Sauk Rapids Trails and Maps

95 Reviews

Looking for the best trails around Sauk Rapids?

Find the top rated trails in Sauk Rapids, whether you're looking an easy walking path or a long bike trail, you'll find what you're looking for. Click on a trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.

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Activities
Length
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16 Results
Activities
Length
Surfaces
Type

Beaver Island Trail

5.1 mi
State: MN
Asphalt

Dairyland Trail

6.2 mi
State: MN
Crushed Stone

Dakota Rail Regional Trail

26.6 mi
State: MN
Asphalt, Gravel

Elm Creek Park Reserve Trails

20 mi
State: MN
Asphalt

Glacial Lakes State Trail

29 mi
State: MN
Asphalt

Great Northern Trail

4.6 mi
State: MN
Asphalt, Grass

Lake Independence Regional Trail

15.9 mi
State: MN
Asphalt, Concrete

Lake Wobegon Trail

60 mi
State: MN
Asphalt

Luce Line Trail

72.9 mi
State: MN
Asphalt, Crushed Stone, Grass

Medicine Lake Regional Trail

15.64 mi
State: MN
Asphalt

Paul Bunyan State Trail

119.3 mi
State: MN
Asphalt

Rocori Trail

3.2 mi
State: MN
Asphalt

Rush Creek Regional Trail (MN)

9.64 mi
State: MN
Asphalt

Soo Line Recreational Trail

10.5 mi
State: MN
Asphalt

Soo Line Trail - Southern Route

105.6 mi
State: MN
Ballast, Gravel

St. Cloud River Walk

0.6 mi
State: MN
Concrete
Trail Image Trail Name States Length Surface Rating
Beaver Island Trail follows the route of an inactive railway that was originally part of a charter railroad of the Minneapolis and Northwestern Railway Company. Built in 1882, the railroad line...
MN 5.1 mi Asphalt
Phase one of the development of central Minnesota’s Dairyland Trail was completed in April 2013, allowing trail users to hike, bike, or ride a horse for more than 6 miles between the small towns of...
MN 6.2 mi Crushed Stone
Sections of the Dakota Rail Regional Trail, which extends westward from the Minneapolis suburbs situated along Lake Minnetonka, have been opening since June 2009. The trail occupies the former Dakota...
MN 26.6 mi Asphalt, Gravel
The Elm Creek Park Reserve is an outdoor lovers’ dream. At 4,900 acres, it’s the largest park in Hennepin County. The park provides enough amenities to keep people coming all year round. Cyclists...
MN 20 mi Asphalt
The 22-mile original section of the paved Glacial Lakes State Trail follows the former right-of-way of the Burlington Northern Railroad between Willmar and about 1 mile west of Paynesville at...
MN 29 mi Asphalt
The Great Northern Trail offers a paved north-south route across the city of Elk River on the fringe of the northwestern outskirts of Minneapolis. For nearly 5 miles, the rail-trail winds through the...
MN 4.6 mi Asphalt, Grass
Beginning at the southern tip of the Crow-Hassan Park Reserve in Hanover, the Lake Independence Regional Trail spends most of its 15.9-mile span paralleling County Road 19, cutting a straight path...
MN 15.9 mi Asphalt, Concrete
As fans of public radio can tell you, this trail’s namesake is the fictional town of Lake Wobegon, made famous by author and radio personality Garrison Keillor of A Prairie Home Companion. Along the...
MN 60 mi Asphalt
The Luce Line Trail occupies the former railbed of the Electric Short Line Railroad, started in 1908. The tracks continued to be expanded into the late 1920s, when the rail line became known as the...
MN 72.9 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone, Grass
Medicine Lake Regional Trail offers a plethora of experiences along its nearly 16-mile length. Kicking off in the Elm Creek Park Reserve in the north, the trail cuts a swath through the Maple Grove...
MN 15.64 mi Asphalt
Paul Bunyan State Trail, stretching 123 miles from Bemidji to Brainerd, is one of the longest rail-trails in the country. This distance includes its newest segment, completed in 2014, that extended...
MN 119.3 mi Asphalt
Minnesota’s Rocori Trail, named for the three small towns through which it will eventually run (Rockville, Cold Spring, and Richmond), currently has two disconnected segments open for use. The...
MN 3.2 mi Asphalt
Rush Creek Regional Trail stretches 9.6 miles across forests and farmland, offering a convenient connection to some of Hennepin County’s most interesting parks. The path is smooth, wide and mostly...
MN 9.64 mi Asphalt
The Soo Line Recreational Trail is a continuation of the Soo Line Trail (southern route) just north of Royalton, Minnesota. This 10-mile segment, however, does not permit motorized uses, unlike its...
MN 10.5 mi Asphalt
The Soo Line Trail Southern Route is more popularly known as the Soo Line South ATV Trail. The converted rail-trail runs for 105.6 miles in Minnesota between Royalton and the Minnesota–Wisconsin state...
MN 105.6 mi Ballast, Gravel
The St. Cloud River Walk, stretching just over a half mile, is nestled between the St. Cloud State University campus and the tree-lined western bank of the Mississippi River. For a longer trip, you...
MN 0.6 mi Concrete

