at Crosby Farm Regional Park, the largest natural park in St. Paul. Named after Thomas Crosby—the English immigrant who first raised crops and livestock here from 1858 to 1886—the area now encompasses 736 acres that wind their way along floodplain forest and wetlands, towering oak trees, a couple of small lakes, and the Mississippi River. As is often the case with the Twin Cities’ ample green spaces, it’s easy to forget you’re just five minutes from civilization when surrounded by so much wildlife. Depending on the season, birders will find everything here from bald eagles to belted kingfishers; a few hours of fishing may net a big fat catfish, pike, or bass. If you don’t catch any dinner, there’s always our favorite Jewish delicatessen, Cecil’s, about a 10-minute drive away. The Highland Park staple turns 70 this summer, which means it has had 70 years to perfect its New York-style pastrami and make Bubbe proud.
Crosby Farm Regional Park
2595 Crosby Farm Rd., St. Paul, MN; 651-632-5111.