Ride Guide: Minnesota Bike Trails Across the State

Explore these miles of paved and mountain bike trails covering Minnesota’s five regions

As part of Minnesota Monthly‘s Bike Minnesota 2023 biking guide, we compiled details for dozens of popular trails. From the Blazing Star State Trail in Albert Lea to Willard Munger State Trail between Hinckley and Duluth, Minnesota has hundreds of miles of trails to explore. Get GPS coordinates, descriptions, parking details, and more in these listings. Have a favorite trail not included? Email the details to Amy Nelson for possible inclusion.

Willard Munger Trail

Visit Duluth

PAVED TRAILS

Southern Minnesota

BLAZING STAR STATE TRAIL

Location: Albert Lea, 43.642570657540055, -93.32250720864288
Type: Paved
Distance: 6 miles
Description: A paved trail that connects Albert
Lea Lake and Myre-Big Island State Park, this trail features a diverse landscape of wetlands, prairie, and oak savanna, as well as great birding spots in the spring and fall.
Parking: One lot available next to Frank Hall Park at the intersection of Frank and James avenues; parking also available in Myre-Big Island State Park.
Level: Moderate
Cost: Free
Info: 507-414-6193; mndnr.gov/trails 

CANNON VALLEY TRAIL 

Location: Cannon Falls, 44.5582494768784, -92.7215914
Type: Paved
Distance: 19.7 miles
Description: This paved trail traces the Cannon River and features many miles of sightseeing, from the Cannon River Turtle Preserve to an abandoned river channel.
Parking: Parking available on North Service Drive.
Level: Easy
Cost: $5 daily wheel pass for 18 and older; $25 per season
Info: 507-263-0508; cannonvalleytrail.com 

CASEY JONES STATE TRAIL 

Location: Currie and Pipestone, 44.07673831807797, -95.67169985998149
Type: Both paved and unpaved
Distance: 10.6 miles
Description: Connecting Pipestone, Woodstock, Lake Wilson, and Currie, this trail boasts Lake Shetek and rolling prairie. Named after railroad engineer Casey Jones, it was one of the first trails to be authorized by the state of Minnesota.
Parking: Pipestone: available off Highway 23; Woodstock and Lake Wilson: available at the community park; Currie: available at the End-O-Line Railroad Park and Museum.
Level: Moderate to challenging
Cost: Free
Info: 507-832-6031; mndnr.gov/trails 

CEDAR CREEK PARK

Location: Fairmont, 45.11088770585724, -94.55472441531124
Distance: 1.8 miles
Type: Paved
Description: This compact-yet-scenic trail is lush with trees and nearby mowed nature trails to explore. There are also two 18-hole disc golf courses within the park.
Parking: From I-90: exit on Highway 39 and drive south for 5.5 miles, take a left on 80th Street (Lake Aires Road), take the next left on Cedar Creek Road. Lot is available at end of the road. From Highway 15: go west on 80th Street and take a right on Cedar Creek Road. Lot is available at the end of the road.
Level: Easy
Cost: Free
Info: fairmont.org

DOUGLAS STATE TRAIL 

Location: Between Rochester and Pine Island, 44.0837317762188, -92.54636590230987
Type: Paved
Distance: 12.5 miles
Description: Pass through some rich agricultural land and see geese and pheasant on this bike trail built off an abandoned railroad grade.
Parking: Rochester: available south on CSAH 22, 2 miles to Olmstead County Road, then 0.3 miles east to Rochester trailhead; Douglas: west on Olmstead Country Road 14, 3 miles to the Douglas trailhead; Pine Island: Goodhue County Road 11 for 0.5 miles to Pine Island City Park trailhead.
Level: Easy
Cost: Free
Info: 507-206-2847; mndnr.gov/trails

GOODHUE PIONEER STATE TRAIL 

Location: Red Wing, 44.54331291260561, -92.56974800229244
Type: Paved
Distance: 47 miles when complete
Description: This trail allows one to pass through grass prairies, oak savanna, and maple forests while keeping an eye out for creatures like deer, wild turkeys, and bald eagles.
Parking: Available in the city of Red Wing, in the Hay Creek unit of the Richard J. Dorer State Forest, and the southern portion of the Covered Bridge Park in Zumbrota.
Level: Easy
Cost: Free
Info: 507-206-2847; mndnr.gov/trails

GREAT RIVER RIDGE STATE TRAIL 

Location: Between Plainview and near Eyota, northeast of Rochester, 44.02113956303226, -92.25532408696955
Type: Paved
Distance: 15 miles when complete
Description: Made up of a largely agricultural
landscape, this trail features miles of quiet farmland and a few creek crossings.
Parking: Plainview: at trailhead on Third Street SW; Elgin: in town; Eyota: on County Road 9.
Level: Easy
Cost: Free
Info: 507-206-2847; mndnr.gov/trails 

HARMONY-PRESTON VALLEY STATE TRAIL 

Location: Between Harmony and Preston, southeast of Rochester, 43.67297840203906, -92.07252436184632
Type: Paved
Distance: 18 miles
Description: The northern two-thirds of the trail is constructed from a former railroad and continues to pass through farmland as well as wooded areas. There is much wildlife to see as well, such as deer, hawks, and wild turkey.
Parking: Harmony: take Fourth Street NW for 0.5 miles to parking lot; Preston: take Fillmore Street (County Road 12) 0.5 miles to parking lot.
Level: Easy
Cost: Free
Info: 507-206-2847; mndnr.gov/trails 

