Minnesota, a state with more than enough for your outdoor activities. Bike through Gateway State Trail or the Cannon Trail and experience beautiful scenes and unending fun.
Minnesota’s bike trails will ignite your biking desire. Therefore, let us journey together and explore Minnesota’s 15 best paved bike trails.
1. Paul Bunyan State Trail
The Paul Bunyan State Trail is located in the Northcentral area of Minnesota. It stretches 120 miles from Brainerd to Bemidji. The trail follows the path of a railroad that was once used to transport lumber and other goods during the first half of the 20th century.
The track is mostly flat and is made of crushed limestone. It passes through forests, lakes, wetlands, and small towns.
It’s an excellent trail for beginners and families because of its gentle grade and smooth surface. Nevertheless, advanced bikers can enjoy faster paces while discovering scenic forest areas.
2. Gateway State Trail
This 18.3-mile trail starts in St. Paul and ends in Pine Point Regional Park in Stillwater. It is a multi-use trail for hikers, bikers, and skiers.
It is an asphalt-laid track with water fountains, car packs, and restrooms, while the landscape is mainly urban. Further, Gateway State Trail is wheelchair accessible and thus friendly even if you have a family member in a wheelchair.
The trail difficulty is easy and thus ideal for beginners, while some trailheads are parks such as Cayuga Park.
3. Cedar Lake LRT Regional Trail
The Cedar Lake LRT Regional Trail is a 4.5-mile bike track in Minneapolis, Minnesota, although it is also suitable for other activities.
The trail is an easy track and has asphalt as its surface. It begins from the Eastern part of downtown Minneapolis to St. Louis Park. However, there is an added stretch that travels to Hopkins
The paved bike path is accessible year-round and provides beautiful views of the lake and many local businesses such as restaurants, shops, and entertainment venues. The trail is also ideal for bird-watching or enjoying walking along the shoreline.
4. Midtown Greenway
If you are looking for fun and some adrenaline-filled moments, biking through Midtown Greenway is perfect. The track is a 5.5-mile trail through the heart of Minneapolis, Minnesota.
It was built in 2000, and it offers an impressive commute for experienced and novice bicyclists. The corridor follows the Milwaukee Road railroad line, an abandoned route.
Due to its scenic features, it is popular and attracts over 5,000 cyclists daily. Some of the scenes that will make your biking exciting include 26 bridges, parks, and lush green vegetation.
5. Brown's Creek Trail
Beautiful and excellent define Brown’s Creek Trail, which connects the western Paul suburb in St. Croix of Stillwater to the eastern suburb of Grant. The track is also an extension of the Gateway State Trail and is primarily level and friendly to all biker levels.
It is an excellent route for families who want an easy ride with beautiful scenery. The trail travels through woods, history-rich sites, and wetlands via a former railroad corridor for 5.9 miles. It opened in 2014 and has asphalt as the paving material.
6. Root River Trail
Also known as the Blufflands State Trail, the Root River Trail is a paved bike trail measuring 60 miles. It was established in 1988 and comprises the Root River and Harmony-Preston Valley. Root River is 42 miles long, while Harmony is 17 miles.
The trail begins at Fountain and ends at Houston in the state’s southeastern part. The track is level except for one steep area and is thus friendly for wheelchairs.
Other beautiful scenes are the historic towns and wildlife. Some of the things to watch out for are endangered and government-protected rattlesnakes.
7. Luce Line State Trail
The 63-mile bike trail is one of the popular trails in Minnesota. It connects Plymouth and Winsted. It is a relatively gentle track because of its mostly flat terrain, making it ideal for enjoying a relaxing ride.
The Luce Line State Trail passes through rural areas with a couple of towns, so you can choose how much or how little interaction you’d like with civilization during your ride. There are also some nearby campgrounds where you can stay overnight if desired.
The larger part is paved, but others are mowed grass and crushed granite.
8. Heartland State Trail
Enjoy nature and the outdoors by biking the Heartland State Trail, a paved bike path connecting Park Rapids to Cass Lake in northern Minnesota. Originally a railroad bed, the Heartland State Trail runs approximately 49 miles from Itasca State Park to Cass Lake.