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Trails by activity

Medicine Lake Regional Trail

MN - 15.64 miles

Medicine Lake Regional Trail offers a plethora of experiences along its nearly 16-mile length. Kicking off in the Elm Creek Park Reserve in the north, the trail cuts a swath through the Maple Grove...

Soo Line Recreational Trail

MN - 10.5 miles

The Soo Line Recreational Trail is a continuation of the Soo Line Trail (southern route) just north of Royalton, Minnesota. This 10-mile segment, however, does not permit motorized uses, unlike its...

Lake Wobegon Trail

MN - 60 miles

As fans of public radio can tell you, this trail’s namesake is the fictional town of Lake Wobegon, made famous by author and radio personality Garrison Keillor of A Prairie Home Companion. Along the...

Rocori Trail

MN - 3.2 miles

Minnesota’s Rocori Trail, named for the three small towns through which it will eventually run (Rockville, Cold Spring, and Richmond), currently has two disconnected segments open for use. The...

Accordion

Beaver Island Trail

MN - 5.1 miles

Beaver Island Trail follows the route of an inactive railway that was originally part of a charter railroad of the Minneapolis and Northwestern Railway Company. Built in 1882, the railroad line...

Great Northern Trail

MN - 4.6 miles

The Great Northern Trail offers a paved north-south route across the city of Elk River on the fringe of the northwestern outskirts of Minneapolis. For nearly 5 miles, the rail-trail winds through the...

Luce Line Trail

MN - 72.9 miles

The Luce Line Trail occupies the former railbed of the Electric Short Line Railroad, started in 1908. The tracks continued to be expanded into the late 1920s, when the rail line became known as the...

Lake Independence Regional Trail

MN - 15.9 miles

Beginning at the southern tip of the Crow-Hassan Park Reserve in Hanover, the Lake Independence Regional Trail spends most of its 15.9-mile span paralleling County Road 19, cutting a straight path...

Dakota Rail Regional Trail

MN - 26.6 miles

Sections of the Dakota Rail Regional Trail, which extends westward from the Minneapolis suburbs situated along Lake Minnetonka, have been opening since June 2009. The trail occupies the former Dakota...

Rush Creek Regional Trail (MN)

MN - 9.64 miles

Rush Creek Regional Trail stretches 9.6 miles across forests and farmland, offering a convenient connection to some of Hennepin County’s most interesting parks. The path is smooth, wide and mostly...

Glacial Lakes State Trail

MN - 29 miles

The 22-mile original section of the paved Glacial Lakes State Trail follows the former right-of-way of the Burlington Northern Railroad between Willmar and about 1 mile west of Paynesville at...

Elm Creek Park Reserve Trails

MN - 20 miles

The Elm Creek Park Reserve is an outdoor lovers’ dream. At 4,900 acres, it’s the largest park in Hennepin County. The park provides enough amenities to keep people coming all year round. Cyclists...