LUVERNE TRAILS

Location: Luverne, 43.6662019035895, -96.20307627305257
Distance: about 15 miles total
Type: Paved
Description: Including the Luverne Loop, Ashby Trail, and Blue Mounds Trail, the trails of Luverne take bicyclists through city sights, lakes, agricultural fields, and views of the Blue Mound cliffline.
Parking: Luverne Loop: public parking available along the route; Blue Mounds: available at intersection of Main Street and Mound Avenue; at Blue Mounds State Park; and at Cliffline Area along County Highway 8 (parking pass needed).
Level: Easy
Cost: Free
Info: cityofluverne.org/trails

RED JACKET TRAIL 

Location: Between Mankato and Rapidan, 44.11812558615121, -94.04924536948536
Type: Paved
Distance: 6 miles
Description: Named after a Seneca chief, the Red Jacket Trail employs three railroad trestles. The impressive Red Jacket Trestle spans the length of the Le Sueur River and Highway 66. This trail also includes Red Jacket Trail Park, which has stunning views of the trestle.
Parking: Mankato: take Riverfront Drive exit off U.S. 14,  turn left onto Riverfront Drive, then turn right on Stoltzman Road for parking. Weagel Park: from Sibley Street, turn right onto W. Seventh Street, turn left onto Highway 66, turn left onto Indian Lake Road for parking. Red Jacket Trail Park: from Highway 22, turn right onto County Road 90, turn left onto Highway 66 and turn left for parking available on the right.
Level: Easy
Cost: Free
Info: 507-304-4025; blueearthcountymn.gov

ROOT RIVER STATE TRAIL 

Location: Between Fountain and Houston, 43.767994056762554, -91.8739631309798
Type: Paved
Distance: 42 miles
Description: Root River State Trail presents splendid views of the limestone bluffs of the Root River Valley, as well as historical buildings and rural communities in passing trail towns. There is much wildlife to see, such as wild turkey, deer, and even rattlesnakes, which are a state protected species.
Parking: Fountain: from Highway 52, take County Road 8 a mile to available parking. Lanesboro: from County Road 8, turn right onto Parkway Avenue S. Parking is available on the street and next to Sylvan Park, which will be on the left. Peterson: from County Road 25, continue straight before turning right onto Park Street, and turn right again on Fillmore Street for parking.
Level: Moderately challenging
Cost: Free
Info: 507-206-2847; mndnr.gov/trails

SAKATAH SINGING HILLS STATE TRAIL 

Location: Between Faribault and Mankato, 44.20289183408095, -93.62574380027883
Type: Paved
Distance: 39 miles
Description: Developed on an abandoned railroad grade, Sakatah Singing Hills State Trail passes through Sakatah Lake State Park and provides access to a few other lakes and parks within the route. Sakatah is the Dakota word for “singing hills.”
Parking: Mankato: on U.S. 14, go 8 miles to Riverfront Drive exit, then turn right onto N. Riverfront Drive. In 0.6 mile, turn left onto Lime Valley Road, where parking will be available; Faribault: take Exit 59 on I-35 and turn right onto Highway 21 to White Sands Park.
Level: Easy
Cost: Free
Info: 507-698-7852; mndnr.gov/trails

SHOOTING STAR STATE TRAIL

Location: Between LeRoy and Austin, 43.58312814261466, -92.78426342228396
Type: Paved
Distance: 29 miles
Description: Built off an unused railroad bed, this trail follows meadows and hardwood groves to agricultural fields. There is a Norwegian church that serves as a rest stop as well as a memorial for Margie Meier, a supporter of the trail.
Parking: LeRoy: on Lowell Street, east of County Road 14; Rowe Pit: off County Road 14, north of LeRoy; Lake Louise State Park: parking available with vehicle permit; Taopi: between Maple and Main streets on the south side of Highway 56; Adams: parking available on the south side of West Main Street (Highway 56). Rose Creek: parking available off Highway 56 or Fourth Street; J.C. Hormel Nature
Center: off 21st Street.
Level: Easy
Cost: $7 daily vehicle pass; $35 year round
Info: 507-414-6193; mndnr.gov/trails 

Central Minnesota

CENTRAL LAKES STATE TRAIL 

Location: Between Fergus Falls and Osakis, 46.019977109347366, -95.69989050871006
Type: Paved
Distance: 55 miles
Description: This region notably features the Kensington Runestone, an artifact allegedly found near a small town southwest of Alexandria that supposedly dates to 1362. The trail’s Seven Sister Prairie on the north side of Lake Christina is an impressive group of seven glacially produced knolls. The landscaping on this trail is varied, including dense forest as well as farmland and rolling hills.
Parking: Fergus Falls: parking available at Central Lakes State Trail Trailhead off Highway 210 and in DeLagoon City Park; Alexandria: in Big Ole Park; Osakis: by Osakis Information Center; Dalton, Ashby, Evansville, Brandon, and Garfield: parking available in dedicated lots or city streets.
Level: Easy
Cost: Free
Info: 218-739-7576; mndnr.gov/trails

