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 (


Still closed

   September, 2014 by mfm8989

The section between Lilydale and City of Mendota is still closed - but if you are a bandit and want to circumvent orange mesh fencing the trail is clear and passable. This section remains closed due to reported unstable cliffs along side the trail. One more

Stay off this trail unless you want a citation

   September, 2014 by stoickm

The orange barrier usually completely blocks access to the trail but was moved to the side one Saturday morning last month so I bike the trail to see if it might be open again. It was nice up to where the orange fence blocked the trail and the mud slide more

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