Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Islands of Peace Regional Park Route Scouting
200 Charles Street NE
Fridley, MN 55432
By bus: From downtown Minneapolis, go to the corner of 3rd St & Hennepin Ave. Take Bus Route #852 heading north. Get off at the Georgetown Apts stop (about a 10-minute ride). Walk west across County Hwy 1 and walk north along the Mississippi River Regional Trail. You’ll walk in front of a white building with lettering that reads “Islands of Peace Visitor Center”. The path into the park is just to right of the building. By train: In downtown Minneapolis, go to the Target Field Station. Get on the Northstar Commuter Line heading north. Get off at the Fridley Station. Walk west across County Hwy 1, and walk south along the Mississippi River Regional Trail (it goes in front of Stevenson Elementary School). Continue to follow the trail until you walk in front of a white building with lettering that reads “Islands of Peace Visitor Center”. The path into the park is just to right of the building.
Overall, the trip is very quick and easy. The most difficult aspect is the infrequency of the commuter line trains and bus lines on Saturdays. The Northstar train only runs three times on Saturday, and Route #852 only runs every 90 minutes. This can lead to long waits if you don’t research the schedule in advance. If you’re taking the train, I would recommend leaving Target Field Station at 11:30. You’ll be at the Fridley Station in 13 minutes, and can walk to the park in less than 10 minutes. You’ll have to be back at Fridley Station by 1:54 in order get back to Target Field, leaving you with a comfortable hour and a half to enjoy the park. If you want to stay in the park longer than that, you’ll have to wait until 5:54 for the next train to leave Fridley Station.
By bus: From 3rd & Hennepin, to Georgetown Apts, to the park = 10 minutes riding the bus and 10 minutes walking (each direction).
Islands of Peace Park is a very nice place. It’s small enough to see from one side to the other, which is a downside for those looking for a long walk. The maps of the area make it look like there is park land all around the river, but in actuality, it’s just the woods between someone’s back yard and the river. There are no trails going through it. Even though the park is small, the fact that it’s located down in the river valley and that you have to walk across a small bridge to get there adds to the feeling of seclusion, making it a nice little getaway. The view of the Mississippi is beautiful, and you can walk right down to the water if you want. There are a few picnic tables inside the park, and paved paths criss-crossing through it, but there’s not much else in form of amenities. Overall, it’s a very charming place and worth visiting.