Walk This Way: Lyndale Avenue

Completed in March 2015, this walk is one of many  I have planned along major Twin Cities thoroughfares. On the day of the walk, I tweeted my adventures using #LyndaleWalk.

Walk stats

Distance: 20.2 miles

Elapsed time: 7:21:41

Moving time: 5:41:32

Average pace: 16:52/mile

FitBit step total for the day: 45,012 steps

The route

After reading A midday escape on Lyndale Avenue in the Southwest Journal last year, I decided I wanted to walk the entire length of the major thoroughfare as one of my local walking challenges.

This walk had me step foot in four cities: Brooklyn Center, Minneapolis, Richfield, and Bloomington.

Within Minneapolis, I was in 14 neighborhoods: Lind-Bohanen, Webber-Camden, McKinley, Hawthorne, Near-North, Sumner-Glenwood, Harrison, Lowry Hill, Lowry Hill East, CARAG, East Harriet, Lynnhurst, and Kenny. Since Lyndale is the boundary for several of those neighborhoods, the list would be different had I walked on the east side of the street but for the most part I was on the west side during my time in the Minneapolis section.

Map of Lyndale Avenue walk

18 miles of Lyndale Avenue

Janelle standing by Lyndale Avenue street sign

Janelle standing at her starting point

The start of my Lyndale Avenue walk was at 57th Avenue North in Brooklyn Center near the Mississippi River. After I returned from my walk I realized that I should have started north of 62nd Avenue North. Good thing I’m not a perfectionist! (ha!)

Janelle at the end of the walk

The end of my Lyndale Avenue walk was at the Minnesota River (closest numbered street was W 106th Street).

Caught my eye along the way

The walk starts along the Mississippi River. It was difficult for me to leave the water but I had to in order to stay on Lyndale Avenue.

Mississippi River

View of the Mississippi River along Lyndale Avenue around 57th Avenue North

North Mississippi Regional Park

North Mississippi Regional Park

Driving along I-94, you may not know there is a beautiful park behind the sound barrier. North Mississippi Regional Park has great views of the Mississippi River, walking and biking trails, a playground, and a picnic area. Next time I’m at the park, I’ll check out the Carl Kroening Interpretive Center.

Do not enter sign

A few clues that I should have crossed the Interstate at 53rd Street to walk along W Lyndale Avenue N.

Building at 44th Avenue N and Lyndale Avenue

Building at 44th Avenue N

Read more about this building thanks to the investigative work of Ghost Signs of Minneapolis.

Train crossing

Train delay

Camden shopping center

Camden shopping center

Zoran Mojsilov sculpture

Scuplture by Zoran Mojsilov

Fairview Park bench

Fairview Park is a great place to sit and look at the skyline

I need to sit on this bench in Farview Park at sunrise.

United Faith Pentecostal Church

Interestate

One of the times I was unsure where it was safe to walk.

Sculpture in front of Heritage Park

Celebration of Life Mural was torn down to make way for Heritage Park development

This sculpture marks the spot where the Celebration of Life mural once stood. It was torn down to make way for the Heritage Park housing development. Images of the mural by Bill Cottman.

Art on side of building

I love driving by this piece of art – it isn’t quite the same on foot.

View of downtown Minneapolis

I wanted to stay close to the Minneapolis skyline which is where I went wrong and had to back track to stay on Lyndale.

Interstate signs

I was off track at this point – I wonder why?

The Basilica of Saint Mary

Basilica from a different angle than I normally see it.

Spoonbridge and Cherry

This is so Minneapolis – Spoonbridge and Cherry at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

Bus stop at Hennepin and Lyndale Avenues

The most ridiculous bus stop in the city of Minneapolis.

Will this section of Lyndale Avenue be improved as a result of the Hennepin/Lyndale Avenue Reconstruction Project?

Common Roots Cafe

Lunch stop at Common Roots Cafe

Scott met me for lunch at one of our favorite places on Lyndale Avenue – Common Roots Cafe. He was sick so unfortunately he couldn’t join me for the walk.