Cuyuna

John Schaubach

CUYUNA LAKES STATE TRAIL 

Location: Between Crosby and Riverton, 46.48204720773413, -93.89956430856324
Type: Paved
Distance: 8 miles
Description: Inside the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area, this trail features six natural lakes and 25 miles of undeveloped shoreline with a variety of fish species, including trout, bass, sunfish, and walleye.
Parking: Crosby: take Highway 210/6 and follow the signs to the Croft Mine Historical Park. Parking is also available on the west side of Highway 6; Riverton trail head: from Highway 210, go north to County Road 128. Take a right to the intersection of Rowe Road. Turn left, and parking is available on the right of Rowe Road.
Level: Easy
Cost: $7 daily vehicle pass; $35 year round
Info: 218-203-4442; mndnr.gov/trails 

GLACIAL LAKES STATE TRAIL 

Location: Between Willmar and Paynesville, and Roscoe and Cold Spring, 45.258949875652604, -94.94604522871388
Type: Paved
Distance: 29 miles
Description: This trail bisects western tallgrass prairie and deciduous forest terrain, where one can view reptiles, small mammals, and butterflies. As the name implies, the lakes surrounding the area make this trail scenic.
Parking: Willmar: on Highway 12 east to County Road 89, turn left for parking available at the Civic Center; Spicer: go west at the junction of Highway 23 and County Road 10; New London: go 1 mile northeast of Main Street on County Road 31. Parking is available at the intersection of River View Lane. Hawick: parking is available at the intersection of Highway 23 and County Road 2; Richmond: on Highway 23, go north one block on Central Avenue S.
Level: Easy
Cost: Free
Info: 320-796-2161; mndnr.gov/trails 

LAKE WOBEGON TRAIL 

Location: Between St. Joseph and Osakis, with a spur north from Albany to Holdingford, 45.66974843864027, -94.73500939739333
Type: Paved
Distance: 65.5 miles
Description: This trail is named after the fictional town of Lake Wobegon, coined by Minnesota radio personality Garrison Keillor. The small towns along the trail, such as Holdingford, gave Keillor inspiration for this fantastical place. The lengthy trail features lakes, woodland, and open farmland.
Parking Available at the following trailheads: Waite Park, St. Joseph, Avon, Albany, Freeport, Melrose, Sauk Centre, West Union, Holdingford, and Bowlus.
Level: Easy
Cost: Free
Info: 800-264-2940; lakewobegontrail.com 

MILLE LACS SOO LINE TRAIL 

Location: Between Onamia and Isle, south of Mille Lacs Lake, 46.073303151105655, -93.66768878255682
Distance: 11 miles
Type: Paved and gravel (multiple-use trails)
Description: This trail features scenic forest and countryside, plus a beach and swimming area, in Father Hennepin State Park. Keep an eye out for the rare albino whitetail deer dwelling in the area nearby.
Parking: Onamia: available at the Library/Depot on Roosevelt Road; Isle: on Fifth Avenue, one block south of Main Street.
Level: Easy
Cost: Free
Info: 888-350-2692; millelacs.com

Northwest Minnesota

GREATER GRAND FORKS GREENWAY 

Location: East Grand Forks and Polk, 47.9223034634545, -97.016854137529
Distance: 10 miles (in Minnesota)
Type: Paved
Description: This trail connects the border of Grand Forks, North Dakota, and East Grand Forks, Minnesota along the Red River and Red Lake River. There are a multitude of campgrounds, fishing sites, and playgrounds to enjoy, as well as golf courses and ice-skating and hockey rinks.
Parking: River Heights Park: go east on Gateway Drive from North Dakota and go 2.7 miles to enter Minnesota. Take the East Grand Forks exit, and turn left onto Fourth Street. Parking will be available on the right; Confluence of Red River and Red Lake River: go east on Demers Avenue. Take the Fourth Avenue S. exit, and then turn left onto Minnesota Avenue. Turn left, and parking is available before the Third Avenue Bridge.
Level: Easy
Cost: Free
Info: 701-746-2750; greenwayggf.com

HEARTLAND STATE TRAIL 

Location: Between Park Rapids and Cass Lake, 47.15239558501804, -94.6402347711641, also East of Detroit Lakes toward Frazee
Distance: 49 miles + 5 new miles
Type: Paved
Description: One of the first railroads that was converted to a bike trail, Heartland State trail features views of lakes, rivers, streams, and wildlife such as bald eagles, bobcats, and coyotes. This trail also connects to the Paul Bunyan State Trail. A five-mile segment was paved in 2021 that runs east of Detroit Lakes toward Frazee. The Heartland Trail will eventually connect communities from Moorhead to Park Rapids.
Parking: Park Rapids: from Highway 34, go north 0.25 miles on Mill Street for parking in Heartland County Park; Dorset: go north 1.4 miles on Highway 225 from Highway 34 for parking; Nevis: parking available off Highway 34 at the intersection of County Road 18 and Village Road; Akeley: go north from Highway 34. Go for 0.1 miles on Hillside Avenue for parking; Walker: go south on County Road 12, proceed 0.25 miles from Highway 371 to Lake May Drive and Heartland Place; Erickson’s Landing: parking available 2 miles north of Walker on Highway 371; Steamboat Landing: go west off Highway 371. After 0.3 miles, parking is available on 130th Street NW; Cass Lake: Parking available on the north side of Highway 2. Detroit Lakes: Pick up the trail adjacent to the frontage road west of Big Detroit Lake and east to the underpass under Highway 10 toward Frazee.
Level: Easy to moderate
Cost: Free
Info: 218-308-2372; mndnr.gov/trails 