St. Cloud River Walk

MN - 0.6 miles

The St. Cloud River Walk, stretching just over a half mile, is nestled between the St. Cloud State University campus and the tree-lined western bank of the Mississippi River. For a longer trip, you...

Paul Bunyan State Trail

MN - 119.3 miles

Paul Bunyan State Trail, stretching 123 miles from Bemidji to Brainerd, is one of the longest rail-trails in the country. This distance includes its newest segment, completed in 2014, that extended...

Dairyland Trail

MN - 6.2 miles

Phase one of the development of central Minnesota’s Dairyland Trail was completed in April 2013, allowing trail users to hike, bike, or ride a horse for more than 6 miles between the small towns of...

Rocori Trail

MN - 3.2 miles

Minnesota’s Rocori Trail, named for the three small towns through which it will eventually run (Rockville, Cold Spring, and Richmond), currently has two disconnected segments open for use. The...

Great Northern Trail

MN - 4.6 miles

The Great Northern Trail offers a paved north-south route across the city of Elk River on the fringe of the northwestern outskirts of Minneapolis. For nearly 5 miles, the rail-trail winds through the...

Elm Creek Park Reserve Trails

MN - 20 miles

The Elm Creek Park Reserve is an outdoor lovers’ dream. At 4,900 acres, it’s the largest park in Hennepin County. The park provides enough amenities to keep people coming all year round. Cyclists...

Soo Line Recreational Trail

MN - 10.5 miles

The Soo Line Recreational Trail is a continuation of the Soo Line Trail (southern route) just north of Royalton, Minnesota. This 10-mile segment, however, does not permit motorized uses, unlike its...

Accordion

Luce Line Trail

MN - 72.9 miles

The Luce Line Trail occupies the former railbed of the Electric Short Line Railroad, started in 1908. The tracks continued to be expanded into the late 1920s, when the rail line became known as the...

Paul Bunyan State Trail

MN - 119.3 miles

Paul Bunyan State Trail, stretching 123 miles from Bemidji to Brainerd, is one of the longest rail-trails in the country. This distance includes its newest segment, completed in 2014, that extended...

Beaver Island Trail

MN - 5.1 miles

Beaver Island Trail follows the route of an inactive railway that was originally part of a charter railroad of the Minneapolis and Northwestern Railway Company. Built in 1882, the railroad line...

Rush Creek Regional Trail (MN)

MN - 9.64 miles

Rush Creek Regional Trail stretches 9.6 miles across forests and farmland, offering a convenient connection to some of Hennepin County’s most interesting parks. The path is smooth, wide and mostly...

Dakota Rail Regional Trail

MN - 26.6 miles

Sections of the Dakota Rail Regional Trail, which extends westward from the Minneapolis suburbs situated along Lake Minnetonka, have been opening since June 2009. The trail occupies the former Dakota...

Dairyland Trail

MN - 6.2 miles

Phase one of the development of central Minnesota’s Dairyland Trail was completed in April 2013, allowing trail users to hike, bike, or ride a horse for more than 6 miles between the small towns of...

Soo Line Trail - Southern Route

MN - 105.6 miles

The Soo Line Trail Southern Route is more popularly known as the Soo Line South ATV Trail. The converted rail-trail runs for 105.6 miles in Minnesota between Royalton and the Minnesota–Wisconsin state...

Glacial Lakes State Trail

MN - 29 miles

The 22-mile original section of the paved Glacial Lakes State Trail follows the former right-of-way of the Burlington Northern Railroad between Willmar and about 1 mile west of Paynesville at...

Lake Independence Regional Trail

MN - 15.9 miles

Beginning at the southern tip of the Crow-Hassan Park Reserve in Hanover, the Lake Independence Regional Trail spends most of its 15.9-mile span paralleling County Road 19, cutting a straight path...

Medicine Lake Regional Trail

MN - 15.64 miles

Medicine Lake Regional Trail offers a plethora of experiences along its nearly 16-mile length. Kicking off in the Elm Creek Park Reserve in the north, the trail cuts a swath through the Maple Grove...

