Hiking with Kids in Minnesota: Lebanon Hills

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 Minneapolis and the surrounding suburbs are full of great places to explore with children.  Our family just moved into the Minneapolis/St. Paul area in June of 2014 {from the Rochester, MN area}  and we’ve had lots of fun exploring all the local parks. Lebanon Hills Regional Park is a great place for families. We’ve visited this beautiful area a few times and every visit I’m stunned by it’s size.  Surrounded by Eagan and Apple Valley this park is right in the middle of the south metro. You gotta love Minnesota for creating such an expansive park in the midst of the city life. 


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 Children need space to run and explore. Hiking can be a slow process with little kids, but is a great way for them to notice the world around them.  My youngest son is not particularly speedy, because he is frequently distracted by everything around him.  Bug, flowers, trees, mushrooms, squirrels- you name it, he is probably intrigued and will stop to stare.  That’s the reality of hiking with kids. I anticipate we will be able to conquer much steeper trails and at a much faster pace in the future, but for the moment our pace can be very leisurely. 

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 With numerous trails and several small lakes, Lebanon Hills has walking trails, mountain biking paths, and even horse trails. We made the mistake of hiking on the horse trail on day.  Let’s just say that we had to watch our steeps very carefully. 

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My plan is to try paddleboarding on one of these lakes sans children sometime  When am I ever without children? I guess I’ll have to do some planning to make that happen. 

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What is especially perfect about Lebanon Hills is that there are smaller trails for to meet the needs of those with smaller children, but there are more difficult options for older ones. 

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My little guys are not particularly intrigued by nature signs, but if your little ones enjoy that type of thing, there are a few at various points within the park.

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 The visitors center is fairly small, but has a meeting room and a hand-on learning area for children.  It’s a functional space.  I’ll be honest and confess I’m not amazed by the center.  But to be fair, I don’t really want to spend my time at a center when there are trails to checkout.   

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If you live in Minnesota or are planning on visiting the area make sure to checkout the Lebanon Hills Regional Park! 

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Check out my other hiking with kids posts- Whitetail Woods Park
 

 

Comments

  1. Awesome place, I adore all of the photos. Kids surely enjoyed it, thanks for sharing. For those who have toddlers 2.5 y/o + up to 60lbs, check out Piggyback Rider page for more info. Great product indeed. Thanks !

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