MIGIZI TRAIL 

Location: Cass Lake, 47.33475588209354, -94.56299046803375
Distance: 19 miles
Type: Paved
Description: This scenic trail features deciduous forest and red and white pines, as a large part of it traverses through the Chippewa National Forest. Migizi, the Ojibwe word for “bald eagle,” is the namesake of this trail. The eastern 2.8 miles of this trail connect with the Heartland State Trail.
Parking: Available at the Cass Lake Wayside Rest on Highway 2 and the South Pike Bay Picnic Area.
Level: Easy
Cost: Free
Info: 218-335-8600; fs.usda.gov/chippewa

PAUL BUNYAN STATE TRAIL 

Location: From Crow Wing State Park (Brainerd Lakes Area) to Lake Bemidji State Park, 47.58041820986701, -94.82077033900367
Distance: 115 miles (not including short on-road
connections through Baxter and Bemidji)
Type: Paved
Description: Boasting the title of Minnesota’s longest state trail and the longest continuously paved rail-trail in the United States, the Paul Bunyan State Trail also hosts oak savannas and prairies with bountiful wildlife.
Parking: Available in the following locations: Akeley, Backus, Baxter, Bemidji, Brainerd, Chippewa National Forest, Crow Wing State Park, Guthrie, Hackensack, Jenkins, La Porte, Lake Bemidji State Park, Lavinia, Merrifield, Nary, Nisswa, North County Trail, Pequot Lakes, and Walker.
Level: Easy to moderate
Cost: $7 daily vehicle pass; $35 year round
Info: 218-308-2372; mndnr.gov/trails 

Northeast Minnesota

Gitchi Gami Trail

Provided

GITCHI-GAMI STATE TRAIL 

Location: Along the North Shore of Lake Superior, 47.197014020035446, -91.38489784445896
Distance: Over 33 miles (will be 86 miles when complete)
Type: Paved
Description: This trail has been slowly under construction for two decades but allows bicyclists to ride along the North Shore of Lake Superior while enjoying birch and aspen forests, lakeside beaches, and waterfalls. This trail, when completed, will connect five state parks.
Parking: Silver Creek Cliff: go to the east side of the Silver Creek Cliff tunnel. Parking is available at the Silver Creek Cliff wayside; Grand Marais: available at the Grand Marais public water access; Schroeder to Tofte: available at the MNDOT wayside, Temperance River State Park, and Tofte town park off Sawbill Trail; Gooseberry Falls State Park to Silver Bay: available at Twin Points public water access, Iona’s Beach Scientific and Natural Area, Split Rock Lighthouse State Park trail center, Silver Bay hockey arena, rest area near the Beaver River, and Gooseberry Falls State Park.
Level: Easy
Cost: $7 daily vehicle pass; $35 year round
Info: 218-834-1430; mndnr.gov/trails 

MESABI TRAIL 

Location: Between Grand Rapids and Ely, 47.46367808831124, -92.52076305809695
Distance: Over 150 miles (over 165 miles when completed)
Type: Paved
Description: Pass through 28 communities and pass by lakes, creeks, and ponds on this premier biking trail that spans from the Mississippi River to Minnesota’s Boundary Waters.
Parking: Available at the following access points: Kinney, Tower, Calumet, Giants Ridge, Aurora, Embarrass, McKinley, Gilbert, Bovey, Virginia,
Taconite, Chisholm, Buhl, Biwabik, Grand Rapids, Fayal Township, Mountain Iron, Coleraine, Eagles Nest, Eveleth (Fayal Pond), Pengilly, Hibbing, Keewatin, Marble, Eveleth (Mesabi Station), Ely, Biwabik (Embarrass Lake), and Nashwauk.
Level: Moderate
Cost: Wheel pass is required for riders 18 and older; $5 for a three-day pass or $15 for the season
Info: 877-637-2241; mesabitrail.com 

WILLARD MUNGER STATE TRAIL 

Location: Between Hinckley and Duluth, 46.45338162213786, -92.76890421120025
Distance: 70 miles
Type: Paved
Description: The Duluth segment of this trail takes bikers through the stunning scenery of Jay Cooke State Park, while the northeast part features views of the St. Louis River and the twin ports of Superior and Duluth. Watch for wolves, coyotes, and even black bears along the way.
Parking: Carlton: go one block south of Highway 210 on County Road 1; Duluth: parking available at the northern trailhead on Grand Avenue (Highway 23) and 75th Avenue; West Hinckley: go one block north of the Hinckley Fire Museum (the intersection of Highway 61 and County Road 18); Jay Cooke State Park and Moose Lake State Park: parking available with vehicle permit.
Level: Easy
Cost: $7 daily vehicle pass; $35 year round
Info: 218-460-7021; mndnr.gov/trails 

