Lilydale Bluffs and the St. Paul Brickyard

Lilydale Regional Park was the sight of terrible tragedy this week. It’s also right out my backdoor, and one of my favorite spots in St. Paul. It won’t be the same again.
(This post is from an old blog. originally posted  November 11/2012).

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To stave off the longing for Montana’s wilderness, I went for an urban nature hike today. Not a mile from the new ZF home in St. Paul, MN is the Lilydale Regional Park, encompassing the bluffs above the Mississippi River, Pickerel Lake in the river floodplains and the old Brickyards of St. Paul. The park is popular for ice climbing and fossil hunting and connects with the greater trail system of the Mississippi River.

Here, a spring that provided Lilydale with drinking water was blasted open for access in the brick works.

Icicles in the underhang of a slide that occurred some time ago.

Abandoned brick making kiln in the bluffs.

Echo Cave. Even at midday, this is quite a creepy place. It is, literally, the bat cave.

Thirsty? Some very ferrous water.

Pickerel Lake. Under the railroad bridge is the Mighty Mississippi.

And finally, the rear view, our city’s landmarks. St. Paul’s Cathedral on the left, and in the distance, on the right, the State Capitol Building.

A beautiful, short urban hike on a Thursday afternoon. Despite being literally in the city, for three hours in the bluffs the only sound was water and bird song. One of the many reasons to live in St. Paul.

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