UPDATED JUL 14, 2020
It’s no secret that the Twin Cities are two of the most bike-friendly urban areas in the country. But if you're not sure where to pedal, we've comprised a list of the best bike trails in the area the help you get a handle on those handlebars.
The Chain of Lakes is a Fitt favorite for almost any type of workout, but it's especially ideal for biking. Each of the five lakes has a separate bike path that runs parallel to—but at a slightly higher elevation than—the trail for runners and walkers. This makes for some pretty amazing views of the water and shorelines below! Plus, if you’re looking to end with a drink or bite to eat, you can lock up your ride next to Bread & Pickle or Tin Fish and enjoy a view of Harriet or Calhoun.
Get lost in nature in the heart of the city by taking a ride on the Cedar Lake Trail. The path runs for 4.5 miles and follows the city’s old railroad lines, nestled between trees and native prairie grasses. Take in the beauty of the outdoors, catch a glimpse of the MPLS skyline, and break a sweat — all on one trail! And you can easily extend your ride by connecting to another path. Fitt Tip: The trail is closed from Excelsior Boulevard in Hopkins east to France Avenue in St. Louis Park until 2021 due to light rail construction.
Zip from Midtown to Uptown on 5.5 miles of pavement. The Greenway connects to other scenic biking trails, making it the perfect spot to begin or end your ride. As an added bonus, the city keeps the Greenway plowed during the winter. But this path isn’t just for bikers — be sure to keep an eye out for runners, walkers, pups, strollers, and the occasional rollerbladers!
Sure, you can bike next to the river and the lakes, but what about the Minnehaha Creek? If you’re looking for a peaceful 5-mile ride on a winding rail-trail path, head to the Minnehaha Parkway. Ride through South Minneapolis and finish at the Minnehaha Falls. Here, you can snap the perfect photo for Instagram, and get your grub on with a catfish po’ boy and local beer from Sea Salt (in the spring and summer).
Riding along Hennepin Ave. toward St. Anthony Main is a surefire way to see some of the prettiest parts of the city. Make your way across the bridge towards the famous Grain Belt sign and ride through Nicollet Island, the largest island on the Mississippi, on your way to the main strip! Hear the falls crash beside you as you explore the area before taking the Stone Arch Bridge back across the river. Fitt Tip: this path has Nice Ride bike share stations, so you can easily dock your bike and grab a bite to eat on St. Anthony Main before continuing your ride!
This parkway is a World War I memorial that doubles as a scenic 3-mile bike route, and was one of the first public bicycling paths in the city! Ride through beautiful green space lined with trees and flower beds, and stop to see the statue of Abraham Lincoln. You can clock just over six miles if you take the entire path from Webber Park to Theodore Wirth.
The bike paths of Minneapolis aren’t limited to lakefronts and riverfronts! Consider riding along the St. Anthony Parkway to explore the Northeast neighborhood. Check out the up-and-coming pockets of this area, or veer off the beaten path to make a pit stop at a brewery. We especially like the Peanut Butter Porter at Dangerous Man Brewing! You’re welcome.
Want to purify yourself in the waters of Lake Minnetonka? Or maybe just ride along it on your bike? Take this trail to explore over 15 miles of Minnetonka beauty from Hopkins to Carver Park Reserve. If you’re into both biking and camping, you can even pack a tent and some supplies to spend the night at Carver Park.
Gateway is similar to the Midtown Greenway, and connects to other local trails that can take you all over St. Paul. If you’re looking for a long ride and a full day in the great outdoors, follow the entire 18 miles and finish at Pine Point Regional Park. In true Minnesota fashion, you’ll see lakes and wetlands along the way!
Bruce Vento provides eight miles of scenic views, including glimpses of Lake Phalen and Swede Hollow. The trail has a mix of urban and wooded paths, and almost never has large crowds. Talk about peaceful! Plus, you can connect with Gateway for a longer ride if you’re in the mood.
This trail really has it all! With views of the Mississippi River, downtown St. Paul, and industrial areas, this path is the best way to explore several parts of the city just by riding your bike. The trail is entirely paved and stretches for nine miles, with access to Crosby Lake and Indian Mounds Park along the way.
Follow the Mississippi River as you bike along one of the prettiest paths in the area. With views of the water on one side and gorgeous riverfront homes on the other, you won’t be disappointed! Take it from us and take a spin on both the East and 8.9-mile West River Parkway trails during the fall. You’ll ride below a sea of orange, red, and yellow trees!
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