Greater Twin Cities

BROWN’S CREEK STATE TRAIL 

Location: Grant to Stillwater, 45.07114359636236, -92.83703667336673
Distance: 5.9 miles
Type: Paved
Description: This trail follows Brown’s Creek, a trout stream with a dense canopy that provides ample shade for trail users. One may also see views of the St. Croix River and the National Scenic Riverway, Minnesota’s only river in the federal Wild and Scenic Rivers system.
Parking: Downtown Stillwater: available at the eastern end of the trail on Laurel Street; East Brown’s Creek Nature Preserve: go south of the intersection of McKusick Road and Neal Avenue; Grant: available under the Gateway State Trail bridge.
Level: Easy
Cost: Free
Info: 651-259-5841; mndnr.gov/trails

CEDAR LAKE LRT REGIONAL TRAIL + MINNESOTA RIVER BLUFFS LRT REGIONAL TRAIL 

Location: Between Hopkins and Minneapolis, 44.9448662350375, -93.3360918310428
Distance: 19.9 miles
Type: Paved and crushed stone
Description: This is an aggregate trail that is built off of a former railroad that goes from Hopkins to Chaska. Bicyclists can view Shady Oak Lake, Riley Lake Park, and the Minnesota River Valley.
Parking: Hopkins: available at Depot Coffee House between Excelsior Boulevard and Milwaukee Road; Eden Prairie: go west of Eden Prairie Road to Miller Park on Highway 212; Chaska: parking available where the trail meets Bluff Creek Drive.
Level: Easy
Cost: Free
Info: threeriversparks.org 

DAKOTA RAIL REGIONAL TRAIL 

Location: Between Wayzata and New Germany, 44.90557485411182, -93.73812083751056
Distance: 26 miles
Type: Paved
Description: Passing through Lake Minnetonka and Waconia, this trail follows the former Dakota Rail Corridor that ended in 2001.
Parking: Wayzata: available at Shaver Park; Mound: available at the downtown transit center at the intersection of Lynwood and Commerce boulevards; St. Bonifacius: available at Don Logelin Memorial Lions Park; New Germany: available on Broadway Street.
Level: Easy
Cost: Free
Info: co.carver.mn.us/parks (western portion); threeriversparks.org
(eastern portion) 

ELM CREEK PARK RESERVE/RUSH CREEK REGIONAL TRAIL 

Location: Champlin, Dayton, and Maple Grove, 45.13848231014937, -93.43794067983092
Distance: 30 miles
Type: Paved
Description: Throughout Elm Creek Park Reserve, there are 20 miles of paved trails that eventually connect to the Rush Creek Regional Trail.
Parking: Available at Coon Rapids Dam Park and Elm Creek Park Reserve.
Level: Easy
Cost: Free
Info: 763-694-7894; threeriversparks.org

GATEWAY STATE TRAIL 

Location: Between St. Paul and Pine Point Park, northwest of Stillwater, 45.03434111747131, -92.94844903074005
Distance: 18 miles
Type: Paved
Description: Built off the former Soo Line Railroad grade, this trail has a surprising number of rural areas considering its proximity to the city. This trail features wetlands, parks, and lakes to view along the way.
Parking: Available at the following trail accesses: North Saint Paul Trailhead, Flicek Park, Maplewood Community Center, Highway 36 and Second Street (North St. Paul), Arlington Avenue, 55th Street (southwest of Highway 36 and I-694), Mahtomedi Athletic Fields-Green Lot, Jamaica Avenue, under Gateway State Trail Bridge near Lake Masterman, Pine Point Regional Park (fee required), and along city streets.
Level: Moderate
Cost: Free
Info: 651-259-5841; mndnr.gov/trails

GRAND ROUNDS BIKE TRAILS 

Location: Minneapolis, 45.027781031026116, -93.26011313104526
Distance: 51 miles
Type: Paved
Description: The Grand Rounds Scenic Byway System is one of the United States’ longest continuous systems of urban parkways. This system weaves lakes, wetlands, lagoons, and woodlands and runs along parkways such as St. Anthony Parkway, Victory Memorial Drive, and Theodore Wirth Parkway.
Parking: North: take I-35W south into Minneapolis and exit on Stinson Boulevard. Take a right on Stinson Boulevard heading north, then turn left onto St. Anthony Parkway; South: Take I-35W north into Minneapolis and exit at 46th Street. Take a left on 46th Street to East Lake Harriet Parkway; West: Take I-394 east into Minneapolis and exit at Penn Avenue. Make a left on Penn to Glenwood avenues to Theodore Wirth Parkway; Downtown Minneapolis: take East Hennepin Avenue to West River Parkway.
Level: Moderate
Cost: Free
Info: 612-230-6400; minneapolisparks.org 

LUCE LINE STATE TRAIL 

Location: Plymouth though Watertown, Winsted, and Silver Lake to Hutchinson, 44.955466487588176, -94.0351518733759
Distance: 63 miles
Type: Limestone from Plymouth to Winsted, paved from the McLeod and Carver County line to Hutchinson, crushed rock from Hutchinson to Cedar Mills, and natural (mowed grass) from Cedar Mills to Cosmos.
Description: The Luce Line is a preserved countryside, featuring woodlands, prairie, and nearby lakes with ducks and geese. Bicyclists can enjoy the differing landscapes of both metropolitan and rural Minnesota.
Parking: Carver County Road 127: available south of County Road 20; Cedar Mills: available on the south side of Highway 7; Cosmos: available at Thompson Park and 252nd Avenue; Hutchinson: off Highway 7 on each end of town; Independence: east side of County Road 110 and south of County Road 6; Lyndale: off County Road 92; Long Lake: head south on Old Crystal Bay Road to Watertown Road. Go west to Stubbs Bay Road. Then, go south 0.25 miles for parking; Plymouth: off 10th Avenue N. and Vicksburg Lane; Silver Lake: north side of Highway 7 at Park Avenue; Watertown: off Vega Avenue; Winsted: available at Babcock Avenue/County Road 1 and Kingsley Street/County Road 9.
Level: Easy
Cost: Free
Info: 651-259-5841; mndnr.gov/trails; threeriversparks.org 

