Brainerd, MN Birding Trails and Maps

69 Reviews

Looking for the best Birding trails around Brainerd?

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

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Activities
Length
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7 Results
Activities
Length
Surfaces
Type

Cuyuna Lakes State Trail

7 mi
State: MN
Asphalt

Lake Wobegon Trail

65.5 mi
State: MN
Asphalt

Paul Bunyan State Trail

119.3 mi
State: MN
Asphalt

Shingobee Connection Trail

6.8 mi
State: MN
Asphalt

Soo Line Recreational Trail

10.5 mi
State: MN
Asphalt

Soo Line Trail - Northern Route

113 mi
State: MN
Ballast, Gravel

Soo Line Trail - Southern Route

105.6 mi
State: MN
Ballast, Gravel
Trail Image Trail Name States Length Surface Rating
The Cuyuna Lakes State Trail winds its way through northern hardwoods and spruce/pine forests along the shores of 6 natural lakes and 15 clear, constructed lakes that were former mine pits. The...
MN 7 mi Asphalt
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 65.5 mi Asphalt
Paul Bunyan State Trail, stretching 119 miles from Bemidji to Brainerd, is one of the longest rail-trails in the country. The multiuse, fully paved trail is mainly for nonmotorized use; however,...
MN 119.3 mi Asphalt
The Shingobee Connection Trail, spanning nearly 7 miles, offers a key link between two much longer rail-trails—the Paul Bunyan State Trail and Heartland State Trail—making it possible to travel more...
MN 6.8 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 North Trail travels for 113 miles through forest and bog between Moose Lake in the south and Cass Lake in the north. The trail, which is popular with ATVs in the summer and snowmobiles in...
MN 113 mi Ballast, Gravel
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

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Recent Trail Reviews

Paul Bunyan State Trail

Nice Trail

November, 2021 by cmqd7hfq52

My husband and I rode 100 miles on Oct. 11, 2021. We started in Baxter and rode to Hackensack then turned around and went back. The weather was perfect and the scenery was beautiful. We stopped in Nisswa (great facilities for riders!) and Pine River. Hackensack didn’t really seem to cater to the needs of riders on the trail as well as other towns. Wish we could have ridden the whole trail but we didn’t have any way to shuttle back to Baxter. The trail was nice except for periods of cracks that don’t seem like much at first, but after awhile they get irritating.

Shingobee Connection Trail

Great when combined with Paul Bunyan Trail as a loop

August, 2021 by dmeisner_tl

Agree with the other reviewer that this follows the road a bit too closely, but that's not a problem if it's only 1/3 of a longer route, taking the Paul Bunyan Route NW at the junction (this is a gorgeous newly paved stretch with hills and curves, tho not too strenuous) and continuing ENE along an old RR grade back to Walker, where you can celebrate with a beer and lunch. We saw wolf scat on the second third of this route once (first wondered why folks were walking dogs this far off the road, then stopped and noticed fur in the poop, plus it was still steaming a bit!) Really great loop.

Paul Bunyan State Trail

Fabulous Ride

June, 2021 by jmclincoln

Just completed the Paul Bunyan Trail from Brainerd to the end of the paved path at the Blue Ox Trail. The trail is in pretty good shape and wends it’s way through small, friendly towns for the most part. Most bike accommodating is Bemidji with trails around town and out to the State Park. Least bike accommodating is Walker. Soulshine Bike Shop in Hackensack has a reasonably priced shuttle.

Accordion

Paul Bunyan State Trail

spring 2021

May, 2021 by 7g9w9z4mj6

We began the trail in Baxter and went all the way to Bemidji and back. There were parts that were better maintained than others but on the whole we’d give it 5 Stars! Good signage and the website was helpful for distances between towns. I highly recommend this trail.

Paul Bunyan State Trail

Very nice trail, loved both sections we rode

September, 2020 by sapugleasa

Our first ride, we rode the section from Pine River to Brainerd and back to Pine River (68.35 miles RT). Very nice trail, mostly flat. Follows the highway for the first 7 miles or so but then moves away. Most scenic from Nisswa to Brainerd. Many sections of bumpy “seams” but not the entire ride...they come and go. No one on the trail until the afternoon, then it became a little busy but mostly around the small towns. Many places to stop and rest along the way. Highlight of our ride was spotting two bald eagles perched in a tree no more than 50 ft from us. The 2nd section, we rode north, starting at the Walker Hotel, down to the trail and followed the trail to the 18 mile marker (41.32 miles RT). There were some rough spots in the trail but for the most part, it was a nice, quiet, smooth ride.

Soo Line Recreational Trail

Will Bike for Pie!

August, 2020 by mikaspaso

We loved our ride on the first half of the Soo Line southern trail. Due to a late start, we parked at the lot off of Highway 10 about 2 p.m. At first we were dismayed at the number of ATV trailers because we’ve been on shared trails before and they are not my favorite. Fortunately, the southern trail is all paved and non-motorized, so there was nothing to worry about! The trail is flat and well maintained. The only hill is the one out of the parking lot LOL! It varies between open farmlands and tree-lined woods. There was a nice breeze to keep us cool and enough shade for the hottest of summer days. There are three wooden bridges to cross that are a wee bit bone-jarring, but the views of the Mississippi are wonderful! Everyone told us to stop in Bowlus - a charming town with a nice community center with bathrooms, and you must stop at Jordie’s trail side cafe. The food is great! They have outdoor seating with lots of room between tables and a beautiful waterfall/pond. They serve lots of ice cream and pie, hence the title of this review. There’s ample parking in Bowlus as well, so we’ll start from here the next time and hopefully make it to Holdingford.

Cuyuna Lakes State Trail

Great ride

June, 2020 by mpickner77

Lots of options for mt bikes and a paved trail as well. Good signage and skill practice areas. Beautiful area.

Lake Wobegon Trail

I’m biased btw

April, 2020 by urness.andrew

Went to St. John’s University so this review 100% biased... but for great reasons! The views at this unique spot are absolutely incredible... over 60 miles of beauty. If you’re able to make it all the way to the end, you won’t be disappointed! Top 5 trails over 18+ miles. 1) Root River Trail 2) Paul Bunyan Trail 3) Cannon Valley Trail 4) Lake Wobagon

Lake Wobegon Trail

Now goes into St. Cloud

December, 2019 by timbee205_tl

Not much to add to all the positive comments, except that it now goes into St. Cloud from St. Joseph. This short segment goes by an industrial/warehouse area, over a river bridge and then ends in an athletic field, across from a Kwik Trip.

The last time on it in Sept '19 there were a few new smooth sections but there are still way too many "washboard" sections. Upgrades are in order.

Paul Bunyan State Trail

A Zen Trail

September, 2019 by charlotteclarkjenkins

We, my husband and I, rode a 20 mile round trip on this trail on August 31, 2019. The stretch of the trail which we were on, from Brainerd and Merrifield, was safe, clean and well maintained. It is fairly flat, so no real chances for coasting! I call it a Zen Trail because I felt safe enough in my riding to let my mind relax and simply take in the natural surroundings.
It is a good stretch for families, walkers and even slow bikers. There were several benches and one picnic table by a shelter.

Paul Bunyan State Trail

Fun trail

August, 2019 by kjhardyman

We’ve done several sections of this trail. Some parts north of Brainerd are a little bumpy through the small towns. Our favorite section is the 8.5 miles going west towards the Heartland trail, north of Hackensack, south of Walker.

Paul Bunyan State Trail

Paul Bunyan Trail

August, 2019 by jmerdic

Peaceful well maintained trail.

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