Click here to download a printable version of the Walking Tour
Here’s What You’ll See On Your Walk:
1. The 106-year old Picha Heritage Farm produces
vegetables for the Minneapolis Farmers Market and flowers for garden
centers. Eden Prairie’s only surviving raspberry farm hosts the
Birch Island Woods Plant Sale in May.
2. A 1919, stucco farm house recently stood on the new, 4-acre addition to the conservation area.
3. A 1905, prairie-style farm house recently stood at Picha Place and Birch Island Road.
4. Holasek House, was built by a Czech farm family around 1882 on
the Baker Road site of Lifetime Fitness. Arteka Landscaping
officed in the Chaska Brick structure before moving it to Minnetonka in
1986 and Eden Wood in 1987. It is now a staff residence.
5. Eden Wood is a camp for kids with special needs and a
retreat/conference center for the general public. Eden Wood
includes Holasek House, Glen Lake Children’s Camp, cabins, nature
trails (NT), a beach & a canoe launch. Eden Wood is run by
Friendship Ventures which leases the facility from the City.
6. Glen Lake Children’s Camp is all that remains of the Glen Lake
Sanitarium, one of the nation’s top three tuberculosis treatment and
research hospitals. Built in 1925 for kids exposed to
tuberculosis, the camp is on the National Register of Historic Places
and is being modernized with respect to its historic status. The
San opened in 1916 and from 1962 to 1976 operated in-tandem with the
Oak Terrace Nursing Home. The complex had served 17,000 patients
by the time it was closed in 1991 to make way for the Glen Lake Golf
7. The Birch Island Woods Trail follows the 1881 roadbed of the
Chicago Milwaukee and St. Paul RR. The wood chip trails were
constructed by local Boy Scouts. Volunteers are clearing
buckthorn & garlic mustard in select areas.
8. Midwest Asphalt recycles pavement into new paving materials.
9. MN River Bluffs Regional Trail kiosk. Note:
Oddly, BIW Conservation Area is not shown on the kiosk map and the
directional arrow panels for Birch Island and Forest Hills Park are
Natural History of the woods, park & lake
Trees & Plants: Aspen, Basswood, Boxelder,
Cottonwood, Elm, Ironwood, Maple, Oak (several species), Red Pine,
Scotch Pine, Tamarack, Paper Birch and Willow. Spring
ephemerals: Bloodroot, Jack-in-the-Pulpit, Wood Anemone,
Dutchman’s Breeches, Solomon’s Seal, Bracken, Lady & Maiden
Hair Ferns. Harmful invasives: Buckthorn, Garlic Mustard,
Asian Honeysuckle, Purple Loosestrife.
Mammals: Including Badger, Deer, Red Fox, Beaver, Coyote, Mink, Woodchuck, Rabbit, Raccoon.
Birds: 65+ species have been identified including Yellow-headed
Blackbird, Swamp Sparrow, Bald Eagle, Golden Eagle, Blue Bird,
Redstart, Barn Owl, Belted Kingfisher, Blue-headed Vireo, Brown
Thrasher, Canvasback Duck, Cedar Waxwing, Chestnut-sided Warbler,
Chipping Sparrow, Common Yellowthroat, Coot, Dark-eyed Junko, Double-
crested Cormorant, Downy Woodpecker, Eastern Phoebe, Egret, Gray
Catbird, Gray-cheeked Thrush, Great Blue Heron, Great Crested
Flycatcher, Great Egret, Great Horned Owl, Green Heron, Hairy
Woodpecker, Loon, Magnolia Warbler, Marsh Wren, Nashville Warbler,
Northern Flicker, Orange-crowned Warbler, Pileated Woodpecker, Rail,
Raven, Red-Tailed Hawk, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Red-eyed Vireo,
Red-tailed Hawk, Ring-necked Pheasant, Scarlet Tanager, Spotted
Sandpiper, Teal, Tennessee Warbler, White-breasted Nuthatch, Wild
Turkey, Wood Duck
Note: Birch Island Woods, Birch Island Park and Eden
Wood are part of the City of Eden Prairie’s impressive park, trail and
open space system. The nine hole, Glen Lake Golf & Practice
Center and the Minnesota River Bluffs Trail are owned by Hennepin
County and managed by Three Rivers Park District. Bent Creek Golf
Club is a members only operation with an 18-hole, links style
Eden Prairie has stronger dog leashing laws than other
communities. Dogs are not permitted to visit Eden Prairie
Parks and Conservation Area unless they are leashed. For a list of Eden
Prairie-based dog parks where dogs can run free, visit www.edenprairie.org/