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Find the top rated atv trails in North Mankato, whether you're looking for an easy short atv trail or a long atv trail, you'll find what you're looking for. Click on a atv trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.
This is wonderful trail with some incredible views of the two largest metro lakes, Minnetonka and Waconia. Plenty of stopping points along the way for photo opportunities or a bite to eat or drink, including a couple of craft breweries, a drive-in that features homemade rootbeer, and several bistros. I'd like to give the Dakota trail 5 stars, but it lacks a safe, connecting trail from the north side of the lake into the city of Waconia. Also, it would be awesome if this trail could someday branch off to Victoria to connect with the Lake Minnetonka Regional Trail.
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.
We had to do a 25 mile ride for our son's Merit Badge. And this trail was perfect. Lots of great shade on a hot day, beautiful scenery, birds, and even a turtle. There are a few hills but not anything hard.
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.
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.
new pavement beautiful scenery very nice ride I will return to explore side trails and surrounding areas
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.
You can now ride this trail from SW Bloomington out to Carver. A short section between Chaska & Carver has new, smooth pavement. Just follow the Chaska dike trail, when you get west near the ball park you go on a street for a short ways & then the trail is there--maybe they'll put up signs someday? Carver is a cute little town. There is a Casey's near the trailhead.
Once you get in to Carver you can take the trail a little farther, then a road for a mile & then you can pick up on another trail & go up some steep hills & loop back to Carver or Chaska.
The trail should be paved to County 1 to the West edge of Lester Prairie sometime this early summer!
I live in NYC and recently spent time visiting family in Lester Prairie. I rode the Dakota rail trail from end to end several times while I was home and cannot say enough wonderful things about it. Gorgeous views, had the trail to myself for the most part, every amenity you would want -- maps, mileage and historical info at the kiosks, porta-potties, water, even a bike repair station in Mound!!! The segment from Waconia to Lester Prairie is especially beautiful with endless views of farm country, gently rolling hills and corn and soybean fields, and beautiful wetlands and lakes right alongside the trail.
The most blissful biking experience I've had. I will be back for more!!!
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.
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