The Oakdale Park Nature Trail is a gorgeous trail that shows off the pretty natural areas of the city of Saint Paul. Although surrounded by urban neighborhoods, the trail loops around a natural location in the Oakdale Nature Preserve, with pawtastic views of the lake, forests, and natural wetlands that make up the area.
Starting at Oakdale Park, hikers will find a number of amenities like bathrooms, water fountains, clean-up stations, picnic tables, and trash bins. All of these can be used before heading out, where you will find the paved trail on the southeast corner of the park before it enters the preserve. Once you're on the trail, you'll set foot on a diverse path that leads north to Mud Lake, where hikers and pups can enjoy sights of the green lake with a small beach to walk on and close to the water. After traveling south from the lake, the trail begins its exploration of the 113-acre preserve, following through hardwoods, oaks, and birch trees. you'll see a number of landmarks along the way too, like a small area with exercise equipment to enjoy, a picnic space, a circular pattern path off of the trail, and lastly, you'll come across the Oakdale Discovery Center about .5 miles into your hike. The discovery center offers another place to get water and use restrooms, with shaded areas to sit and take a break.
Once you continue on the rest of the southern part of the loop, you'll pass by more ponds, forests, and open fields with possible sights of wildlife like deer, foxes, muskrats, squirrels, and chipmunks. Eventually, the trail connects back to the park, but if you don't want the fun to end there, you can always continue on a number of different connecting trails that explore more of the preserve.
With water, restrooms and all the amenities you need plus a dog-friendly atmosphere, what is stopping you and your favorite pooch from having a fun day out walking?