Editor’s note: The Edge teams up each month with EarthMentor David Nelson to offer a unique hiking experience at one of the hidden nature gems here in the Twin Cities! Donations are accepted to support his work, but not expected.

We start with grounding — connecting energetically to the Earth — and then you will be invited to shed your shoes if the hike is appropriate for that (this is optional and not required). When the bare feet connect with the soil, there is a natural energy exchange that is necessary for the human body…and it’s fun!

This month’s hike will take place from 10-11:45 a.m. Saturday, May 6, at Tamarack Nature Center, 5287 Otter Lake Road, in White Bear Township. This is my favorite barefoot hiking park in the whole Twin Cities!

You are welcome to wear shoes, or if you want to bring sandals to slip on and off, feel free, yet the path is almost all grass and sand and dirt, which feels just amazing with bare feet. The hike will be about three miles, taking us through prairie and wetlands, as well as some rolling hills forest areas. We will see the Tamarack tree, which is very unique and the namesake of the park. It is a nature center, so no dogs are allowed and it is not unusual to see a variety of animal life. 

Please bring a bottle of water and we will meet at the far end of the parking lot near the nature center. I encourage phones to be off and limited taking of pictures as we slowly hike, connecting deeply to the Earth and nature. 

You will feel refreshed and recharged from this wonderful opportunity, and hopefully have another Twin Cities nature treasure to add to your list to visit again. I hike this park weekly to observe the changing cycles of nature; now the frogs are singing, and correspondingly, the Blue Heron and Snowy Egret have appeared also. 

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