My wish list: Walk the length of Cedar Ave, Big Parade in LA, and sunrise to sunset walk

Create a Personal Walking/Biking/Rolling Wishlist

My wish list: Walk the length of Cedar Ave, Big Parade in LA, and sunrise to sunset walk

My walking wish list

If you’re like most people, you have a set of established routes for your work commute, dog walks and grocery getting. It can take extra time and energy to change up that routine. And who has extras of time and energy laying around? One way to break free from your regular strolls, rolls, runs, and rides is to create a wish list (okay, if you insist, you can call it a bucket list).

Don’t know where to get started? Here’s some ideas and inspiration for generating such a list.

Themed destinations and routes

What do you love? Beer? Art galleries? Garden stores? Whatever it is that gets you excited, let that passion guide your next walk or ride. Some ideas to get you started:

  • Beer and coffee: My husband and I like to visit breweries. Turns out the promise of a flight or pint is a great motivation to walk many miles all over the Twin Cities. Similarly, I like to walk to local coffee shops.
  • Parks: Choosing a park, and getting there by walking or biking is a great way to learn more about new-to-you neighborhoods. Both Minneapolis and Saint Paul have a lot of parks, so get out there and explore!
  • Cemeteries: Cemeteries like Lakewood, Pioneers and Soldier, Fort Snelling National Cemetery are great additions to your walking list as they are beautiful, serene places with the benefit of a built-in history lesson. Remind yourself of the etiquette when visiting a cemetery. Here’s an example but every cemetery will have a unique set of guidelines and rules.
  • Independent book stores: Support local businesses while walking or riding your bike. Independent Book Store Day would be a great day to do this. Minnesota Public Radio compiled a great list of Minnesota independents. Mark your calendar for next year: Saturday, April 30, 2016. Do the same on Record Store Day.

Self-imposed challenges

Push yourself to go a greater distance, or faster, or without looking at your smart phone!  Whatever would stretch you, consider adding that challenge to your wish list. Here’s some of mine:

  • Walk from sunrise to sunset (this may happen on the Winter Solstice – is that cheating?)
  • Walk the length of major thoroughfares in Twin Cities (Central, Cedar, France, Lake/Marshall, etc.)
  • Complete 85,000 steps in a day to beat my current personal best of 80,000 steps


Walking and biking events are a fun way to experience routes you wouldn’t normally access. They often also benefit a cause. Win win! Missed an event? No problem! Events often post their course on their website so you can retrace the route on your own (if it doesn’t involve private land). For example, I plan on walking the Twin Cities Marathon course on a different day and at my own pace (read: beer stops!).

Other events and event inspired routes both local and national:

Established trails

Don’t forget about the routes that many people have worked hard to get funded, created, and maintained – our city, regional, and state trails. My list is based on where I live and work but please share in the comments the trails in your neck of the woods. See the next tip on why this can help inspire all readers.

Routes that require travel

I have a goal of spending at least 24 hours in all U.S. States and Territories and Canadian Provinces. Exploring a new place on foot or wheels is a great way to walk the line between tourist and local. While exploring streets and neighborhoods without guidance from predetermined routes has its benefits, experiencing a new-to-me city or region by trail is often less stressful and a more efficient use of precious vacation time.

Guided Tours

Instead of going it alone, learn from an expert guide. Here’s a few guided tours I’ve either completed or have added to my wish list:

Meet me in the comments for a chat

  • What’s on your wish list?
  • Have you completed anything mentioned in this post? Share your experience!
  • In what walking/biking events have you participated?
  • What personal challenges have you set for yourself?
  • What trails in Minnesota do you consider to be destination worthy for our out-of-state and international traveler friends?
  • What features are missing from our trail system that are attractive to people who travel to bike/walk/roll on trails?
Janelle Nivens

About Janelle Nivens

Janelle is an urban explorer who likes to challenge herself to walk long distances (40 miles is her record). She lives in southwest Minneapolis with Scott and their adorable dog Stewie and works at the University of Minnesota. Janelle documents what catches her eye on long walks in hopes of inspiring others to discover hidden gems in their own communities. Walk with her on Instagram, Twitter (@Janellie23), and FitBit.