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Editorial: Get out and explore your city

With the weather seemingly ready to leave behind gloom and rain for some real springtime sun, the prospect of getting outside and exploring is about to get a whole lot more appealing.

That’s good news, because there is plenty to explore in Farmington and Rosemount.

At the most basic level, both cities have spent years developing networks of parks and trails. Lace up your walking shoes or hop on your bike and you’ve got miles ahead of you. Rosemount in particular has made an effort in recent years to become friendlier to bicycles, with a growing network of on-street bike lanes and guideposts meant to point non-motorized traffic to points of interest.

If something a little more remote is more your speed, there’s plenty of that, too. Escape to the quiet of Farmington’s Big Slough nature area, located at the south end of the Dakota County Fairgrounds, to see birds and butterflies. Or visit the Lone Rock Trail for hiking or horseback riding. Spring Lake Park, on Rosemount’s far east side, offers great views of the Mississippi River.

In the mood to do some fishing? Drop a line at Schwarz Pond Park or in the Vermillion River, the rare trophy trout stream located less than a quarter tank of gas from a major metropolitan area.

There are libraries for reading and fields for playing. There are skateboard parks and disc golf courses.

Farmington and Rosemount will both offer residents big, organized celebrations later this year. Those are great. But this is the time to explore some of the cities’ lower-key attractions.

Get out there. You’ll be glad you did.