45.04581, -93.22269


This spot in Minnesota is the same one that I visited in November over Thanksgiving Break. My exact spot lies at the end of a pedestrian bridge, similar to the bike path bridge over my Burlington spot. However, instead of bordering a river, Silverwood Park hugs a lake. Because of this, more ice has collected here than at the flowing river.

The muskrats that I observed in November are nowhere in sight, and likely hibernating in their home under the bank of the shore. Silver Lake is a popular destination for mallards and passing geese. I visited this area at the break of dawn and observed countless ducks land on the ice and in the water, communicating, and foraging for food.

The forest composition is very different as well. Silverwood Park houses a mature oak stand, both Red and White, while the Lakeshore grassland of Lake Champlain and the Winooski is dominated by shrubs and grasses, occasionally spotted with maples. Due to high recreation use by the bridge, visitors have eliminated most of the woody plants that usually line the shore, and leaving the soils to erode, causing a sharp drop into Silver Lake.