- Find a Trail
- My TrailLink
- Explore Trails
- About Us
- Get Involved
Find the top rated mountain biking trails in Fairmont, whether you're looking for an easy short mountain biking trail or a long mountain biking trail, you'll find what you're looking for. Click on a mountain biking trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.
The section from Madison Lake east to Elysian has now been re-paved & is very wide & smooth. Unfortunately, from Elysian to Waterville it's still the same old washboard . . . ruts, holes, cracks, weeds, etc. Rough ride!
It looks like they are planning to re-do this part but who knows when? So except for 6 miles this trail is pretty smooth sailing from Faribault to Mankato. Once in Mankato you can stretch it out on some local trails & the Red Jacket.
Wanted to try out this trail for the first time on Saturday and it is closed. Maybe try it next year.
I road this trail end-to-end starting at the very nice Red Jacket Trail Park near the LeSeur River trestle, riding south to the trail end (no parking, ends at a country road), and then doubling back to ride to the north end in Mankato.
I even did an unintended but worthwhile side trip to Minneopa Falls park when I missed a sign at a trail intersection (some challenging hills on this route).
The trail length is definitely overstated in the description, closer to 6.5 miles than 13, but you can easily connect to other trails to extend your ride.
All-in-all a very nice trail that is in quite good condition.
If you make a right onto the Minnesota River trail when the trail ends in Mankato you ride right along the river on the water side of a flood wall. If you go about 3/4's of a mile to the trail entrance at E. Main Street there is some wonderful wall art on the city side of the flood wall.
I have ridden around both West Lake Okoboji, Big Spirit,East Lake many times. Some of the trail is on the road which is county black tops and local streets, it would be impossible to go around 5 lakes and be only bike/walk trail. Go to dickinsoncountytrails.com map on top tool bar. It's prox 24 miles around West Okoboji and 46 miles around outside of all 5 lakes. Great adventure and gets better every year,
To look at the trail map (which we did) you would think that there is a trail around both Spirit Lake and Lake Okoboji. Nothing could be further from the truth. Much of the trails consist of residental roads, highways, with a few dedicated trails mixed in, which simply stop, with no instructions. Whats even worse is the fact that there are ZERO signs anywhere to tell you where the "trail" is. Maybe I'm spoiled living in central Iowa. If you're a boater, head to the Iowa great lakes. If you're a biker, go elsewhere!!
Nice trail leading to Pilot Knob State Park entrance. A few conditions issues. but quite usable for many.
This stretch was pretty miserable with my road bike due to the poor asphalt. My biking partners had mountain bikes and fared much better. It's an easy trail, very flat, and this stretch is pretty. But I won't bike it again until the long overdue repaving is complete.
This trail was our first trail on the way of wisconsin dells from Mankato. We totally passed 6 trails. I would put this trail on 2nd rank after Cannon Valley. I would put this trail on the first rank if the surface was same from Madison Lake to Waterville. The surface between 2 towns need to be repaired. Too much cracks on the trail. But the rest of them is amazing. Plus you can make decent speed on this trail. There is no steep at all.
The trail is very smooth. It gets a little tight when you get by the river with a large wall on one side and a rocky drop to the river on the other. If there was a lot of people using the trail, it would be kind of sketchy but it was pretty quiet when I went through. It rides right down riverfront drive and 169 basically so its by no means a nature trail but that's to be expected of an in town trail. Eventually it winds by the police shooting range and then leads out of town.
I rode this trail for the first time today from Faribault to Mankato. The surface of the trail was great until Waterville. Then things got kind of ugly. I was on my 29" mountain bike with the front suspension locked out and it was pretty rough for 10 miles or so West of Waterville. I have to imagine it would be pretty bad on a road bike. Trail conditions aside, it is a flat ride with some okay scenery. Nothing too exciting but for southern MN it's not bad. I'll do it again at some point.
We drove down from the Twin Cities twice to ride this trail: Faribault to Waterville RT, then Mankato to Madison Lake RT. We will do the middle section when we learn it has been renovated.
What beautiful country! The terrain was terrific: paved surface in good condition, occasional gentle inclines. Birds were singing everywhere and we were enchanted by the contrasts: riding under a beautiful canopy of trees, hearing rushing water below, and then seeing late summer flowers and crops in the countryside. We spotted a flock of white pelicans, egrets and other waterfowl along the way, also a deer. And a calico cat and a turkey farm.
We wasted an hour trying to find the Faribault trailhead with the directions we had printed out and the brown signs that were posted. People we asked directed us to the Dairy Queen, which provided very easy trail access next to Highway 60 but not the full trail. Next time we will use interactive GPS and start at the trailhead.
Near Mankato, please post signs where the railroad bisects the trail for those exploring without GPS. We stayed on the paved trail which led us under the overpass and up to 589th Ave: at this point, we didn't know whether to turn right (correct) or left (wrong.) We backtracked to see if we had missed a sign and met locals who rode back up the overpass to point out the turn. It was not apparent to any of us that the trail crosses the tracks as indicated on your map. If it does, please add signage. A sign is also needed at 589th pointing to the right after the trail comes up from under the train bridge. Things that may be obvious to people who know the area are not obvious to newcomers.
We had a great lunch at the Trailside Cafe in Madison Lake, right on the trail. Coming from the East, the trail suddenly ends near Waterville and we had to hunt around for water and facilities. The ice cream shop nearby was closed, but fortunately had a drink machine.
We look forward to returning to ride the entire trail.
I had the pleasure to ride this trail on 6-7-2016 and I was not disappointed. Starting off in Mankato introduces you to a private and mostly wooded nicely paved trail as you travel through the neighborhood. There are several side street crossings before becoming more wooded outside of town. There are several dirt footpath or side trails along in certain sections. The views at the trestle crossings are beautiful! The trail seemed to be a slight grade uphill going South but once you turn around there are sections you can simply glide through! There were walkers, riders, and family enjoying the trail so it can get a little crowded during peak times. Being about 6.8 miles in length it is not a long trail, but spend extra time enjoying the views it offers or extend your ride on the North Minnesota River Trail. The Red Jacket Trail ends at a farm road and extends along the road but I turned around where most of who I saw turned around - when it exits the forested area at the end. 4 stars for length but 5 stars for everything else the trail offers!
TrailLink is a free service provided by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (a non-profit) and we need your support!