MIDTOWN GREENWAY

Location: Minneapolis, 44.95055188634809, -93.2689895020445
Distance: 5.5 miles
Type: Paved
Description: The Midtown Greenway, following the path of an abandoned railroad, makes commuting through the city efficient. Since the path is separated from the street grid, the Greenway makes for quick and seamless traveling, also connecting to the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes and paths along the Mississippi River.
Parking: Brackett Field Park: take I-94 to Exit 235A toward Riverside Avenue. Merge onto Ninth Street, then turn right onto 26th Aveue. Turn left onto E. 25th Street, then turn right onto 36th Avenue S. Go 0.4 miles to E. 28th Street, and then turn left onto
S. 39th Avenue for available parking.
Level: Easy
Cost: Free
Info: 612-879-0105; midtowngreenway.org 

NINE MILE CREEK REGIONAL TRAIL 

Location: Richfield, 44.904353893892626, -93.40298226923774
Type: Paved
Distance: 15.3 miles
Description: Connecting to the trail systems of the Minnesota River Bluffs Regional trail, Cedar Lake Regional Trail, and Nokomis-Minnesota River Regional Trail, Nine Mile Creek provides bikers with a variety of sights in Hennepin County, including the wetlands and woodlands of the Edina area and Lake Nokomis up north.
Parking: Available at Hopkins Depot, Hopkins Valley Park, Walnut Ridge Park, Bredesen Park, Fred Richards Park, Adams Hills Park, and Roosevelt Park.
Level: Easy to moderate
Cost: Free
Info: threeriversparks.org

SAM MORGAN REGIONAL TRAIL 

Location: St. Paul, 44.92741997048706, -93.11997721551134
Distance: 9 miles
Type: Paved
Description: Take in the cityscape of St. Paul and views of the Mississippi River on this 9-mile ride that leads bicyclists through Shepard Road, Upper Landing Park, and Indian Mounds Park.
Parking: Available at Battle Creek Regional Park, Lower Landing Park, Upper Landing Park, the end of Randolph Avenue, and Crosby Farm Regional Park.
Level: Easy
Cost: Free
Info: stpaul.gov/parks 

SUNRISE PRAIRIE REGIONAL TRAIL/HARDWOOD CREEK REGIONAL TRAIL

Location: Between North Branch and Hugo, 45.16187311112033, -92.99321080201005
Distance: 26 miles
Type: Paved
Description: As their names imply, these connecting trails pass through both farmland and hardwood forests, plus a number of wetland areas. After traversing both the west and south branches of the Sunrise River, Sunrise Prairie Regional Trail changes into the Hardwood Creek Regional Trail in Forest Lake.
Parking: North Branch: take I-35 to Exit 147, then go 0.6 miles east on Highway 95 to Forest Boulevard. Turn right to go south, then turn right again onto Maple Street for available parking.; Stacy: take I-35 to Exit 139, then go 0.3 miles east on Stacy Trail for available parking; Wyoming: take I-35 to Exit 135 for Chisago County Road 22. Go east for 0.2 miles on E. Viking Boulevard. Turn left onto Forest Boulevard; Forest Lake: take I-35 to Exit 131, then go east for 0.8 miles on W. Broadway Avenue.
Level: Easy
Cost: Free
Info: 651-257-1300; chisagocounty.us or 651-430-8370; co.washington.mn.us 

MOUNTAIN BIKING TRAILS

Northern and Central Minnesota 

CHIPPEWA NATIONAL FOREST

Location: Around Deer River, Grand Rapids, Walker, and Cass Lake, 47.48629075889229, -94.03690983076658
Distance: Varies
Type: Paved and unpaved
Description: Within this 1.6 million-acre national forest,
there are a variety of mountain and non-mountain biking trails to explore, including the scenic 630-mile Mississippi River Trail, plus the Cass Lake, Deer River, and Marcell areas. Encounter abundant plants and wildlife, as well, since the Chippewa National Forest is home to more than 250 wildlife species.
Parking: Available on the north and south ends of the forest.
Level: Moderate to challenging
Cost: Free
Info: 218-335-8600; fs.usda.gov/chippewa

CUYUNA COUNTRY STATE RECREATION AREA 

Location: Crosby-Ironton area, 46.49038744987329, -94.00048692411492
Distance: Over 50 miles
Type: Unpaved
Description: Experience world-class mountain biking with Cuyuna’s singletrack trails, spread out over 800 acres of vegetation and lakes. The trail difficulty is denoted by color, as Cuyuna is accessible to the most novice and the most seasoned of mountain bicyclists.
Parking: Ironton: available at Third Street between Irene and Winona avenues, or Curtis Avenue between Highway 210 and Second Street.
Level: Trails vary from easy to extremely difficult
Cost: $7 daily vehicle pass; $35 year round
Info: 218-546-5926; cuyuna.com 