St. Cloud River Walk

MN - 0.6 miles

The St. Cloud River Walk, stretching just over a half mile, is nestled between the St. Cloud State University campus and the tree-lined western bank of the Mississippi River. For a longer trip, you...

Lake Wobegon Trail

MN - 60 miles

As fans of public radio can tell you, this trail’s namesake is the fictional town of Lake Wobegon, made famous by author and radio personality Garrison Keillor of A Prairie Home Companion. Along the...

Glacial Lakes State Trail

MN - 29 miles

The 22-mile original section of the paved Glacial Lakes State Trail follows the former right-of-way of the Burlington Northern Railroad between Willmar and about 1 mile west of Paynesville at...

Dakota Rail Regional Trail

MN - 26.6 miles

Sections of the Dakota Rail Regional Trail, which extends westward from the Minneapolis suburbs situated along Lake Minnetonka, have been opening since June 2009. The trail occupies the former Dakota...

Great Northern Trail

MN - 4.6 miles

The Great Northern Trail offers a paved north-south route across the city of Elk River on the fringe of the northwestern outskirts of Minneapolis. For nearly 5 miles, the rail-trail winds through the...

Luce Line Trail

MN - 72.9 miles

The Luce Line Trail occupies the former railbed of the Electric Short Line Railroad, started in 1908. The tracks continued to be expanded into the late 1920s, when the rail line became known as the...

Accordion

Lake Wobegon Trail

MN - 60 miles

As fans of public radio can tell you, this trail’s namesake is the fictional town of Lake Wobegon, made famous by author and radio personality Garrison Keillor of A Prairie Home Companion. Along the...

Rush Creek Regional Trail (MN)

MN - 9.64 miles

Rush Creek Regional Trail stretches 9.6 miles across forests and farmland, offering a convenient connection to some of Hennepin County’s most interesting parks. The path is smooth, wide and mostly...

Dairyland Trail

MN - 6.2 miles

Phase one of the development of central Minnesota’s Dairyland Trail was completed in April 2013, allowing trail users to hike, bike, or ride a horse for more than 6 miles between the small towns of...

Lake Independence Regional Trail

MN - 15.9 miles

Beginning at the southern tip of the Crow-Hassan Park Reserve in Hanover, the Lake Independence Regional Trail spends most of its 15.9-mile span paralleling County Road 19, cutting a straight path...

Soo Line Trail - Southern Route

MN - 105.6 miles

The Soo Line Trail Southern Route is more popularly known as the Soo Line South ATV Trail. The converted rail-trail runs for 105.6 miles in Minnesota between Royalton and the Minnesota–Wisconsin state...

Medicine Lake Regional Trail

MN - 15.64 miles

Medicine Lake Regional Trail offers a plethora of experiences along its nearly 16-mile length. Kicking off in the Elm Creek Park Reserve in the north, the trail cuts a swath through the Maple Grove...

Beaver Island Trail

MN - 5.1 miles

Beaver Island Trail follows the route of an inactive railway that was originally part of a charter railroad of the Minneapolis and Northwestern Railway Company. Built in 1882, the railroad line...

Paul Bunyan State Trail

MN - 119.3 miles

Paul Bunyan State Trail, stretching 123 miles from Bemidji to Brainerd, is one of the longest rail-trails in the country. This distance includes its newest segment, completed in 2014, that extended...

Rocori Trail

MN - 3.2 miles

Minnesota’s Rocori Trail, named for the three small towns through which it will eventually run (Rockville, Cold Spring, and Richmond), currently has two disconnected segments open for use. The...

Soo Line Recreational Trail

MN - 10.5 miles

The Soo Line Recreational Trail is a continuation of the Soo Line Trail (southern route) just north of Royalton, Minnesota. This 10-mile segment, however, does not permit motorized uses, unlike its...

St. Cloud River Walk

MN - 0.6 miles

The St. Cloud River Walk, stretching just over a half mile, is nestled between the St. Cloud State University campus and the tree-lined western bank of the Mississippi River. For a longer trip, you...

