We ventured out today on our first hike of the season and it was a perfect day for it!
We drove an hour north to Mima Mounds. It’s not too far off the freeway and quite easy to get to. If you happen to do this hike, make a note that you will need a Discover Pass or you can get hit with a $99 ticket! I didn’t realize this before going, but thankfully they have an option to purchase it through your smartphone and then you can write your pass number on a paper and leave it in your windshield. I splurged and bought the annual pass for $30 in case we want to hike anywhere else one is needed. The one-time pass is $10 so I’ll have it paid for in two more trips.
At the beginning of the hike there is a fun little concrete lookout that you can climb to the top of. It’s not very high up but it gives a good view of the mounds. There are also big informational wall paintings/posters that give the different explanations of how they believe the mounds were formed.
The trail starts out on a little paved path and then transitions to a more rustic trail of dirt. The trails were very well-kept and easy to hike. There were some signs notifying us that they had just sprayed in the area recently, but since we weren’t venturing off trail, I wasn’t too concerned.
The flowers were in full bloom and it was absolutely beautiful!
Before we started hiking, the kids and I had a conversation about how this is protected land and we aren’t allowed to explore off of the trail or pick ANY flowers. We arrived at this little spot and the kids found “wishes” (dandelion puffs) and they wanted to pick them soooo bad but I reminded them of the rules. So, in a great kid-compromise, they leaned over as far as possible and attempted to blow the seeds off without picking them!
There is an option to take the “short cut loop” and it shaves about 1 mile off of the hike, but we took the long trail this time.
There wasn’t much to explore as far as wildlife goes… Jenna found a few beetles and the kids had fun holding them. We saw one bird and heard some bird calls but that was about it.
We hiked 2.89 miles in 2 hours and 20 minutes (time includes two small snacking breaks). This was probably as long of a hike as the kids can manage right now. Connor’s little legs were having a hard time towards the end, but I found that distraction can work wonders. So, we pretended that we were Bear Grylls (or “the Dangerous Man” as Connor calls him) jumping from a helicopter and trying to survive in the wilderness like he does in Man vs. Wild. It worked like a charm!
This was the first time we have hiked here, but I can imagine that spring is the best time to do this hike. If you are a fan of wildflowers and pretty things, it’s a must-see hike!