The hiking book: None needed. This is a pretty highly-trafficked urban walking path.
The distance: 6 miles
The CityGirls rating: 6

We were back in our old stomping grounds this weekend with a walk around Lake Calhoun and Lake of the Isles in Minneapolis.

We used to live not too far from these lakes, and they were our go-to destination for getting some fresh air and a bit of nature. Our favorite running route was to circumnavigate Lake of the Isles, and Lake Calhoun was always a good choice for a lunchtime walk.

So on our recent visit to Minneapolis, we had to take at least one walk around the lakes.

Lake Calhoun and Lake of the Isles are part of the Chain of Lakes, a series of five lakes connected via waterways and walking/bike paths. They’re some of the most popular and most highly-trafficked recreation areas in the Twin Cities.

The weather had cooled down from the triple digits that we’d had a couple days earlier, and it was nice to be out on the lakes again. We power-walked it with our walking buddy Gandalf, making it around both lakes in about an hour and a half.

While Lake Calhoun is the more popular of the two lakes, we prefer the winding, amoeba-like path around Lake of the Isles. It’s always much less crowded and has more greenery and shade.

The lilypads were even in bloom in the canal that connects the two lakes.

Time: 1.5 hours.
Ease of following designated hike: 10. You walk around one lake to where the lakes connect, take the connector path along the canal, walk around the other lake, take the connector path back, and finish the circuit of the first lake.
Solitude: 0. There are hoards of people around Lake Calhoun all summer. Lake of the Isles isn’t quite as bad, but still busy.