DETROIT MOUNTAIN RECREATION AREA 

Location: Detroit Lakes, 46.813250587547365, -95.78332125293907
Distance: Varies
Type: Unpaved/dirt
Description: In the summer months, Detroit Mountain provides premier mountain biking for all levels and ages, including cross-country contour flow trails, a skills park, and downhill gravity trails.
Parking: Lot available.
Level: Trails vary from easy to extremely difficult
Cost: Pricing varies by season, see online (season passes available)
Info: 218-844-7669; detroitmountain.com 

DULUTH TRAILS 

Location: Around Duluth, 46.718500078229624, -92.21673113760153
Distance: Varies
Type: Unpaved
Description: From Mission Creek to Spirit Mountain, the scenic backdrop of Lake Superior makes for exceptional mountain biking. Hilly terrain and wooded hillsides weave through the city’s rocky terrain, totaling over 90 miles.
Parking: Lots and street parking available.
Level: Trails vary from easy to extremely difficult
Cost: Spirit Mountain summer adult all-day pass, $35; winter fat biking all-day lift pass, $65. Prices subject to change.
Info: coggs.com 

GIANTS RIDGE

Location: Biwabik, east of Virginia, 47.578831869614845, -92.3031907961994
Distance: 37 miles of road and mountain biking trails; connects to the paved Mesabi Trail
Type: Paved and unpaved
Description: Giants Ridge is a favorite getaway for skiing and golfing, and also the largest lift-served mountain bike park in the Midwest. It offers 10 gravity trails that cover a variety of terrains that are suitable for beginner to expert riders. There are also 9 miles of cross-country trails within the Superior National Forest.
Parking: Lot available.
Level: Easy to extremely difficult
Cost: Adult all-day pass, $30; youth all-day pass, $25. Prices subject to change.
Info: 800-688-7669; giantsridge.com 

Split Rock Wilds

Lake County

LAKE COUNTY MOUNTAIN BIKE TRAILS

Location: Demonstration Forest, Two Harbors, 47.10857093529782, -91.74904554603354 and Split Rock Wilds, Beaver Bay, 47.252825013355746, -91.32108177301674 and
Distance: 10 miles; 22 miles
Type: Unpaved
Description: Four singletrack trails with scenic views great for beginners; new trail system for advanced riders with technical terrains.
Parking: Demonstration Forest: from Two Harbors, go about 8 miles northwest to Drummond Grade, parking at the forest entrance; Split Rock: take Highway 61 to Superior Hiking Trail.
Level: Easy to difficult
Cost: Free
Info: facebook.com/lakecountymbt

MILACA TRAILS

Location: Milaca, 45.754258655260315, -93.66216658686747
Type: Unpaved
Distance: 12 miles
Description: The Milaca Trails have less strenuous, relaxing rides on trails such as the Meadow and River Run, or more high-intensity rides on the Sky Hill Trails. This doubletrack trail system is also decorated with scenic views of the Rum River.
Parking: Available in Recreation Park, near the entrance to Forest Hill Cemetery, and west off County Road 112.
Level: Easy to difficult
Cost: Free
Info: 320-983-3141; cityofmilaca.org

PILLSBURY STATE FOREST TRAIL SYSTEM

Location: Nisswa, 46.430528204196406, -94.43583746547684
Distance: Over 30 miles
Type: Unpaved
Description: Venture through deciduous and coniferous trees as well as small lakes and ponds in Minnesota’s first state forest. Hilly topography (due to glacial activity) makes for thrilling mountain biking.
Parking: Available off Beauty Lake Forest Road and Pillsbury Forest Road.
Level: Moderate
Cost: Free
Info: dnr.state.mn.us/state_forests

REDHEAD MOUNTAIN BIKE PARK

Location: Chisholm, 47.47739423343047, -92.89380284421588
Distance: 25 miles (still incomplete)
Type: Paved
Description: Established in 2020 from an abandoned iron mine, with miles of towering cliff faces, lakes, and overlooks, this park is planned to add an additional 14 miles of trails and backcountry.
Parking: At the Minnesota Discovery Center
Level: Easy to difficult
Cost: Free
Info: goredhead.com

RED WING MEMORIAL PARK

Location: Red Wing, 44.56151190773725, -92.52103110226072
Distance: Varies
Type: Unpaved
Description: With 31 available mountain biking trails that wind through scenic, elevated terrain, there is something for all skill levels.
Parking: Take Highway 61 to Plum Street to E. Seventh Street to Skyline Drive.
Level: Easy to difficult
Cost: Free
Info: red-wing.org/407/trails

SUPERIOR NATIONAL FOREST

Location: Around Ely, Tofte, and Grand Marais, 47.866510712173636, -91.48020017303766
Distance: Varies
Type: Unpaved (gravel and dirt)
Description: Explore the spectacular boreal forest along the numerous single-lane gravel roads. Pincushion, Big Aspen Trail, and Britton Peak Trailhead are just some of the mountain biking trails available.
Parking: Lots and street parking available.
Level: Easy to extremely difficult
Cost: Free to bike
Info: 218-626-4300; fs.usda.gov/superior

