737 East Bush Lake Road
Bloomington, MN 55438
(This address is for the main entrance on the west side of the park, not the one transit accessible on the east side) When: Saturday October 23, 2010 How: By transit: Take the Hiawatha Line Light Rail South to Mall of America. At the MOA’s transit hub, take bus #539B westbound at Gate C. The bus runs once an hour, leaving from MOA starting at 6:30am with the last run at 9:30pm on Saturdays, and 7:15am every hour until 6:15pm on Sundays. The bus ride is 37 minutes from the mall to the stop just after Normandale Village (Poplar Bridge Road and Normandale Blvd). You can enter the park via 94th St., an informal east-side entrance 0.6 mile from the bus stop. Once at the Poplar Bridge stop, it’s a straight shot west on 94th St W. Coming back, use bus #539 eastbound, which runs once an hour also. Best to check metrotransit for schedule updates.
Ease: The 94th St. park entrance is easily assessable and a nice walk through the neighborhood from the bus stop. Sidewalks are available the whole way. Once in the park, the walking trails are great. There are unpaved walking trails. Or if you prefer paved walkways, there are combined biking and walking trail as well. The routes are equipped with many maps along the way, so it is not easy to get lost. When planning your trip back to the bus stop, make sure you plan it so you don’t have to wait too long. There are no benches or shelter at the bus stop. However, there is a small pond next to the bus stop that could be visited while waiting. But waiting can go by slowly, especially if the weather is not cooperating.How Long: From MOA to the 94th St. park entrance, it was just over an hour trip. Once in the park, it is about a 2 mile walk to the Richardson Nature Center. At a relaxed, recreational pace, the walk from the bus stop to the nature center took about an hour and a half.
Worth Doing: This is a worthy outing on a nice day. The walk to the park is not too far and is enjoyable. The park is beautiful and peaceful. During our visit, the leaves were vibrant colors. There was an assortment of bird species to watch in the park. The Hyland Park appeals to all types of people. The nature center has raptors and owls, along with other small creatures to view. Another asset is a nice sitting area which overlooks the woods and makes it easy to watch the wildlife. We were able watched a couple of turkeys on our visit. Many different trails are offered throughout the park. During the winter months, cross country skiing trails and a ski jump are open for the snowbirds.This is a great outing on a nice day, I would just like to point out again, that to end the trip on a good note, time your trip back so you don’t have to wait for too long at the bus stop. But if you do end up missing a bus, it runs hourly until later in the day, so you won’t be out of luck.