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Explore the best rated trails in Saint Cloud, MN. Whether you're looking for an easy walking trail or a bike trail like the Soo Line Trail - Southern Route and Great Northern Trail. With more than 31 trails covering 616 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.
Very scenic and fun trail!
Loveliest in Baker Regional Park!
Walked in the Mound part of the trail!
Except for by the university, the view goes from dense scrub brush and scraggly flood plain trees, to wooded suburbs, finishing up by skirting a nondescript busy highway. Don't bother if you aren't a local.
After 50 years of organizing road bike trips for our friends all over the west, across the country, and 6 trips to Europe, we are now in our 80s and wanted to try ‘rails to trails’ bike routes as a little less rigorous. Our first try was ‘Minnesota’s 10 best’ with 8 of us from Oregon. Our first, the 5-star Paul Bunyan 120-mile ‘hall of fame trail’ from north to south. Then Soo Line to Lake Wobegon, to Central lakes state trail in 7 days.
It is easy to see why Paul Bunyan is in the Hall of fame. 120 miles of woods and Lakes with almost no traffic. Wow. However, it does not deserve ‘5 stars’ 4 at best. The North 50 miles and Southern 20 miles 5 stars for sure with some very impressive and expensive bridges built over the major roads. The north section ends after a 7-mile windy hilly stretch south of Walker. The locals called this stretch the ‘Alps of Minnesota’. It was more fun than the Alps. Perfect rollers in a perfect woods setting ‘6 stars for sure’ and the best 7 miles in our almost 300-mile trip. However, the middle 55 miles were very poorly maintained, boring, and at times noisy with a highway running alongside (2.5stars at best). There is no reason the large frost cracks (more like canyons) can’t be filled with hot tar at a reasonable cost with trail volunteers. These cracks were so bad that on a road bike with skinny tires we stood on the petals and loosed our grips when going across the cracks as often as every 40 feet as the jolt was so severe. Note 2 of us shuttled the cars to the motel and the end of each day and rode back to meet the group. Took Turns worked well. Also note the bike paths in the Netherlands, France, and Germany where they also have freezing winters were always in perfect condition. Also note, if the states want to attract tourists they will have to keep these trails in at least a minimum of ‘good’ shape. We will try other states as the concept of off-road trails is now essential to our skill level and the right trail is perfect. However, we don’t see a good rating system in rails to trails.
This is my first crushed rock trail and used my gravel bike, keeping tires low (~30psi) for better traction. Riding on crushed rock is noisy compared to pavement with lots more vibration transmitted through the frame which tired my arms out. Only looser gravel in a very few spots. The landscape is mostly agricultural with the usual intermittent swamps, ponds and lakes typical of Minnesota. A few trees throw shade over the path but it is mostly open.
Started in the middle at Greenwald (ample parking) proceeding northwest toward Meire Grove but the trail ended after 5 miles so I returned. Lightly travelled local roads will take you into town. Next it was SW to Elrosa. Trail had a bit more loose gravel with a couple of gopher holes but still fine. Both Greenwald and Elrosa (more ample parking) have benches to take a break but there are no services (bathrooms or water) on the trail so only gets 4 stars.
Rode start to finish on our tandem. It is all asphalt, no gravel at all. Great burgers and fries at Longhorns in Lester Prairie. They let us fill our Camelback with ice and water before we left. Highly recommend!
We only did a short portion of the trail from Lake Bemidji State Park, but it was great! We talked with a local and they said the trail is beautiful in the fall, we might need to come back. Wonderful day.
I give this 4 stars bc of the sections of the trail that are super bumpy due to tree root issues on the blacktopped surface. We loved the ride-hilly, winding, flat and forested with lots of canopy. Btw there is trail head parking at East Medicine Lake Park. That’s where we parked and there’s a nice bathroom and play area. Would recommend! Just wear your extra padded shorts for the bumpy sections!
We ride sections of the Bunyan every year, mostly north and south of Hackensack. The section between Backus and Pine River is in very poor shape due to expansion cracks. Hard to ride it on a tandem. (“BUMP! “BUMP!”) but from Hackensack north it’s perfect. The section through the woods to Akeley is very beautiful, rather challenging, and often VERY buggy.
This was a GREAT trail. As of 7/29/22 it now has a new gravely surface and is almost unusable for bicycles. Why did this happen?
Went from Wayzata to Mound — about 16 miles round trip— on rollerblades and had a wonderful time. Very well kept! The wood bridges were rough, but you just have to take it a bit slower and be aware of pieces sticking up.
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