Post by ● May 5, 2015

City of Orono: Parks and Trails

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The parks and trails located in Orono, Minnesota are some of the most magnificent in the state of Minnesota. With several parks and trails being located on the shores of Lake Minnetonka, and a heavy community emphasis placed on ecological preservation, Orono is home to several breathtaking venues. Some notable examples include:

Big Island Nature Park: One of the newest additions to Orono’s park system, this magnificent park is rich with wildlife and history. Having been used as recreational land since 1900, this beautiful island has seen a number of owners over the years, the last being the Big Island Veterans Camp. After falling into disarray, this park was acquired by the city of Orono, and grant money has been allocated towards preserving the natural beauty on the island. While largely undeveloped, this 56-acre park features a wealth of birds, plants, and animals that populate the island. It is located on Lake Minnetonka and is accessible by boat. There are very few amenities offered, but this ensures that the natural beauty of the park will remain. The park offers boating docks, a picnic shelter, and trails around the island.

Noerenberg Park: Situated on the shore of crystal bay on Lake Minnetonka, the Noerenberg Memorial Gardens feature a stunning display of vibrant flowers and lush plant life. What was once the estate of the Grain Belt Brewery founder, Frederick Noerenberg, the Noerenberg Gardens contain what is widely regarded as one of the finest formal gardens in Minnesota. Here you will see a wide selection of perennials, annuals, trees, shrubs, vines, ornamental shade trees, conifers, and extensive daylily collection, and “Northern Lights” azaleas. Tours take place throughout the park, and it is a popular destination for weddings. While not owned and operated by the city of Orono, this park is within the city bounds and is managed by the Three Rivers Park District.

Luce Line Trail: What was once a railroad line that transported people to downtown Minneapolis on electrically-propelled trains has been converted into 63 miles of trails developed for biking and mountain biking, horseback riding, hiking, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling. With trails running from Plymouth in the western suburbs to Cosmos in west-central Minnesota, the Luce Line Trail is a fabulous way to be active and explore nature.

Wolsfeld Woods and Wood-Rill Scientific and Natural Areas: Run by the Department of Natural Resources, Orono has two notable Scientific and Natural Areas within its city limits. Because of the extensive forestry that has taken place in Minnesota over the past 200 years, 99.9% of the old growth forests have been cut down. These two sites house some of the oldest forests remaining in Minnesota. With tree species including red oak, butternut, maple, elm, basswood, and ironwood, these old-growth forests are a natural wonder and truly majestic. The Wolsfeld Woods encompasses a vast 220 acres of preserved forest lands whereas the Wood-Rill site comprises 150 acres and is the largest and most ecologically significant gift ever given by one family to the DNR. Trails exist on both sites which allow for visitors to enjoy the ancient trees and beautiful forest life.

If you have any questions regarding the city of Orono, Minnesota, or if you would like to sell or buy a house in the area, please feel free to visit or call 1-800-909-1953.