TIOGA RECREATION AREA

Location: Cohasset, 47.22319574272827, -93.61224457306038
Distance: 25 miles
Type: Unpaved
Description: Located on 500 wooded acres, the area has turned former mining ores into twisty, sloping, thrilling mountain biking trails.
Parking: Available at Tioga Beach and trailhead parking lot off Tioga Beach Road.
Level: Eas
y to extremely difficult
Cost: Free
Info: tiogarecreation.com

Greater Twin Cities and Southern Minnesota

BATTLE CREEK REGIONAL PARK

Location: Eastern part of St. Paul, 44.93859455583189, -93.01400074827198
Distance: 9.5 miles of trails
Type: Paved and unpaved
Description: With trails varying in difficulty, plus views of the Mississippi River, Battle Creek Regional Park provides accessible mountain and road cycling for nature enthusiasts and steadfast bicyclists alike.
Parking: Available at Battle Creek Recreation Center and on Upper Afton Road.
Level: Easy
Cost: Free
Info: 651-748-2500; ramseycounty.us 

LEBANON HILLS REGIONAL PARK

Location: Eagan, 44.79311481376406, -93.12845731748752
Distance: 12 miles
Type: Unpaved
Description: Containing almost 2,000 acres, Lebanon Hills Regional Park is the largest park in the Dakota County Park System. The trail system provides picturesque views of lakes and wooded areas, and the West Trailhead is suitable for mountain biking.
Parking: Available on Johnny Cake Ridge Road or on Galaxie Avenue on the west side of the park.
Level: Moderate to difficult
Cost: Free
Info: 952-891-7000; dakotacounty.us/parks 

MINNESOTA VALLEY STATE RECREATION AREA

Location: Between Shakopee and Belle Plaine, 44.65130663231192, -93.71618683506946
Distance: 35 miles
Type: Unpaved and paved
Description: This state recreation area preserves part of the Minnesota River Valley, which contains wetlands, oak savanna, and floodplain forest. Enjoy a ride with a view of the Minnesota River or Horseshoe Lake. The trail is natural-surface from Belle Plaine to Chaska, then paved from Chaska to Shakopee.
Parking: Available on site.
Level: Easy
Cost: $35 annual; $7 daily
Info: 651-259-5774; or the DNR at 651-296-6157; mndnr.gov/parks

MOUNT KATO

Location: Mankato, 44.13335298833132, -94.03330907158977
Distance: Over 7 miles
Type: Unpaved
Description: Open from early May through October, Mount Kato’s mountain biking trails are 80% wooded singletrack and take bicyclists around ponds and ski trails. They even offer a view of the Minnesota River at the top of the hill.
Parking: Available on site.
Level: Moderate to difficult
Cost: $130 seasonal; $5 daily. Prices subject to change.
Info: 507-625-3363; mountkato.com

MURPHY-HANREHAN PARK RESERVE

Location: Near Savage, 44.724149839699734, -93.34821522409575
Distance: Over 10 miles
Type: Unpaved
Description: This singletrack mountain bike course consists of three one-way loops of varying difficulty. The easy loop traverses an open, rolling prairie. The intermediate loop is more than 2 miles long, weaving through the woods and over a wetland boardwalk. The advanced is more than 5 miles long and goes over high and narrow ladder bridges.
Parking: From I-35W, take County Road 42 west to County Road 27. Turn south then east on 154th Street. Go south on County Road 75 to the park entrance.
Level: Easy to difficult
Cost: Free
Info: 763-694-7777; threeriversparks.org

THEODORE WIRTH PARK

Location: Minneapolis, 44.99248144706423, -93.32649070985082
Distance: Over 12 miles
Type: Paved and unpaved
Description: Theodore Wirth Park is the largest park in the Minneapolis Park system. The trails are a mix of easy, moderate, and challenging, and take bicyclists through open parkland and woods.
Parking: Available in trailhead lots and in the nearby neighborhoods.
Level: Easy to difficult
Cost: Free
Info: minneapolisparks.org 

WINONA AREA

Location: Holzinger Trail System and Cherry Hill, 44.0410900933339, -91.66255080212011 and 44.059776620726886, -91.73056506656435
Distance: 9 miles (Holzinger), 6 miles (Cherry Hill)
Type: Unpaved
Description: The Holzinger Trail and Cherry Hill Trail systems offer some of the Midwest’s most challenging mountain biking. The Holzinger Trail system in Bluffside Park is a combination of doubletrack rollers and technical singletrack. Cherry Hill offers one doubletrack and two singletrack sections.
Parking: Holzinger: available in Holzinger Lodge parking lot; Cherry Hill: lot available at the end of Brook Drive off County Road 23.
Level: Moderate to difficult
Cost: Free
Info: visitwinona.com

As editor of Minnesota Monthly, Amy works collaboratively with a team of writers, designers, photographers, and digital producers to create impactful, surprising, timely and insightful content that reflects the Spirit of Minnesota. An award-winning newspaper and magazine editor based in the Twin Cities, Amy has decades of experience guiding coverage of luxury living, arts and culture, style and travel topics across multiple platforms. She has interviewed personalities ranging from Prince to Roger Goodell and has stories to tell.
Kate Linggi is an editorial intern who will be a sophomore at St. Olaf College in Northfield but is from San Diego, California. She is planning on majoring in English. In her free time, you can find her at a concert, auditioning for a play, or spending all her money at a local coffee shop.