Jun 15, 201111:21 AMThe Bucket List
Bagley Nature Area
Directions are not my forte. Tell them to me twice, write them down, draw a map, give me strange landmarks and I assure you . . . I will still manage to get lost at some point. The question is not if I will take a wrong turn—the question is how many times will I end up back-tracking? This is why winter hiking is—I swear—existing only for someone like me. You can never get lost because of the handy dandy trail you leave behind wherever you go. But, since spring weather is upon the Northland, I’ll cater to my weakness by visiting an areal that is simple: Bagley Nature Area.
Bagley is located on the Northwestern section of the UMD campus and has a slew of routes to take but it’s simple because it is corralled by Arrowhead Rd., St. Marie Street, and Buffalo St. and situated in the center of the 55 acres is Rock Pond. In the winter the trails are groomed for cross country skiing and in the summer they are perfect for dog-walking, jogging, running, or the afternoon stroll. There are rolling hills and rocks abundant throughout the area. Maple trees create a canopy over the soft dirt trails, a river runs lazily through, and though you are in the woods, a few yards off the outer trail and you’ll find yourself back to the civilized world of concrete.
Bagley Nature Area hosts a classroom that opened June 2010. The Bagley classroom, designed by Duluth architect David Salmela, is another way UMD is promoting sustainability. The classroom is built primarily out of recycled materials and a ventilation-air-cooling system that senses and adjusts to the weather. Students use the building for classes and to study the sustainable design. Bagley is located in a crowded area of Duluth but I think UMD did a wonderful job at preserving this natural area. Sure they put in a classroom, but they made that building as natural as they could and it does not impede on the natural beauty of the area.
Like any wilderness area in the Northland, Bagley Nature Area has another brand of beauty to offer in every season. I’ve gone hiking in the winter, fall, and spring and this year I will have seen it in every color. There are enough trails and (did I mention the awesome look-out spot?) classic Minnesota landscape to give any student or community member some enjoyment every time. It is another one of my favorite places to go for it’s the woods in the city. It’s simple and yet, for as many times as I’ve been there, I still manage to get turned around.