Cannon Valley Trail

Trail Map

Description Suggest an Edit

The Cannon Valley Trail connects the cities of Cannon Falls, Welch and Red Wing on a former Chicago Great Western Railway line. Motorized vehicles and pets are not allowed on the trail, so hikers, bicyclers, in-line skaters and cross-country skiers enjoy a quiet, people-powered experience.

Paralleling the Cannon River, the trail offers stunning views of the valley. There is a significant descent of 115 feet from Cannon Falls to Red Wing, but—because this is a rail-trail—the slope is gradual. The dazzling mix of scenery includes bluffs, wetlands, farmland and a handful of large lakes. The trail was dedicated May 31, 1986, with the towns of Cannon Falls and Red Wing along with Goodhue County agreeing to jointly manage the trail.

The former Chicago Great Western corridor actually extends westward even farther to the city of Mankato. Between that city and Faribault, the Sakatah Singing Hills State Trail is open on the former rail line for recreational use. In the future, the planned Mill Towns Trail will fill the gap on the corridor between Faribault and Cannon Falls; when complete, trail users would be able to travel from Red Wing to Mankato on an uninterrupted series of rail-trails.

To help pay for maintenance of the Cannon Valley Trail, the Cannon Valley Trail Joint Powers Board requires trail users 18 and older to purchase a Wheel Pass when using the trail between April 1st and November 1st. Passes can be purchased at kiosks at major access points to the trail and at local businesses; pedestrians and wheelchair users are exempt from purchasing a Wheel Pass throughout the year.

In Red Wing, a city trail beginning a couple blocks east of the trailhead will take you south for about 2 miles to the northern trailhead for the Goodhue Pioneer State Trail.

Parking and Trail Access

Parking for the Cannon Valley Trail is available in Cannon Falls at the parking lot for the softball fields on Cannon River Drive. South of Welch, park at the trailhead on Mt. Hill Road. Parking can be found in Red Wing at Anderson Park on US 61 or at the trailhead on Old W. Main Street.

Reviews

Perfect!

   May, 2014 by sugarmagnolia

I started at Red Wing and rode to Cannon Falls. I didn't mind the slight uphill, it was a bit breezy as well but still pretty easy going. The trees have not fully leafed out so I was able to see a few eagle nests and one very large eagle about 3 miles ...read more

beautiful!

   May, 2014 by hudsonrentals

Love this trail:) read more

Great trail!

   July, 2012 by Linjac

Update on Cannon Valley Trail information: Daily Permits are now $4.00 There is no building at 306 West Mill Street in Cannon Falls now (it apparently was recently demolished), but a deli across the street sells trail permits. We rode from the trail ...read more