Yarn bombed trees in front of French Meadow Bakery & Cafe

Yarn bombed trees in front of French Meadow Bakery & Cafe

Midtown Greenway

Midtown Greenway

LynLake Brewery sign says "Oh March, you tease"

LynLake Brewery is so right

Sidewalk blocked by a truck

Blocked!

46th Street scarecrows

46th Street scarecrows

This couple went missing.
Then they were found.

Home at Lyndale Avenue and Minnehaha Parkway

Home at Lyndale Avenue and Minnehaha Parkway

Cookie monster at Washburn Library

Cookie monster at Washburn Library

I stopped at Washburn Library at 53rd Street and Lyndale Avenue South for a quick break. Urban hiking should always involve stops at local libraries!

South Lyndale Liquors at 53rd Stree

South Lyndale Liquors at 53rd Street

Richfield sign

Made it across the border without incident.

Crosswalk at Lyndale Avenue and I-494

Preparing to cross over I-494 in Bloomington

Toro corporate campus

Toro corporate campus, 8111 Lyndale Ave S, Bloomington, MN

Great Bear Center, 9070 Lyndale Ave S, Bloomington, MN

Great Bear Center, 9070 Lyndale Ave S, Bloomington, MN

David Fongs

David Fong’s has been open since 1958

David Fong’s has been open since 1958 and is the meeting place for the Bloomington Lion’s Club.

Mall sign

A motley collection of small businesses at 99th Street in Bloomington.

Southernmost tip of Lyndale Avenue in the Twin Cities

A pretty end to Lyndale and a roundabout so I could walk back if I wanted

Lyndale-51

At the southend of Lyndale Avenue is the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge

At the end of the 18 mile walk, I was ready to head home even though I wanted to explore the wildlife refuge. Have you ever been to the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge? The Louisville Swamp Unit trails are beautiful.

Future walks

Other major streets to serve as future walking adventures:

  • Lake Street & Marshall Avenue
  • Cedar Avenue
  • Hennepin Avenue
  • France Avenue
  • Nicollet Avenue
  • University Avenue
  • 38th Street (great idea Jason!)

What’s your favorite street to explore in the Twin Cities? In Minnesota? In other states or countries?


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10 Responses to Walk This Way: Lyndale Avenue

  1. Julia May 13, 2015 at 11:54 am #

    Nicely done! I’ve convinced a friend to do Hennepin with me when our schedules/pleasant weather line up and was thinking of a streets.mn post, but I’ve been trying for about fifteen years (clearly not very hard–just asking friends) to find a walking partner to head south on Lyndale and see how far we can get in a day–my father’s always talked about how it turned into a county road that continued south through where he was teaching on the Iowa/Missouri border. How did you determine your southern boundary?

    Love seeing the pics!

  2. Janelle Nivens
    Janelle May 13, 2015 at 2:14 pm #

    Thanks Julia! Wikipedia is helpful in some of my route planning:
    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyndale_Avenue

    But also looking at Google maps I could tell that Lyndale Ave in Bloomington ends at the wildlife refuge (It’s a roundabout of sorts). I can’t tell on my phone map where it picks up again but Wikipedia lists Faribault.

    I’m researching a walk along Cedar Ave which would take me to Farmington though safety is definitely a concern because it may not be well suited for a walker.

    I look forward to hearing about your Hennepin adventure.

    • Monte Castleman
      Monte Castleman May 13, 2015 at 6:47 pm #

      You’d have to bend some rules with Cedar unless you want to walk along the freeway, maybe walk along Old Cedar Ave and Nichols Road… Also it will get easier when the Long Meadow Lake bridge is reopened (and the pedestrian crossing over the river itself is closed this summer).

      • Janelle Nivens
        Janelle May 14, 2015 at 9:00 am #

        Monte,

        Thanks for your thoughts on Cedar Avenue – I figured I’d have to bend the rules in order to stay alive! Thanks for your suggestions and a heads up about construction that may impact this walk.

