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Twin Cities Area Bike Trails

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THERE IS A BOUNTY of biking trails and bike routes in the greater Twin Cities metropolitan area, too numerous to describe here. They are managed by cities, counties, and other government jurisdictions. There is no single, comprehensive listing with descriptions of every trail. Here is a sample of some of the longest bike trails in the Twin Cities area. See the resources at the
end of this section to discover more biking opportunities.

Elm Creek Park Reserve/North Hennepin Trail Corridor

Location: Maple Grove, Brooklyn Park
Distance: 25 miles
Description: There are 19 miles of trail through the hilly terrain of Elm Creek Park Reserve. These trails link to the North Hennepin Trail Corridor, a flat, approximately 6-mile trail that links Elm Creek to the Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park on the Mississippi River.

For more information: Call the Three Rivers Park District at 763-694-7894 or visit www.threeriversparkdistrict.org.

Gateway State Trail

Location: Between St. Paul and Pine Point Park, north of Stillwater
Distance: 18 paved miles
Description: With one trailhead rooted in the city and the other in the country, this trail offers an easy ride out of town. The Gateway Trail is popular for biking, in-line skating, walking and jogging, so it can get busy on weekends. Try a midweek visit if you prefer a quieter trek. The western end of the trail starts in St. Paul, north of the state Capitol, and travels through Phalen-Keller Regional Park and several suburban communities on its way to rural Washington County, with views of ponds, wetlands, and woods.

For more information: Call the DNR at 651-296-6157 or 1-888-646-6367, or visit www.dnr.state.mn.us. Map online.

Grand Rounds Bike Trails

Location: Minneapolis
Distance: Over 35 miles
Description: This system of trails—mostly separated from pedestrian trails—travels through scenic parkways: 13 miles circle a chain of four lakes; 13 miles follow Minnehaha Creek, and 10 miles follow the Mississippi River to the downtown riverfront. The northern loop goes past Cedar Lake and through Wirth Park. Heading south on Marshall Street, rider can travel to Boom Island, Nicollet Island, and St. Anthony Main. The southern loop, through Minnehaha Park, passes lakes Nokomis, Harriet, and Calhoun. The Grand Rounds route is a national and scenic byway.

For more information: Call the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board at 612-230-6400 or visit www.minneapolisparks.org. Map online.

Luce Line State Trail

Location: Between Plymouth and Watertown, just west of Minneapolis
Distance: 19 paved miles
Description: The eastern trailhead is in Plymouth, not far from Highway 494. On this end, you cycle through suburban neighborhoods before eventually coming to a remnant stand of Big Woods in the Scientific and Natural area of Wood-Rill.
You can’t bike in this forest, but lock your bike at the trail and take a walk through the trees and wildflowers. As the trail heads west, it leaves the outskirts of the city and heads into farmlands. An additional 10 miles to Winsted (currently a crushed limestone trail) is scheduled for resurfacing in the near future. Approximately 30 miles of the Luce Line State Trail from Winsted to Cedar Mills has a maintained aggregate surface for fat tire bikes and mountain bikes, and two miles within the city limits of Hutchinson are bituminous.

For more information: Call the DNR at 651-296-6157 or 1-888-646-6367, or visit www.dnr.state.mn.us. Map online.

Minnesota Valley State Trail

Location: Shakopee
Distance: Approximately 6 paved miles
Description: The paved segment of this trail runs on the north side of Shakopee from Memorial Park, off Highway 101, to the Minnesota River.

For more information: Call the DNR at 651-296-6157 or 1-888-646-6367 or visit www.dnrstate.mn.us. Map online.

Sunrise Prairie Trail/Hardwood Creek Trail

Location: Between North Branch and Hugo, 20 miles north of the Twin Cities
Distance: 25.5 paved miles  
Description: Between North Branch and Forest Lake, it’s the Sunrise Prairie Trail, going past residential areas, farmlands, hardwood forests, and wetlands before crossing the Sunrise River.

When this trail crosses into Washington County near Forest Lake, it becomes the Hardwood Creek Trail, and parallels Highway 61 south to Hugo. Views alternate between urban and rural.

For more information: Regarding the trail segments, call Chisago County at 651-213-8961 or Washington County at 651-430-8368 or visit www.co.chisago.mn.us/departments or www.co.washington.mn.us/parks. Map online.

Additional Resources

For Information On Twin Cities Bike Trails

Anoka County Parks
www.anokacountyparks.com
763-757-3920

Dakota County Parks
www.co.dakota.mn.us/parks
952-891-7000
Online and printed Bikeway Map, outlining a 65-mile system of bikeways on paved shoulders and paved off-street paths, including the scenic 4-mile Big Rivers Regional Trail along the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers in Mendota Heights.

Hennepin County
www.co.hennepin.mn.us
(Click on “transportation” to get biking information)
763-745-7644
The Hennepin County Bike Map, online and in print, outlines all off-road bike trails and on-road bike routes in the county.

Metropolitan Council
www.metrocouncil.org/parks
651-602-1140
Regional Park Map, available in print and online, notes trails in greater Twin Cities area.

Mississippi National River & Recreation Area
National Park Service
www.nps.gov/miss
651-293-0200
Publishes a detailed Trail Guide with maps and descriptions of miles of city, county and regional bike and multi-use trails along the Mississippi River in the Twin Cities area.

Ramsey County Parks & Recreation
www.co.ramsey.mn.us/parks
651-266-8500

Three Rivers Park District
www.threeriversparkdistrict.org
763-559-9000
Describes 14 paved bike-hike trails (1-19 miles) in park reserves in Hennepin and Carver counties. Printable maps available.

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