OMG our lakes. They’re enormous. They’re tiny. They’re everywhere. But they’re not the only beautiful bodies of water around these parts. One place we like visiting when we can’t stray too far from home is the “marsh in the middle of the city,” a.k.a. Wood Lake Nature Center in Richfield. It’s a 150-acre natural area with three miles of groomed trails and floating boardwalks winding through mixed lowland forest, restored prairie, and cattail marsh.
Pets, bikes, and rollerblades are not allowed, but binoculars for birdwatching are encouraged. (Common sightings include Hooded Mergansers, Northern Orioles, and Hairy Woodpeckers, but you might luck out and spot a Peregrine Falcon or Great Horned Owl.) Bring a picnic if you go—or use your visit as an excuse to grab dinner at Lyn 65, just three minutes away.
Wood Lake Nature Center
6710 Lake Shore Dr. S., Richfield, MN; 612-861-9365.