Posts Tagged ‘Elm Creek Park Reserve’

Cycle through Elm Creek Park Reserve in Champlin, MNIt didn’t take long for me to devise a personal list of my top-ten things to do in Champlin. Take a look and think about your favorite things to do in our community—and then post it in the comments section.

  1. Bicycling in Elm Creek Park Reserve
    I grew up in rural Sheridan, Wyoming where bike trails are nonexistent. I had to ride on gravel roads or on the side of the road hoping I didn’t get hit by passing trucks and horse trailers. This is one of the top-ten reasons I love Minnesota; bike trails are everywhere! I feel so fortunate.
  2. Walking along the Mississippi River in Donie Galloway Park
    Donie Galloway Park isn’t your traditional park. It’s a big, open field with trails that follow the Mississippi River—a hidden gem really. 
  3. Swimming at the Elm Creek Reserve swimming pond
    It’s so clean! I love riding bike through Elm Creek Park to the swimming pond on a hot day, and then jumping in. It’s worth paying $20 for a season family pass. Or you can pay $2 per person per day. It is open Memorial Day through Labor Day from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  4. Walking to Caribou Coffee for a cappuccino
    I love walking, and now there are sidewalks from my house to Caribou Coffee. I get exercise and a cappuccino. What more could I ask for: more trash bins along the path, perhaps. 
  5. Having a beer and miniburgers at Maverick’s Woodgrill 
  6. Taking my dog to the Elm Creek Off-Leash Dog Park 
  7. Picking strawberries at Bauer’s Berry Farm
    Bauer Berry Farm offers the finest in strawberries, blueberries, and sweet corn; pick your own, or purchase picked fruit fresh from the field!
  8. Watching a movie at Champlin Mann Theatre
  9. Ice skating at the Champlin Ice Forum
  10. Visiting the observatory at Jackson Middle School 

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You only have a few days to plan. Mother’s Day is this Sunday, May 11. Wondering what to do? Why not try something local?

Buy Mom a plant, maybe a few plants, and get yourself some too!
Champlin Garden Club is having its annual plant sale in the American Legion parking lot beginning at 8 a.m. on Saturday, May 10. Perennials, herbs, house plants, garden art and potted plants from member’s gardens will be available to purchase—rain or shine.

The Champlin Garden Club (CGC) is a group of gardeners, novice to expert, who gather monthly to hear presentations on relevant topics, participate in activities and share ideas.

In addition to the regular programs the CGC contributes to the community by maintaining the gardens at Doris Kemp Park in Champlin and providing decorated Christmas trees to the City of Champlin City Hall and Parks department during the holidays. Each May the club sponsors a plant sale at the Champlin Legion Hall. Proceeds from this event provide scholarships for both high school and vocational students.

The club meets at the Champlin Parks and Recreation Building the second Monday of each month at 6:45. All visitors are welcome. For more information contact Carrie Johnson at 421-8116 or Jody Anderson at 427-8894

Breakfast at Champlin’s American Legion
First let Mom sleep in, and then take her out for Mother’s Day Omelet Breakfast at the American Legion. And, the bonus: every mom gets a fresh flower. For more information, call 763-427-6870.

Surprise her with breakfast in bed
Stop in at Drowsy Owl Bookshop and buy Mom a gift certificate and a book about why moms are special. On Sunday morning, before she wakes up, go to Champlin’s Caribou Coffee and buy her coffee drink of choice and a muffin or scone. Surprise Mom with breakfast in bed with a book, for some uninterrupted reading (hint to my kids: this is my choice!).

Pack a picnic and ride or walk through Elm Creek Park
Buy a sample of deli items from Champlin’s Cub Foods and pack a picnic lunch. Take mom on a bike ride or walk through Elm Creek Park and stop to enjoy the picnic. Don’t forget to pack a Mother’s Day card too and give it to her after you finish eating.

Have more ideas? Post them in the comments.

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I’d be embellishing a bit to say I’ve put a thousand miles on my bicycle riding through Elm Creek Park Reserve, but I must admit I have worn some tires on those paved paths, feel as though I could easily findPedestrian Bridge in Elm Creek Park Reserve my way through it in the dark; however, until yesterday, I’ve never veered off the trail, and I only wish I had done it sooner.

“Let’s go exploring through Elm Creek instead,” suggested my husband Laurence, after I explained I was leaving to go for a walk. He wanted to find a tree he can photograph over a one-year time period, and then develop a slideshow or animation illustrating the changes in seasons.

“We’ll follow the animal trails, instead of the paved bike trail,” he said. Huh? I must admit I was ambivalent. What if we get lost? What if we come upon animals?

The adventure begins
Laurence and I stepped out our front door on an Elm Creek adventure just after noon.

I let Laurence decide where we were going, since he needed to find the “tree” to photograph, and I became a mere spectator enjoying the weather while getting some much-needed exercise.

We followed the trails, made by deer I assume, which twisted and turned through the woods, cleared its way through the marshes by Lemans Lake, and generally allowed us to feel like explorers, even though we were in the middle of suburbia and could always hear the traffic of Highway 169.

Elm Creek Park Reserve in Champlin, MN

Deer droppings, Marlin Perkins and yellow wild flowers
I soon relaxed, simply enjoyed being away from the bike path, trying something new. I was taking photos, climbing on trees, and emulating Survivorman, Lewis & Clark or Marlin Perkins.

I was an explorer.

“This path was created by deer. I can tell,” I told Laurence as I sniffed about a trail we found in the Irridescent Yellow Wildflower in Elm Creekwoods. I found deer droppings, and tasted one to decipher whether it was a doe or a buck (just kidding). Our detective work was answered when we found the smell was merely a rotting carcass of some animal who met its demise.

We followed the fire road, and connected to the horse path. From there, we stood on a bridge viewing the bike trail bridge. How many times have I passed over that bridge, never once noticing this one?

I photographed the iridescent yellow wildflowers as brave Laurence stood among them—bees buzzing around his legs. We followed the two-foot diameter, black tubing carrying water to the homes affected by the road construction along Fernbrook Lane. A cat had walked on it before us, leaving bits and pieces of a mouse along the way; water dripped from the tap on the tubing.

I was an explorer eager to see, smell and notice everything around me.

We walked through the construction on Fernbrook Lane, through Josephine Nunn Park and two-and-a-half hours later we walked into the house with blisters, a camera full of photos, and a story to tell.

A lone tree in Elm Creek Park Reserve in Champlin, MN


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