Minneapolis By Bike

This summer, the Cedar Lake Trail debuted an extension from downtown Minneapolis past Target Field, down to West River Parkway and the Mississippi River. This addition inspired me to grab my bike and explore a bit more of Minneapolis. Armed with a map of the city’s trails, I tried out several trails that were new to me.

Todd Buchanan

From the Cedar Lake Trail in St. Louis Park (considered America’s first bicycle freeway), I cycled down the new extension and across the Hennepin Avenue Bridge to St. Anthony Main for a bite at Aster Café. My return route took me over the Stone Arch Bridge, with views of the Guthrie Theater, St. Anthony Falls and the 35W Bridge. This one’s great for nice views of the city and access to riverside attractions.

Another adventure took me down the Midtown Greeway from Lake Calhoun to the river. I took a break at Freewheel Bike, as its entrance is right along the path, to check out their store and café. When I hit the river, I went south on the West River Parkway trail and stopped at the Longfellow Grill for a bite before continuing on to Minnehaha Falls. At the falls, there’s a great overlook, paths, and dining at Sea Salt (April through Oct.). My return route on this adventure followed Minnehaha Parkway past Lake Nokomis and connected up to the Chain of Lakes at Lake Harriet. This ride was perfect for views of the river and the lakes.

The Chain of Lakes is my regular route. With access from suburban and city trails, the Chain of Lakes is a great destination. Plus, it’s beautiful to see the skyline and fun to people-watch at any of the lakes. There are plenty of places to take a break and grab a bite, like at Tin Fish at Lake Calhoun.

Don’t have a bike? Hop on those new green Nice Ride cycles and hit the trails around Minneapolis or those that connect to St. Paul’s trail system as well.