January 19, 2020 “Woodchuck” 3.7 Miles
Three of us showed up hoping that the conditions would allow us to hike today. No luck! The area got hit with snow and then freezing rain. Windy and temperature just above zero. We did get out of our cars for a short period to check things out and snap a few pictures. Check the picture of the ice circles floating in the lock. We will try to include this area as a summer hike next year.
Feb. 16, 2020 “Bald Eagle” 5 Miles 8 Hikers
Sunny day and the temperature was above freezing for our February hike. The road to lock 32 was closed which caused us to backtrack to the next access area. This first section was not easy going, all mud! The balance of the hike was great, no snow or ice. No problem spotting eagles in the tall cottonwood trees along the way. We even spotted 2 on the backwater ice. Quite of few people besides our group on the path today and if you do get tired there are plenty of benches to take a rest.
March 15, 2020 “Mink” 5.7 Miles 11 Hikers
I found a new news contact that brought out some new hikers today. This “Friends of the Hennepin “ project started over 18 years ago to get area people acquainted with our canal. Six first time hikers got to check out the lock 22 lift bridge and aqueduct 4 today. I think because of this we walked 6.3 miles and also clocked in a much longer finish. No minks spotted today but a busy muskrat caught our attention swimming at lock 22.
July 19, 2020 “Leopard Frog” 4 Miles, 5 in Kayaks, 4 walking
We are back as a group on the Hennepin Canal since March. Only 4 of us hiking and the other 5 paddling kayaks. Two of the later sported dogs and three were from out of state. This is the second time for the kayaks as we only can due this where boat ramps are situated and no locks involved. I have noticed an increase of kayak users this year. Quite a few fishermen are using kayaks now as you can access pools that do not have a boat ramp. We have been having severe storms going through this area but today it was just hot. It did not stop a lot of others to hit the trail with their bikes. A few anglers were also tossing in their lines at the aqueduct. Hoping Mother Nature will be kind to us in our future hikes.