Elm Creek Park Reserve Trails

MN - 20 miles

The Elm Creek Park Reserve is an outdoor lovers’ dream. At 4,900 acres, it’s the largest park in Hennepin County. The park provides enough amenities to keep people coming all year round. Cyclists...

Recent Trail Reviews

Medicine Lake Regional Trail

Good trail if you like a workout. Be sure to read the small print

October, 2017 by tadams61

I needed to drop off some papers for my son in Maple Grove so we decided to get in a bike ride in that area. I searched Maple Grove, MN and discovered the Medicine Lake Regional Trail. The closest parking for us was at Fish Lake park. We went south out of that park and quickly discovered it WAS NOT a rail trail. My wife only lasted about 4 miles before she had enough. Our total bike ride was less than 8 miles although she can usually do between 20 and 25 miles. I just now checked and the trail is marked "non-RT" which I am now sure means that it's not a Rail Trail. The trail itself was okay for me although going south put us in a residential area rather than in the woods. Maybe going north would have been better but I'll never know now.

Paul Bunyan State Trail

GREAT TRAIL EXPERIENCE FOR OLDER FOLKS

September, 2017 by kcwyks_tl

We are from Missouri in our 60's and look for rails-trails (preferably paved) where we can stay comfortably along the trail and park our car in a safe location. In Sept 2017 we stayed at a resort in Backus MN before riding and arranged a 4 day ride from Backus to Bemidji and back, which would result in about 30 miles per day. Weather was unusually warm on day 1, but misty for the rest of our tour. Fortunately it rained only at night while we were under a roof. Day 1 we biked to Walker, a town on shore of Leech Lake with a brief stop in Hackensack for breakfast. On the way to Walker, rather than taking the Shingobee shortcut, we took the Paul Bunyan trail through the Chippewa Forest, which is not a rail-trail- it is a paved mountain bike trail with some steep sections for 9 miles before joining up with the Heartland rail-trail into Walker. But that Chippewa stretch was well worth it, beautiful scenery. We stayed at Walker Hotel, nice facility with good breakfast about 3 blocks off the trail. Anyone interested in outdoor sports must go to the Reeds sports store in Walker! (about 6 blocks from hotel but no biking stuff) And there are nice tourist shops and a brewery in Walker. Then on to Bemidji on day 2, with a brief stop at the LaPorte grocery, as there aren't many places to stock up on that stretch. Contrary to previous reviews, we found the trail in Bemidji to be well marked all the way to the new bridge over highways to our hotel, which is close to the lakeshore park where statues of Paul Bunyan and Blue Ox and downtown stores are. Lots of good shopping and restaurants in downtown, check out the cooperative store and the Bemidji Brewery, maybe also the Minnesota Nice Café. Day 3 was back to Walker with a stop for pizza at the PoppleBar in LaPorte. Day 4 we took the Shingobee shortcut out of the southeast corner of Walker, to connect with the Paul Bunyan back to Backus. Note that the Shingobee also has some short but very steep sections. Overall, the trail was well maintained, no bugs, only a few sections of bumpy roots, and we met some nice folks. Will come back to do the southern section of the PB trail someday.