The trail is primarily used for biking and is accessible year-round. The trail is suitable for all bike riding skill levels, but there are some hills along the route.
Besides getting some quality exercise, enjoy passing through forests and crossing over four bridges along the trail. Wildlife sightings are also possible, as you may see deer or other animals while biking.
9. Lake Wobegon Regional Trail
Ride through small towns, farmland, and rivers on the Lake Wobegon Regional Trail. The trail begins in St. Joseph and ends in Osakis, running 62 miles along the former Burlington Northern Railroad corridor. It’s an easy ride that’s perfect for beginning cyclists or families with children.
From St. Joseph to Freeport, the trail passes by houses and farmland with views of meadows and woods as it winds through towns including Avon, Albany, Holdingford, and Bowlus. At Lake Maria State Park, you can enjoy a picnic or stop to swim.
10. Mississippi River Regional Trail - North Shore
This 3,000 miles long trail is abbreviated as MRT and cuts across several states and follows the Mississippi River. In Minnesota, it starts at Lake Itasca and connects Brooklyn Park, Brooklyn Center, and the Northern communities.
It then extends to Champlain connecting the Lake Regional Trails, Wright County, and Crow River. The Mississippi River Regional Trail is well-maintained and mostly level, making it ideal for casual riders and those looking to up their game.
The trail offers plenty of trees and wildlife for viewing opportunities.
11. Sakatah Singing Hills State Trail
Sakatah Singing Trail is 39 miles long, running between Faribault and Mankato. It derives its name from the original Dakota who inhabited the area.
It is an easy trail and provides you with beautiful scenes throughout your ride. Some of the scenery you will enjoy are Lake Elysian, Cannon Lake, Sakata Lake State Park, and Eagle Lake. You will also pass through towns such as Waterville.
The surface is made of asphalt, which is accessible all year round. However, you may find some sections closed for reconstruction purposes.
12. Douglas State Trail
Douglas State Trail runs from Douglas to Pine Island. This trail is 12.5 miles long and is comprised of asphalt. It’s mostly flat, suitable for all skill bike levels. People use the track for walking, running, road biking, and mountain biking.
It is built on the abandoned Chicago Great Western Railway track. As a biker, you will enjoy the rich agricultural farmlands, Zumbro River, and forest. There are also shelter points along the trail if you need to rest and take some photos.
13. Cannon Valley Trail
Cannon Valley Trail is the ideal bike track if you desire a paved trail that follows a river scene. This Southeastern Minnesota trail measures 20 miles, flows along the Cannon River, and is paved with asphalt making it ideal for visiting all year round.
It is found between Minnesota’s Red Wing and Cannon Falls on the defunct Chicago Great Western Railway. Some of the beautiful scenes along the trail are the river and wildlife, the Red Wing archaeological spot, and Welch Village.
There is also a 1.5-mile mountain bike trail ideal for bikers looking for a challenging area.
14. Minneapolis' Grand Round National Scenic Byway
This trail is one of the most challenging and rewarding in Minnesota, perfect for sturdy challenges. Over 50-miles long, this byway was initially constructed in the 1800s and runs around the state from Downtown Riverfront to the Northeast part.
Over 30 sites and landmarks can be found along the Grand Rounds, some of the most prominent being:
- The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden
- Lake Hiawatha Park
- Minnehaha Park
- The Mississippi National River and Recreation Area
15. Big Rivers Regional Trail
The Big Rivers Regional Trail is located in Dakota County, Minnesota State. It runs between Eagan and Lilydale cities and measures about 4.5 miles.
It is a neatly paved trail that offers all biker levels and enthusiasts a smooth riding experience. Additionally, you can enjoy the trail’s various scenes, such as the Mississippi River, Pike Island, Fort Snelling, and the state’s oldest settlement known as Mendota.
The trail is made of asphalt and is counted as part of Mississippi’s National River and Recreation Area.
This is our list of the 15 best paved bike trails in Minnesota. They offer you year-round access due to their surfaces, while the scenes are breathtaking and worth every minute.
Whether you opt for the Paul Bunyan Trail, Heartland, or any other, Minnesota has tremendous paved bike trails for all your needs.