- Find a Trail
- My TrailLink
- Explore Trails
- About Us
- Get Involved
Explore the best rated trails in Fairmont, MN. Whether you're looking for an easy walking trail or a bike trail like the North Minnesota River Trail and New Ulm Bike Circle. With more than 11 trails covering 100 miles you're bound to find a perfect trail for you. Click on any trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.
I wouldn't recommend this trail to anyone. It is probably the worst trail I have ridden. In terrible shape with lots of cracks and bumps, riding along the river is harrowing at best very steep hills with cracks and leans towards the rock covered embankment new to the river. Stay away from this trail.
This trail is NOT closed from Waterville west. It is new pavement that was installed a year or 2 ago. There is a lot of shade but also some long stretches of open space. I usually ride to the huge, new railroad bridge half ways from Madison Lake to Mankato. There are a couple of places to buy a meal or snacks in Madison Lake & Elysian.
Another 5 miles & you're in Mankato. The "trailhead" there needs some work. A better spot to start is a large new park in downtown Mankato overlooking the MN river. From there you can continue west and connect up with 2 more trails--one is the Red Jacket the others are city trails.
My 14 year old daughter and I rode this trail from Mankato to Elysian and back. There are a few places where the trail was out in the open sun, but it was mostly shaded and in good shape. There were a few short patches close to Mankato where they appear to be resurfacing. It would be dirt or rock for about 20 feet or so. No big deal as the rest of the trail was in great shape. There are not a lot of services on this segment of the trail. A port-a-potty in Madison lake. No water until Elysian. It seems the trail was slightly uphill heading east. My daughter struggled a bit on the way to Elysian -- there was also a slight headwind. But the return trip was smooth sailing.
In Elysian there was a wonderful ice cream shop called Scoops right off of the trail. They had plenty of tables outside in the shade, good ice cream and there were other riders there to chat with. Highly recommend this stop!
One thing to note: the trail endpoint in Mankato doesn't have parking and we couldn't find the trail. Instead go to the first parking marker on the Mankato end which is about .5 miles from the actual endpoint.
We cycled from the Land of Memories Campground to the Mankato Family YMCA and started there. The first part of the trail passes through residential areas with a number of street crossings. The trail was rather narrow compared to other bike trails we have ridden. There are no mileage markers along the way.
The trail is shaded for most of the way and ends abruptly at Huffy Lane. There is no indication or sign that we had reached the end of the trail so we continued on the road for a couple of blocks to the small village of Rapidan. Not much there. The route towards Rapidan was a slight uphill grade so made for an easy ride back to Mankato. The trail is paved but could use a bit of maintenance in some sections. The trail was OK but nothing to rave about.
We parked at the trailhead parking lot on Lime Valley Road in Mankato. If you use the address 193 Lime Valley Road you’ll find the trailhead. We cycled to Madison Lake before turning around. We have hybrid bicycles. Total round trip about 19 miles.
The trail is under a canopy of trees for the most part with the first two miles or so being heavily shaded. This is quite a change for us who spend most of our time in the desert southwest! There has been recent trail work in the first mile. Two or three very, very small sections of the trail were being repaired and waiting to be repaved. We’re talking maybe a couple of 50’ sections now on dirt but very passable. There was one road crossing where the actual road (not the trail) was being resurfaced so you had to walk your bike across the street. Overall, the surface of the trail was pretty good. There were a couple of spots where there were cracks across the entire trail but was manageable. As a previous reviewer mentioned, there are no trail markers on this trail so the bike odometer comes in handy. No amenities on the trail. There were a couple of new housing developments springing up alongside the trail so you find locals walking or jogging in those areas. I would recommend this segment of the trail.
They have added about 3.75 miles to the west of the trail from Hyvee in Spirit Lake west to Vick's Corner on Highway 86.
I rode from Faribault to a few miles past Madison Lake. Great paved trail in pristine condition. There was HIGHWAY/ROAD closure by Elysian on the road parallel to the trail for a couple miles. BUT, the paved trail is in the trees and NOT on the road…so no problem for riding. I did start at 6am to beat the 97f heat. 63mile round trip.
Took advantage of our unseasonably warm November weather to try out this trail. The trail was in excellent shape, smooth and mostly flat. Rode from where trail picks up again on the west side of Waterville to a little past Madison Lake, and back, about 28.5 miles.
We stayed at Gull Point State Park which had direct access to this trail. The first time I rode it I went clockwise starting from the west side of the lake. There was more paved trail than indicated in the app. However I did lose the trail when I got to the east side in Lake Okoboji/Arnold's Park area. The second time I rode the trail, I went counterclockwise and was able to follow trail signage from that direction (mostly). I also rode the trail north to Spirit Lake. Many beautiful sections and the portions not on the trail were little-traveled roads. Very enjoyable!
Rode Faribault to Waterville. Waterville to Mankato is closed for construction. Trail was in great condition. Trail is relatively flat. Majority of the 15 miles is shaded due to tree canopy which makes it a cool ride. Really enjoyed this trail.
Just great for general biking for all, even for septigenerian like me(younger folk can just ride faster!), however map isn’t current, it now goes several miles N. of Spencer, almost to Fostoria
I rode from Faribault to Sakatah state park. (About 14 miles). The trail was in good shape and it was nicely shaded with good views of lakes, steams, and farmland. The first 9 miles runs parallel to a highway so you are hearing a lot of road noise. If you’re okay with that, no problem. I was looking for a quiet ride so it did not appeal to me.
TrailLink is a free service provided by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (a non-profit) and we need your support!