Paul Bunyan State Trail

August 2017 on the Paul Bunyan and Heartland Trail

September, 2017 by wreinsel

We used panniers to carry our things and did laundry along the way. But if you don’t want to do that you can use the shuttle service Dennis at Embracing Pines provides. He also has a terrific B&B right along the trail you can stay at and get shuttled to a different stop each day.
First Day:
Flew to Minneapolis / St Paul and took the Executive Shuttle to Brainerd / Baxter MN. Shuttle driver was great though and dropped us at LifeCycles where we rented bikes (pre-arranged since their rentals are in Nisswa) – call and talk to Zach the owner. We rode the 2 miles to our hotel and stayed at the Baymont Inn. Dinner was at the Boulder Tap House the first night and they have 36 beers on tap and have avocado fries – so delicious. Staying at the Arrowhead Lodge would have been better since the shuttle drops there. Hunt around for the trail on Google Maps – you have to cross 371 – be careful. Rode 10 or 15 miles on the trail and checked out the small town of Brainerd. Lots of food establishments.
Second day
Rode 47 miles from Baymont Inn in Baxter to Crow Wing State Park and on to Nisswa. Walked around a little bit of the tourist shops and saw a Barbie collection and other nostalgic items. Drank a flight at Axe Brewery and learned that they play 18 holes of golf on the lake here in the winter. Each hole has a restaurant or brewery to taste and there are thousands of people. Ate pizza at Raffertys. Stayed in the Nisswa Hotel right there and the owner is Bob. Right after you leave Nisswa there is a Laundromat literally feet from the trail in Pine River about 5 miles north of Nisswa. There is another one in Backus just after Pine River.
Third Day
Rode 32 miles to Hackensack.
Stayed in Hackensack at the Owl’s Nest hotel. Right in town there is a statue of Paul Bunyan and his girlfriend Lucette. Also a beautiful etched marble bench. Owls Nest motel is small but clean and generally ok. Ate spaghetti at Lucette’s Pizza of course. Dinner was at Udom Thai and then breakfast the next day was supposed to be at Joe's Vittles. Those are the three best restaurants here and there are only like 5. One is called Butts and Buns and the other is Char Broiled. At Char Broiled the food looked really good too and they have lots of beer on tap and allow you to try them with a flight. We also keep seeing signs for a meat raffle. Weird. Also in every town there is a water tower with the town name on it. This is a very small town and not nearly as nicely kept as Nisswa.
Fourth Day
Rode 39 miles to Park Rapids
Left Owls Nest at 8:30 after skipping Joe's Vittles due to a steady drizzle of rain. We rode 38 miles through the Chippewa state forest. The forest section is 9 miles or so and slightly hilly and very beautiful and remote. Made our way to Park Rapids by turning onto the Heartland Trail. We made a point of stopping in Akeley to see the memorial to veterans and an enormous statue of Paul Bunyan. Arrived in Park Rapids at the Red Bridge Inn and host Chris was there to meet us. You can see this B&B from the trail. Chris and Robyn are the hosts. Chris was so wonderful and brought our bikes and us inside. Let us do laundry and helped us with getting settled. This is definitely the place to stay in Park Rapids. We ate a quick lunch at Subway and ate a terrific Mexican dinner at Vallartes. Relaxed the afternoon away with tea in this beautiful B&B.
Fifth Day
Rode 28 miles to Walker MN after an enormous breakfast at the Red Bridge Inn. Stopped in Dorset (lots of restaurants) and Nevis (giant fish statue) and Akeley (home of the largest Paul Bunyan statue and a museum. We saw a small beaver swimming in one of the many lakes. Arrived in Walker and stayed at Chase on the Lake. The resort is beautiful with flowers and the town is kept up. We found three tall cryptmaria like bushes against a bank where there were a hundred or so finches chatting. Very cool. We went to Portage brewery and had a sampler flight and a stout pint. They use wild yeast and this is the best beer ever. Then we went to the Superone grocery store and got dinner. There are a lot of restaurants in town – but we were tired out.
Sixth Day
Rode 32 miles
Next day we rode the Shingobee connection trail and then came back to town. We got a Subway sandwich and rode an hour or so towards Cass Lake. Turned around at mile 38 or so (11 miles from the lake) and came back. Took great photos of purple martins. Ate dinner at Zona Rosa. It was definitely only one or two stars. Got more breakfast and snacks at SuperOne. Walked around town and looked in the little shops – but this town closes up early.
Seventh Day
Rode 32 miles to Bemidji
After leaving Walkter we stopped in LaPorte and bought water and ate snacks and the grocery there makes lunch and is very good. Rode to Bemidji and rode through the college town and along the lake. Stayed at the Country Inn and Suites literally 20 feet from the trail. Had beer in the hotel bar called JJ’s (great) and rode bikes to Dave’s pizza for a veggie pizza and spaghetti and it was super. There is a brewery and Tara Bemidji restaurant we really wanted to try but they were closed that day. There is also a very cute B&B in town called Lake Bemidji B&B but we didn’t stay there. Rode back and after sunset the bugs were horrible so we used the guest laundry. Tomorrow we go back to Brainerd on the shuttle with Dennis from the Embracing Pines B&B.

