Reasons to Love Minnesota No. 151: Veterans Memorial Park

Get lost amid the cattails

In our continuing quest to find the least crowded parks and trails to practice social distancing, we gotta shout out Veterans Memorial Park and Legion Lake in Richfield.⁣

If you live out that way, you already know and love this green space because it hosts the Richfield Farmers Market and several annual events, including the Urban Wildland Half Marathon and Richfield Red, White, & Blue Days, a big Fourth of July celebration.⁣ Pre-coronavirus, it was also a go-to for its enormous picnic pavilion, outdoor pool, ice arena, miniature golf course, malt shop, and touching Honoring All Veterans memorial. Most of those things are shut down or inaccessible right now, but the park is still good for a peaceful walk. ⁣

The Veterans Memorial Park Loop is an easy 1.4-mile paved trail shared by pedestrians, dog walkers, runners, bicyclists, and birders. BYO binoculars — common sightings here include robins, mallards, Canadian geese, American goldfinches, and Northern cardinals. We even spotted a wee turtle sunning herself on a log.⁣

For a nice vantage point, pick up the floating boardwalk fringed with cattails, pictured here with Minnevangelist co-founder Andrew Parks doing his best #pensiveinfluencer pose 🤓. Though narrow in some stretches, it has enough double-wide sections that you can easily step to the side if you encounter other visitors.

Veterans Memorial Park
6335 Portland Ave., Richfield, MN; 612-861-9350.