Minneapolis, MN: Louisville Swamp

Trek Minnesota’s bottomlands to an old stone farmstead on this 4.5-miler.
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Trek Minnesota’s bottomlands to an old stone farmstead on this 4.5-miler.

Named after a local Dakota chief, the Mazomani Trail winds around lowlands via 4.5 miles of trails etched across rolling hills and upland oaks, passing through an 1880s farmstead before dropping down into the swamp. Rising to an oak savannah at about 1.5 miles, the trail leads to the stone structures of the Jabs farm. Turn left at the T here, and you’ll have a few options. You can continue on the Mazomani Trail, or take a 1.5-mile side hike on the Carver Rapids loop. If you choose the latter, you can also access the State Corridor Trail, which parallels the Minnesota River—all within the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge. The area is a birders’ paradise—250+ species. Warning: The wetlands upriver have been drained and no longer function as natural sponges, so trails can flood in spring and summer; call ahead.Hike provided by Tom Watson, author of 60 Hikes With 60 Miles of the Twin Cities (Menasha Ridge Press).

Waypoints

WPT001

Location: 44.7386556, -93.5978508

Louisville Swamp