Eighth Day
Rode the 26 miles again to Crow Wing State Park from Baxter / Brainerd.
Ninth Day
Used the Executive Shuttle service to return to Minneapolis Saint Paul airport.

Accordion

Dakota Rail Regional Trail

A very nice ride!

August, 2017 by jduffy3124

We started in Wayzata. There is a trailhead and parking VERY close to the lake near Depot Docks, but somewhat hard to find. Free parking reserved for those using the trail in the middle of otherwise permit parking. There is still a small detour on road, but I think it was only 1/2 mile extra, and probably 1 1/2 miles on road total on bike lanes.
We really enjoyed the ride around the lakes and the small towns. When the trail gets out to the Westonka Recreational Park area, you are in the country. It is a nice shaded summer ride. St.Bonifacious is about half way and a good place to stop for lunch. We were actually on our way back to Wayzata when we stopped for a late lunch. The towns out towards the west end had places with signs greeting bikers, but not much activity was visible. Good luck to them. It seems as of August 2017 the last mile is still gravel.

Paul Bunyan State Trail

Lake Bemidji loop

July, 2017 by kevinkaren

I parked next to Paul Bunyan and Babe in downtown Bemidji. Very nicely kept park, much improved from the abandoned amusement park that was there when I first saw them many years ago. I rode up the west shore of Lake Bemidji to the northern end, then through the state park and down the east shore of the lake.

I didn't have any issues with signage on the trail, although part of it just south of where I parked was closed for sidewalk construction. From the city trail 2 blocks west I made the connection to a trail bridge over the highway and continued on my way. The only confusion came on the north side of the bridge, where the trail loops back in the opposite direction before looping again at the lakeshore in an exaggerated "S" shape.

There were occasional views of the lake through the trees before lakeshore development took over and bumped the trail further away. The surface was excellent throughout. At the abrupt end of the trail I doubled back for a short while to the turnoff into Lake Bemidji State Park. This route had some ups and downs and fast curves before ending at a campsite. I then took the road straight through to the park entrance and turned left on the marked bike route, a county highway with a wide paved shoulder.

This is when I encountered the only less than ideal riding conditions. The paved shoulder disappeared and I had to continue a while longer until turning left again to head south on a rather busy state highway. But it wasn't long until I reached the turn to a quiet side street that took me the rest of the way to the college campus and a separate bike trail through the parks to Paul and Babe.

I then headed south through a well-signed on road section and back to dedicated trail south. I intended to stop at Guthrie and head back, but turned around sooner when Guthrie didn't show up where I expected, but threatening weather did. It was a very nice ride, and a little work to separate the full lake circle route from traffic would have made it perfect.

Soo Line Recreational Trail

What's not to Love?

July, 2017 by kevinkaren

I had been on the Lake Wobegon trail many years ago to where it dead-ended north of Holdingford. Now I finally made it back to ride the extension to the Mississippi River and back. For added thrills I also rode to Albany for lunch and returned.

There seem to be at least 3 trails in Minnesota that use the Soo Line name so it gets a little confusing. This one is an extension of the spur line of the Lake Wobegon trail, starting a little north of Holdingford, which is itself north of Albany, which is on I-94 west of the Twin Cities.

Holdingford has a nice trailhead with all the facilities and a real-life boxcar for added atmosphere. The transition from Lake Wobegon to Soo Line trail is seamless.

The trail is wide, smooth, and has only a couple road crossings of any consequence. The Mississippi River bridge is quite spectacular; I stopped and took in the views of the river and dam for a while. Shortly after that I came to the end of the paved trail where it changes to ATV use. There's one highway bridge where both kinds of vehicles are allowed, but I didn't see any ATVs while I was there, and I doubt that there are many conflicts.

The northern trailhead was not as well-appointed as Holdingford, but still had the basic facilities. There was also a nice trailhead mid-trail in Bowlus.

