Walk & Talks are popular small-group guided tours led by local subject-matter and parks enthusiasts who share their insights into intriguing places throughout Minneapolis Parks.
Started in 2018, this sell-out series includes four monthly walks during the summer that offer even the most devoted Minneapolis parks-goer something new to explore. In 2020, we introduced printable and digital self-guided versions of these tours that extend the opportunity to a larger audience. This year, we will produce both in-person Walk & Talks, as well as our self-guided tours.
2022 Walk & Talks
Farview Park to the Overlook at 26th Ave N.
We were back in-person for our May Walk & Talk, featuring a special tour from Farview Park to the beautiful, newly-opened Overlook at 26th Ave N.
DESCRIPTION: The Overlook at 26th Ave N has emerged as a vital connection from Minneapolis’s Northside to the Mississippi River. Stemming from the only protected off-street walking and biking trail across I-94 in North Minneapolis, the Overlook has created the first opportunity in nearly a generation for this neighborhood to connect with one of our state’s most important natural resources.
ACTIVITY LEVEL: 1.5 mile round-trip walk on city streets, with a slight incline on the return. Option to walk up the large grassy hill at Farview Park.
DOWNLOAD: Farview Park to the Overlook at 26th Ave N Tour (pdf)
ONLINE: Farview Park to the Overlook at 26th Ave N StoryMap (external link)
Hall’s Island Restoration
DESCRIPTION: Our June Walk & Talk will highlight the 2018-2019 restoration of Hall’s Island, located in the Mississippi River just north of Boom Island. This multi-partner project brought a rich source of habitat and natural environment back to the Mississippi River corridor. Led by two project experts, Michelle Kimble and Marcy Bean from Barr Engineering.
ACTIVITY LEVEL: 1 mile round-trip walk on park trails, grass, and some stairs
DOWNLOAD: Available in a download-and-go printable PDF and a phone-friendly StoryMap after the in-person walk.
Upcoming Walk & Talks this Summer
July: Lake Nokomis
August: North Commons Park
Thank You to Our 2022 Sponsors
Barr Engineering and MPR News
Become a Walk & Talks Sponsor!
Contact Jennifer Downham,
More to Explore: 2021 Self-Guided Walk & Talks
ACTIVITY LEVEL: ADA accessible half-mile meander with some sloping sidewalks and/or stairs.
GOOD TO KNOW: This tour starts at the Mill Ruins Park parking lot, which has hourly parking. There is additional on- and off-street parking in the Central Riverfront/Mill District area. You can also reach the park by the city’s bike trails.
DESCRIPTION: Water Works is a complex site with multiple levels, trail connections, and programmed features, all layered with historical, contemporary, and natural elements that are designed to help us tell our shared stories, old and new.
DOWNLOAD: Water Works at Mill Ruins Park Tour (pdf)
ONLINE: Water Works StoryMap (external link)
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Easy to moderate, mostly natural trail with some steps and unpaved climb
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO: Check daily Garden hours on its Minneapolis Parks page; seasonally, the Garden is open April-October
DESCRIPTION: Founded in 1907 by its namesake and other local schoolteachers, the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary is one of Minneapolis’s botanical treasures. This self-guided tour, written by Garden curator Susan Wilkins, wends its way through the 15-acre Garden’s collection of over 600 native plant species, displayed in a variety of habitats which support a wide array of birds, insects, and other wildlife.
DOWNLOAD (pdf): Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden Walk & Talk Self-Guide
ONLINE (external link): StoryMap: A Summer Stroll Through Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden (with bonus stops and photos!)
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderate 3.5-mile roundtrip on mostly paved trail
GOOD TO KNOW: Park in one of the bays on Minnehaha Parkway (or arrive by foot or bike); this stretch is east bound only and is accessed via the parkway traveling east or from northbound 2nd Ave S.
DESCRIPTION: The Minnehaha Parkway Regional Trail area has a long history as part of the lands of the Dakota, followed by industrial and recreational use tied to the development of Minneapolis and St. Paul. This self-guided tour starts just east of I-35W and goes to Lake Nokomis; along the way, you’ll take a look at the past, present, and future of this storied waterway that receives more than 1.3 million visits annually.
DOWNLOAD (pdf): Minnehaha Creek – 35W to Lake Nokomis Self-Guided Tour
ONLINE (external link): StoryMap: Minnehaha Creek – 35W to Lake Nokomis Self-Guided Tour
More to Explore: 2020 Self-Guided Walk & Talks
ACTIVITY LEVEL: 2 mile loop on sidewalks and paved trail with flights of stairs.
GOOD TO KNOW: This tour starts and ends at the Nicollet Island Parking Lot, where there is hourly parking.
DESCRIPTION: Explore the Central Mississippi Riverfront Regional Park and showcase some of the most visionary parks-building efforts in generations. Sights you’ll see include Nicollet Island, the Stone Arch Bridge, St. Anthony Falls, and the Water Works park project.
DOWNLOAD: RiverFirst: Central Riverfront Tour Guide (pdf)
ONLINE: NEW! RiverFirst StoryMap (external link)
ACTIVITY LEVEL: 2 miles round trip. Trail is unpaved and uneven and has some climb.
GOOD TO KNOW: Tour begins at W. River Parkway between Lake St. and 32nd. There is on-street parking nearby. Look for an unmarked trailhead off of the street-level walking path. You will head north on the trail and return either by retracing your steps or via the paved walking path.
DESCRIPTION: For as long as people have lived this area, there’s likely been a trail running along the Mississippi River from Saint Anthony Falls the convergence of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers. This tour covers the northern half of what is today called the Winchell Trail.
DOWNLOAD: Winchell Trail Tour Guide (pdf)
Highlights from Past Walk & Talks
From Shingle Creek to the Winchell Trail, past Walk & Talk tours have brought together Minneapolis Parks lovers interested in exploring more about our parks. Take a look at this photo gallery to see some highlights from past events.
We’re developing further plans for Walk & Talks in 2022 and beyond. To stay in-the-know, make sure you’re signed up for our newsletter.
To suggest a topic or speaker for a future Walk & Talk – please contact:
Development and Communications Coordinator