Hiking

The Tallgrass Prairie presents a substitute for climbing in Minnesota

Posted by Jeff on Nov 7, 2020 @ 6:21 am in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments | Last change: November 6, 2020

While forested hikes are popular in Minnesota, the forests are not needed as the Tallgrass Prairie region in the southwest corner of the state offers unique locations from which to explore the varied landscape.

Getting lost during a walk in the woods is a common problem in fairy tales and popular horror stories. Even if you leave Hansel and Gretel-style breadcrumbs behind, all rocks and trees will end up looking the same when you turn your way.

Minnesota is known for its great forest walks, although about a third of Minnesota is made up of high grass meadows, not forests that dominate the landscape. And when you hike there, you quickly realize that superlative hiking in Minnesota doesn’t depend on tree trunks in the area and a canopy of leaves or needles.

Much of the swath in the middle of the country known as the Great Plains was covered in a sea of ‚Äč‚Äčtall grass two centuries ago before the first Europeans arrived. One of the most difficult tasks the early Plains pioneers faced was breaking up these vast seas of grass (and their underlying root systems) with their plows so they could grow crops for livelihoods and building American agriculture.

Like the vast forests of virgin wood that once covered all of northern Minnesota before the loggers arrived, the uncut tall grass prairie has disappeared. Nearly.

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