Minnesota has been awarded the rank of the #1 Best Parks Systems time and time again. And it’s not hard to see why, especially with last week’s grand opening of The Trailhead at Theodore Wirth Regional Park. It’s been years in the making, but last Tuesday everyone gathered for the ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open the 14,000 square foot building which will serve as a year-round hub for outdoor enthusiasts.
The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board partnered with the Loppet Foundation to bring The Trailhead project to fruition. Careful attention to detail and design went into constructing this stunning facility. Built with a cross selection of northern hardwoods to represent the forest in Theodore Wirth Park and special window treatments to prevent birds from flying into the building, The Trailhead is a beautiful and welcoming space to come gather with your friends.
The Trailhead features a large indoor gathering area that can seat 250 people, an outdoor patio overlooking nature trails and the winter tubing hill, a free outdoor bike wash and repair station, as well as The Trailhead Adventure Shop that equips you for all your outdoor needs including: bike, ski, snowboard, and snowshoe rentals, bike and ski repairs, directions and maps, and sales on outdoor gear. Right out the backdoor you’ll be able to find hiking trails, biking paths, and ski trails, while just down the road is the Par-3 golf course and disc golf. You also have the opportunity to join Club Trailhead and receive extra comforts including access to locker rooms, showers, towels, and a 10% discount at The Trailhead Adventure Shop.
The Trailhead also features the restaurant Cajun Twist where you can relax and refuel after all your outdoor adventures. Founder of Cajun Twist Teóna Washington brings some Cajun flavor to Minnesota serving up delicious eats like the Bayou Burger, Nawlins Dog, and even a vegan gumbo. Though I would definitely save plenty of room for their Signature Beignets.
But even with all of these wonderful amenities, first and foremost, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and Loppet Foundation want The Trailhead to be of service to the community and to be a gathering space for connection to nature and to each other.
Mindful consideration was given in selecting the site and accessibility of the facility as hopefully, The Trailhead’s Minneapolis location will provide easy access for everybody no matter your background or circumstance. Executive director of the Loppet Foundation John Munger explains, “Having this infrastructure in place will give us exactly the boost needed to realize our vision of an ethnically and economically diverse community coming together around a shared passion for the outdoors.”
Brad Bourn, president of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board adds, “We’re proud to partner with an organization like the Loppet Foundation, which has a phenomenal reputation and proven track record of making outdoor recreation experiences available to kids and people of color who have been traditionally excluded from the outdoors.”
The goal is to open opportunities, create positive experiences, and connect people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities, all the while introducing them to everything the outdoors has to offer.
Minnesotans have always been about the outdoors and enjoying nature all year long even in spite of our ridiculous weather. And now after exploring the state’s countless trails and winding paths, The Trailhead will be the familiar post to return to where you can spend some time relaxing with friends and community.
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