Sunday, April 25, 2010

Reservoir Woods, Roseville

I go on a lot of walks -- maybe 15-25 miles a week. Although I'd rather bound through an off-leash dog park, it's the leash for me, most days.

The boys take me to DQ for cones or to Choo Choo Bob's to buy little trees for their diorama projects. Dave takes me for a daily spin around the neighborhood at 5:30 p.m. on weekdays. Susan and I usually head to the river walk, various city parks or, when I am a really good dog (or if she ate too many of Susan's Chocolate Chip Cookies), to the woods.

One my favorite urban woods is Reservoir Woods in Roseville, Minnesota. It is a hidden slice of heaven nestled between Dale Ave. and Victoria Ave. north of Larpenteur Ave. map

You may have driven by the little parking lot on the north side of Larpenteur Ave. just past Roselawn Cemetery on your way to Linders Garden Center -- that is if you like to dig in the dirt as much as my Susan. (I think she was a dog in a previous life...although she never barks at squirrels...just at Boy #1 and Boy #2 at chore time).

Reservoir Woods is a working 30 million gallon reservoir managed by the City St. Paul. Not that you'd know it, of course. All that is underground. But they picked the spot for the reservoir because it is one of the highest, hilliest spots in Roseville.

On the surface is a 120 acre park with a myriad of paved and soft trails through pine forests, savanna and wetlands. If you look at the trail map, you'll see it's actually three kitty-corner tracts of land -- there's even a tunnel under Dale Avenue connecting the two main pieces. There are lots of routes, if you leave the main asphalt trail. Make no bones about it, Reservoir Woods is a lovely, peaceful place and a great workout for human and dog alike.

There's an off-leash dog park here too. (Although I don't think Reservoir Woods is where Quentin Tarantino filmed his movie Reservoir Dogs.) It is actually an odd five acres for a dog park. It is fenced along the dry side but open to wetlands on the other. Fun!

Except that the swamp is protected wildlife habitat. I know this because there is a sign telling the dogs to stay out of the wetlands. Right. That's like leaving the door to the butcher shop wide open with a sign saying, "Please Do Not Steal the Porkchops."

Of course, with all that delicious stinky mud and consequent b-a-t-h, we mostly skip the off-leash part. The real draw of Reservoir Woods is the maze of trails over wooded hills.

We walked five miles today, mostly all alone. It was a little wet from last night's rain, but even the soft paths were easy walking as they are mostly sand, pine needles and managed with some gravel. The asphalt walking trail is the most popular with joggers, seniors walking and families. Lots of well-mannered dogs too. If you are looking for a little tranquility in the middle of Roseville, Minnesota, check it out!

trail map - Reservoir Woods (not a great map, but it gives you the idea)


  1. Carmella! Welcome to my back yard--so to speak. The dog park and woodsy trails are as nice as you say--with one exception--it's kinda hilly for my short legs. I'm glad you have so much fun over there. After all, it was built for you! Enjoy.

  2. Maybe someday we'll run into each other! I am the little brown dog with my snout to the ground -- sometimes looking up for squirrels.