Whenever there I find a list or a challenge, I’m in the backgrounds trying to figure out how I can manage to complete it. So when Explore MN started their checkpoints challenge, I had to see how many I could find. Looking at my calendar and the locations, a few would be easy. Like the Prince Mural in Chanhassen. But the swinging bridge at Alexander Ramsey Park was going to be an adventure that was doable. Give me a frozen waterfall and a swing bridge and I’m game!
The CheckPoint Challenge
Explore Minnesota is sponsoring the Checkpoint MN challenge. The goal hit up all 10 checkpoints at different iconic Minnesota locations. For each checkpoint, make sure to get a selfie. Tag yourself on social media with #OnlyinMN and #CheckpointMN. Each location will get you 1 point. Each point will allow you to buy an item on their store. The prizes are good too! The contest runs December 15th – Feb 12th, so make sure to get out there if you haven’t already.
Driving to our first checkpoint was half the fun. Every direction in MN you travel you will see something new. The checkpoint was straight west of us, so we got our coffees, loaded up the kids and pointed the car west. Along the way, we found a Solar Farm and past a few smaller towns. One thing that I love about these towns is their appreciation for the Arts. Many towns had painted huge murals on their brick faces. It was amazing to see.
The town of Redwood Falls was no exception. Not only did they have murals, but a Sherman Tank in the park. My husband got excited about that one. If you are coming from the west, there were several signs directing you to the Alexander Ramsey Park. Resist those. Stick with GPS’s coordinates. They will bring you to the main park entrance. The others take you to their campground and scenic overlooks.
Getting to the falls in winter can be a little trickier. One problem we faced as the amount of ice on the road. The path to the waterfall was well worn and ice free. To make things a little more fun, the road is narrow and winds down a hill. This made taking any side stops completely out of the question. I’m sure in a couple weeks; the terrain will be complexity different. We did pull into one parking lot and almost got stuck. I would love to have gotten the opportunity to explore more, but we were not prepared to do ice hiking with the kids.
Alexander Ramsey Park
The great part was, we were able to get a stunning view of the waterfall. This time of year the falls were half frozen. You could still make out the water flowing through the ice. The bridge was a short way away down the path. Below the swinging bridge is a small stream that feeds into the river. I can assure you the bridge does swing even though it may be completely coated in ice.
In reality, I would love to stay I will be hitting up all the checkpoints. But some need overnight visits and a couple days off work. That’s just not in the cards right now. For now, I’m just excited that I got to see the one at Alexander Ramsey Park.
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