Best Way to Meet Your City? One Step at a Time.
Beyond the well-documented health and environmental benefits that a regular walking routine offers, there is also the added bonus of feeling more deeply connected with the neighborhood and community than you would insulated in your automobile. Just ask urban hiking experts and Wilderness Press contributors Holly Day and Sherman Wick.
For the Minneapolis locals, updating their bestselling Walking Twin Cities renewed their on-the-ground understanding of how Minneapolis and its ostensibly “twin” city, St. Paul both connect with and stand apart from each other. “Even though they’re often lumped together,” the authors write in their introduction, “the Twin Cities are two distinct cities with very different histories.”
This is most obvious on the ground because, as Day and Wicks show, one can fully comprehend the density of businesses, services, and culture that even a 4 sq. mile area can contain. It’s easy to get caught up in where you’re walking to and, as a result, miss everything you’re passing by along the way. For some perspective, Walking Twin Cities features nearly 400 local points of interest in just 35 short walks through Minneapolis and St. Paul. That’s over 10 per 2 mile stretch.
How well would you say you know your city? Whatever degree of expertise you fancy yourself on your hometown, it might have to do with how many steps you take through your city’s streets and alleyways.
For more on the benefits of urban hiking, check out Wilderness Press’s excellent collection of urban hiking guides. Other new guides in this series include Walking Portland by Becky Ohlsen and Walking Baltimore by Evan Balkan.
(Cover photo cred: Lief Knutsen via Wikimedia Commons)
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