Minnesota’s Twin Cities have some of the best trails for running, biking, and leisurely hikes. And with paved paths, wide lanes, beautiful scenery, and plenty of water fountains, it’s the perfect place to train for a variety of races. If you find yourself in the Midwest area and are looking for top-notch trails to check out, here are our picks for the finest running and biking venues that the Twin Cities has to offer.
Great River Road
Starting at Minnehaha Park, runners can take the beautiful and uncrowded Great River Road for many different trails and paths along the Mississippi River. It’s a favorite spot for both locals and athletes in training, as there are several spans of distance that each trailhead can cover. You can also begin at the north end of the river and find three different paths to run on as well. And with plenty of water fountains placed along the way, you’re sure to stay hydrated no matter which trail you choose to take.
If you’re looking to run or bike from downtown Minneapolis, set your destination for Boom Island: a new and scenic park located on the Mississippi River. The Warehouse District is a good starting point from the city and provides a safe, paved street route to the river trails before reaching the island. And once you’ve arrived, you’ll find numerous dirt paths to take, such as Heritage Trail, which can lead you to the Stone Arch Bridge and loop back to the Warehouse District within four miles. And for a longer journey, you can start on the island and work your way over to the Mississippi River Regional Corridor Trail as well.
Pike Island is located in Fort Snelling State Park, which is in the middle of the Twin Cities and is far away from busy streets and constant city noise. Overlooking the Minnesota River with miles of beautiful woods and historic sites, Pike Island has a five-kilometer loop that’s both flat and easy to run. The park also features five miles of bike paths that connect to the 53-mile Grand Rounds Scenic Bikeway and Dakota County Big Rivers Regional Trail. And whether you’re biking or running, it’s a tranquil and calm setting for any race training.
Cedar Lake Trail
The Great Northern Railway is a former railroad bed located north of Lake Street in Minneapolis and stretches 5.5-miles before connecting with the popular Cedar Lake Trail. The trail is mostly paved and flat and includes many great landmarks along with way. And with paved lanes for biking, running, and walking, the trail is a perfect place for every kind of athlete in the city. Runners and bikers alike can also begin at the river and travel all the way to St. Louis Park as well.
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