Minnesota Valley NWR - Walk for the Wild 5K Challenge
Presented by the National Wildlife Refuge System and the Public Lands Alliance October 8-16, 2022


Did you know that humans spend 95% of their time indoors? We’re becoming more and more of an indoor species.

A growing body of evidence supports the idea that spending time in nature promotes mental and physical well-being. We all need a little more of that, right? 

This October – to celebrate National Wildlife Refuge Week – join us to help wildlife and humans to thrive by taking a walk, stroll, saunter, hike, prance, trot, amble, ramble or roll for the wild. 

How to Participate 

  • Check out our trail maps, recommended self-guided 5Ks below or join a guided event.

  • Move a distance of 5k (3.1 miles) in nature during the week starting October 8, 2022. It’s up to you how you move (as long as you do it self-propelled), where in nature you go, and whether you go solo or with friends or family.  

  • During the week, record your activity — walking, jogging, hiking, strolling, or whatever you choose— either manually, or using your favorite fitness tracker. Once you’ve completed the 5k distance (3.1 miles), you are officially a Finisher! Visit one of our visitor centers for your FREE finisher sticker*! *while supplies last

  • Lastly, we hope you share your challenge experiences on social media by tagging us @MNvalleyNWR on Facebook and using the hashtags #WalkForTheWild and #WildlifeRefuges


Minnesota Valley State Trail - BloomingtonMinnesota River GreenwayLong Meadow Lake Trail to Old Cedar Bridge
  • Trail type: Out-and-back, paved. 

  • Suitable for: Hike, bike, wheelchair, rollerblade, stroller, wagon. 

  • Distance: Approximately 3.2 miles out-and-back. 

  • Parking: Lyndale/Sorensen Landing 11135 Lyndale Ave S, Bloomington, MN 55420. No restrooms or water are available at this site. 

  • Description: Start at the new trailhead just north of the Lyndale Landing parking lot. Follow the paved path through a tunnel of trees, over bridges, and through floodplain forest for a distance of about 1.6 miles. When you reach the end of the paved trail, turn around and return the way you came.  

  • Trail type: Out-and-back, paved. To make this a one-way, park a shuttle vehicle at one of the trailheads. 

  • Suitable for: Hike, bike, wheelchair, rollerblade, stroller, wagon 

  • Distance: Approximately 3.6 miles one-way, 7.2 miles out-and-back 

  • Parking: Minnesota Riverfront Park (City of Burnsville) 600 Black Dog Rd, Burnsville, MN 55337. A portable restroom is available. Or at Jens Caspersen Landing (DNR) No Street Address. In Eagan, take Hwy 13 north/east to Silver Bell Rd, then north to Nichols Rd, then turn right and drive to the parking area under the Hwy 77 bridge. A State Park permit is required to park here. 

  • Description: Hike with a friend (park a car at each end) to complete a 5K on this trail, or complete a 10K by returning to your starting point. This trail winds through forest and along the river. A short spur leads to an observation deck overlooking Black Dog Lake. Look for migrating birds on the lake and along the river. 

  • Trail type: Out-and-back, gravel. To make this a one-way, park a shuttle vehicle at one of the trailheads. 

  • Suitable for: Hike, off-road bike 

  • Distance: Approximately 3.7 miles one-way, 7.4 miles out-and-back 

  • Parking: Bloomington Education and Visitor Center 3815 American Blvd E, Bloomington, MN 55425. Portable restrooms are available at the Bloomington Education and Visitor Center parking lot. Water is available inside the visitor center Thursdays-Sundays, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Or at the Old Cedar Ave Trailhead 9551 Old Cedar Ave S, Bloomington, MN 55425. Restrooms and water are available. 

  • Description: Hike with a friend (park a car at each end) to complete a 5K on this trail, or complete a 10K by returning to your starting point. This rustic, two-track gravel trail travels through floodplain forest and marshlands. Look for fox, otters, coyote, eagles, turkeys and more along your route. At Old Cedar Avenue Bridge, look for migrating waterfowl and sandhill cranes. 

Or find another trail, visit our Trails section.


Birdwatching Treks 

Join refuge naturalist Craig Mandel for a bird walk and learn about the birds that visit the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge during their fall migration. 

A Bridge to the Past: Exploring the History of the Old Cedar Avenue Bridge 

The pedestrian bridge at Old Cedar Ave is a great place to watch for wildlife, but it also holds a long history of connecting communities, earning the bridge a spot of the National Register of Historic Places. Learn about this history on a short walk across the paved bridge and back again.

Ranger Walk: Sizing Up Bur Oaks 

Have you ever wondered how big a tree is when you see them in a forest or in your back yard? Learn how to measure a tree with a few simple tools you already have at home.

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Recreational Activities