        Janelle

      • Sean Hayford Oleary
        Sean Hayford Oleary May 14, 2015 at 1:29 pm #

        Nichols Road is the original routing of Cedar Avenue anyway (Dakota County just went with a less obvious name than “Old Cedar Avenue”). I think this would be an awesome post. I’d end it at Eureka Town Hall, which should be 30-ish miles from Seven Corners.

        The Cedar Avenue route keeps going to Northfield (and the name picks up again), but the Dakota County naming convention means the Cedar Ave nameplate ends around Eureka Town Hall. There are also sidewalks or wide shoulders until that point all the way north — with adequate hi-viz, etc, I think it could be done safely. (I’ve ridden Cedar Ave from Northfield to Lakeville many times, cutting over to Pilot Knob to avoid the freeway.)

        But as Monte said, the river crossing could be an issue. You could take the Red Line bus from MOA to Cedar Grove to get across the river, but might be better to just wait till next year when you can cross it!

  3. Janne Flisrand
    Janne Flisrand May 13, 2015 at 3:38 pm #

    FWIW, that part where you watched the sunrise and saw the downtown skyline is FARview, not FAIRview. Lovely hill that you sat on — and you should try sledding down it in the winter!

    • Janelle Nivens
      Janelle May 13, 2015 at 3:47 pm #

      Thank you for letting me know about my typo. It’s a great park and FAR better than fair :).

  4. Adam Froehlig
    Adam Froehlig May 13, 2015 at 4:44 pm #

    Some notes and trivia:

    – North Mississippi Regional Park played a factor in the delay of I-94 construction. After originally approving I-94 in 1964, the Minneapolis Park Board reversed course and rescinded their approval in 1968. The 1975 state Legislature placed a moratorium on this section of I-94 (along with 6 other freeway segments in the Metro). MnDOT redesigned 94 (adding the split interchange at 49th/53rd and eliminating an interchange at 45th) and it was eventually built and opened in 1982.

    – The rail line you crossed is Canadian Pacific’s Paynesville Subdivision, and is part of their mainline through the Twin Cities metro.

    – Your experience near downtown and the Basillica demonstrates why the city could stand to do some refinement of the “I-94 frontage roads” there. Might be a subject worthy of a future Streets.MN post.

    – Washburn Library was my “neighborhood” library growing up.

    – Across the street from South Lyndale Liquors, in the building where Anytime Fitness is, that plot used to be the Boulevard Theater…the current Boulevard overhang is a reminder of its old location. It was a dollar theater where we caught many a movie growing up, during the movies’ 2nd runs.

    – Where the Richfield sign is used to be a retail building, which 30 years ago housed Crosstown Bicycles, where my father bought me my first bike.

    – There used to be a bridge across the Minnesota River on Lyndale Ave. It was taken out after the I-35W bridge opened in 1960.

    – Pre-Interstate, Lyndale Ave north of Lake St was part of Highway 169, and south of Lake St was old Highway 65. The latter is why there’s also a Lyndale Ave in Faribault.

    – When I-35W was completed through Richfield and Bloomington in 1960, that stretch of Lyndale (and up to 56th St) was reverted to local control. From Lake St to 46th reverted to the city ~1976, from 46th to 50th went to the city in 1988. The county didn’t fully take South Lyndale over until 1994. North of Lake St, 169 was taken off Lyndale in 1979.

    • Janelle Nivens
      Janelle May 13, 2015 at 5:26 pm #

      Adam,

      Thank you for taking the time to add to what I experienced on my walk. I’ve learned so much from Streets.MN writers and readers – thank you.

      As a casual observer of issues that make walking a challenge (, I’d love the chance to have a Streets.MN writer knowledgeable in what may make it better.

      As a current Lynnhurst resident, I often wish I could watch a movie in the old Boulevard Theater!

      Thanks again for enhancing this post with your comments.