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 (www.co.dakota.mn.us/parks/rivers.htm).
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 ...
Great 4 mile run.
"Starting just NE of the 35E Bridge, you run up hill until you reach the %% Bridge and run back to the beginning. "
This is among the very finest trails in the Twin Cities area.
The views are spectacular and the trail surface is smooth and rut-free.