On the bluff of the Mississippi River, the prairie and woodlands of the Maplewood’s Fish Creek Natural Area beckon hikers and wildlife. A trail winds up to the bluff top, and opens to views of the western horizon. Part of the Mississippi River flyway, the site is frequented by raptors, songbirds, and wildlife species such as fox, coyote, and deer.
Maplewood’s 70-acre preserve is adjacent to Ramsey County’s 142-acre Fish Creek Open Space. The City and County worked together on a Master Plan to guide improvements and restoration at their sites.
The trail at Fish Creek is officially open. It’s gorgeous! The asphalt trail takes you to the bluff top, through woodlands and restored prairie, on both City and County land. The main loop is just under 1 mile.
The trail will not be plowed in winter 2016-2017. We want to avoid heavy equipment on the trail this first winter. So strap on your snowhoes if we have snow.
Visitors to the Maplewood’s Fish Creek Natural Area often ask, “Where’s the creek?” The creek flows through Ramsey County land. You can get a glimpse of it as you head down Henry Lane to the trail head, but there is not a maintained access point to the creek from public land. Future plans call for a rustic trail along the creek, from Point Douglas Road to Henry Lane. When that is developed, we’ll have an opportunity to access the creek near Henry Lane or from the asphalt trail loop. Maplewood Nature Center often leads a spring wildflower walk along the creek in May, entering through private property, so check their program schedule if you’d like to explore the creek.
Restoration and pollinator programs continue at the preserve through 2017. We hope to install benches and a kiosk in 2017. Partners are seeking funding for a parking lot. A future rustic trail along the creek would be mostly on Ramsey County land and would be a county-led project.