The Great River Ridge State Trail runs for 13 miles between County Highway 9 just north of Eyota and 3rd Street SW just north of Wabasha Street in the town of Plainfield. There are plans to extend the trail another 2 miles south into the town of Eyota at the southern terminus. The entire trail is paved and there is an additional adjacent trail with a natural surface for horseback riders and snowmobilers between County Highway 9 (current trail's end as of 2012) and the town of Elgin.
The trail traverses along both flat and some hilly terrain through a largely open landscape. Wind and sun can be intense at times, and few amenities are available along the trail, so bring plenty of water. In the north, the trail parallels State Route 42 to Elgin, where it begins to head more westerly. From Elgin, the trail passes largely through agricultural landscapes, where some shade is provided along a partially wooded corridor.
Parking and Trail Access
To reach the Plainview trailhead, from State Route 247 in Plainview go south on S. Wabasha Street (SR 42) for 0.5 mile. Turn right and head north on 3rd Street SW; the trailhead and parking are on the left.
To reach the southern trailhead outside of Eyota, from US 14 go north on State Route 42; go 1.5 miles and turn left onto County Hwy 9; the trailhead is 0.3 mile ahead on the right.
Varied terrain; sparse amenities
In early June I rode this trail on a very hot & windy day which perhaps skews my perception--20-30 mph south wind, 95* & humid. I started in Plainview (aptly named) and headed south to Elgin. The first few miles closely paralleled a fairly busy highway, ...