Big Rivers Regional Trail

Trail Map

Description Suggest an Edit

Big Rivers Regional Trail meanders between limestone bluffs and river parkways, near the confluence of the Mississippi River and the Minnesota River. The trail is flat and occupies the former rail bed once belonging to the Minnesota Central Railroad, believed to be one of state's oldest lines.

The trail offers scenic views of the river basin and Fort Snelling, Minnesota's first military outpost on Pike Island, a National Historic Landmark. The southern end of the trail passes through the town of Mendota, another of the state's oldest.

Parking and Trail Access

To access the Big Rivers Regional Trail, take Interstate 35E to Mendota Heights. Exit on Highway 13 (Sibley Memorial Highway) and then go west on Highway 13 for two miles. Then proceed west on Sibley Memorial Highway for 1.2 miles before heading north (right) into a parking lot to the trailhead (at stone overlook).

A map of the trail is available on the Trail Web Site (


Trail section closed

   June, 2014 by blandahl

Update from Dakota County Parks Department - the section of Big Rivers Regional Trail along Highway 13 between Mendota and Lilydale is closed indefinitely to pedestrians and bicyclists due to a mudslide. Check back for updates. read more

reconstruction of trail complete!

   September, 2013 by lynann

This is a spectacular trail all the way thru. We usually take it into St Paul to Harriet Isl area for lunch and back to the overlook in Mendota. Cant say enough about the Parks crew and everyone else involved that maintains this trail read more

Fantastic scenery!

   July, 2012 by valkyr8

Every time I ride this trail I love it more. On the hot summer days it is shady and cool all the way to the Mendota bridge. I wish more people used it, but I have to admit that I like it when I don't see a soul on my ride. There is some uneven pavement more