Smooth, flat, scenic. A very nice ride.

Paul Bunyan State Trail

Paul Bunyan State Trail

July, 2017 by tampagreg

Rode the Paul Bunyan from Crow Wing State Park to Pine River in late June 2017. Agree with other comments regarding signs in Baxter/Brainerd. Poorly marked. Once you get north of Baxter and the trailhead at the Northland Arboretum (mile marker 13), the route is well marked. Problem is all the large cracks in the pavement that feel like you've just hit a 2 by 4. And there are hundreds of them! Also rode the stretch from Pine River to Hackensack last year. It was worse than the section from Baxter to Pine River. Won't ride it this year because of those nasty cracks. Pavement is much better in the Walker area where the Paul Bunyan meets the Heartland to present MANY interesting and enjoyable combinations of trail, towns, hills, flat and scenery. In fact, all of the trail north of Hackensack (all the way to Lake Bemidji State Park) is in good shape with some minor bumps here and there. Apologies to Nisswa, Jenkins, Pine River and Backus who have very nice bike-friendly towns, but their section of trail is TERRIBLE (with the exception of the four miles from mile 37 to 41 which are excellent). No, I'm not with the Walker Chamber of Commerce, just a bike enthusiast who came up here from Florida to spend the summer away from the sweltering inferno that is the Sunshine State this time of year. (Florida is great from December to February... don't work for them either.)

Soo Line Trail - Southern Route

Mixed bag

June, 2017 by wolfhavenfarm

I started near Royalton on a fully loaded plus tire bike. Morrison counties portion is good trail of smaller gravel. Lots of open farmland. Mille Lacs county the trail turned nasty with bigger ballast and rough. Onamia to Isle is paved. I stayed at Father Hennepin State Park in Isle. Stocked up on snacks at the small grocery store. Farmland changed to wetlands. Carlton County the trail was good again. A couple miles of off the rail bed trail with mud and hills. A fun distraction. I stayed another night at Moose Lake State Park outside of town. There to the Wisconsin line is good trail. Wisconsin line to the end is horrible. Thick layer of ballast rock. A foot deep in places making it harder to pedal through than sand. All across the trail the road crossings, bridges and generally the trail through wetlands were very rough. I rode late June and the deer flies were out in abundance as was a wide variety of wildlife. My trip was mid week so the atv traffic was very light. The trash cans along the trail are full of beer cans and the posted speed limit is 50mph. I was on a week long ride and was loaded with gear, the plus tire was the right choice for me.

Glacial Lakes State Trail

Trail Conditions

June, 2017 by rblock

Trail is closed just north of Willmar - very soft trail at about 5 miles out. Trail from Spicer to Paynesville is great

Paul Bunyan State Trail

May 2017

May, 2017 by latriciadavis

My husband came up from Missouri and rode the trail from Crow Wing to Lake Bemidji. It is a beautiful ride. However, the signs are very confusing in places. In Brainard there were Paul Bunyan signs and then you would come to an intersection and there would be a MTR trail signs. Being unfamiliar with the trail we were quite confused. Then in Bemidji they need to distinguished between the main trail and the city connection routes. Overall, it was a great ride.

Lake Wobegon Trail

If the five miles I covered are an indication, it's an above average trail

May, 2017 by gjswitek


Rode from mile 90 to 85 and back on a cross country car trip. A very pleasant break and a trail I would like to come back to and ride more.

Paul Bunyan State Trail

What causes the bumps?

April, 2017 by jchapline

A friend and I biked from Baxter to Bemidji and back, two years ago, in July 2015. It's a beautiful trail and a fun ride. I'm not complaining, but I'm curious about the bumps and ridges in the trail. There are long sections that have raised ridges across the trail at frequent intervals. Relying on my memory, almost two years after that ride, I would say there was a raised ridge across the trail about every 20 feet. Possibly caused by frost, I don't know. In other sections, there were a lot of 2-inch-high bumps where plants were forcing their way up through the asphalt. Will the bumpiness stay the same, get worse, or is it repaired at intervals? What's the plant that can grow right through an asphalt trail?

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