Rochester Birding Trails and Maps

168 Reviews

Looking for the best Birding trails around Rochester?

Find the top rated birding trails in Rochester, 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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18 Results
Activities
Length
Surfaces
Type

Blazing Star State Trail

6 mi
State: MN
Asphalt

Cannon Valley Trail

19.7 mi
State: MN
Asphalt

Chippewa River State Trail

38.5 mi
State: WI
Asphalt

Douglas State Trail

12.5 mi
State: MN
Asphalt

Douglas-Cascade Trail

2 mi
State: MN
Asphalt

Goodhue Pioneer State Trail

9.7 mi
State: MN
Asphalt

Great River Ridge State Trail

13 mi
State: MN
Asphalt, Crushed Stone

Great River State Trail

24 mi
State: WI
Crushed Stone

Harmony-Preston Valley State Trail

18 mi
State: MN
Asphalt

Prairie Farmer Recreational Trail

20 mi
State: IA
Asphalt

Red Wing Riverfront Trail

0.5 mi
State: MN
Asphalt

River Bend Trail

1 mi
State: MN
Asphalt

Root River State Trail

42 mi
State: MN
Asphalt

Sakatah Singing Hills State Trail

39 mi
State: MN
Asphalt

Shooting Star State Trail

18.8 mi
State: MN
Asphalt

Straight River Trail

8 mi
State: MN
Asphalt

Wapsi-Great Western Line Trail

27 mi
State: IA
Asphalt, Concrete, Crushed Stone

Zumbro South Trail

9.9 mi
State: MN
Asphalt
Trail Image Trail Name States Length Surface Rating
The Blazing Star State Trail is located in Albert Lea, near Minnesota’s southern border. The town is known as “The Land Between the Lakes,” and the trail begins on the northern shore of one of the...
MN 6 mi Asphalt
The Cannon Valley Trail, which became a National Recreation Trail in 2018, links the southeastern Minnesota communities of Red Wing, Welch, and Cannon Falls along the former route of the Chicago Great...
MN 19.7 mi Asphalt
The 30.4-mile Chippewa River State Trail kicks off at the confluence of the Eau Claire and Chippewa Rivers in downtown Eau Claire’s Phoenix Park, where visitors can access a walking labyrinth,...
WI 38.5 mi Asphalt
The Douglas State Trail occupies the railbed of the former Chicago Great Western Railway corridor between the cities of Rochester and Pine Island. Several of the concrete obelisk railroad mile markers...
MN 12.5 mi Asphalt
The Douglas-Cascade Trail extends 2 miles southeast towards downtown Rochester from the southern terminus of the Douglas State Trail. The paved trail, a portion of which follows the former Chicago...
MN 2 mi Asphalt
The Goodhue Pioneer State Trail is a work in progress as part of a planned 47-mile trail linking the cities of Red Wing, Goodhue, Zumbrota, Mazeppa, Bellechester, and Pine Island along an inactive...
MN 9.7 mi Asphalt
The Great River Ridge State Trail runs for 13 miles between County Road 9 just north of Eyota and Third Street Southwest just north of Wabasha Street in the town of Plainview, which serves as the...
MN 13 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone
The Great River State Trail is named for the Mississippi River, but Ol’ Man River stays mostly out of sight if you follow this 24-mile trail through river marshes, wildlife preserves, hardwood...
WI 24 mi Crushed Stone
The Harmony–Preston Valley State Trail runs 18 miles on a north-south line between the town of Harmony and the Root River State Trail, which it meets between Lanesboro and Fountain. The paved trail is...
MN 18 mi Asphalt
The Prairie Farmer Recreational Trail follows part of the former Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad corridor, which traces its origins as far back as 1866. Its history lives on in...
IA 20 mi Asphalt
Although only stretching a half mile, the paved Red Wing Riverfront Trail, which opened in 2016, offers an important connection between two parks along the Mississippi River in the charming community...
MN 0.5 mi Asphalt
Although short, the River Bend Trail provides access to a recreational gem, the River Bend Nature Center, a 750-acre park with woodlands, prairie, rivers, and ponds. Along the way, the paved trail...
MN 1 mi Asphalt
Along much of its route, the Root River State Trail follows the winding course of its namesake river for 42 miles through the Minnesota towns of Fountain, Lanesboro, Whalan, Peterson, Rushford, and...
MN 42 mi Asphalt
This trail is so nice they named it twice: Sakatah is the Dakota word for “singing hills.” The Dakota people of the Great Sioux Nation originally lived in this scenic part of Minnesota, where the Big...
MN 39 mi Asphalt
Shooting Star State Trail, currently 19 miles long, is an 8-foot-wide asphalt path from LeRoy (east) to Rose Creek (west). It follows an unused railroad bed on Milwaukee Road, which once stretched...
MN 18.8 mi Asphalt
The Straight River Trail forms a backwards L as it runs north-south through Faribault and then curves west. The paved trail begins at the Cannon River Reservoir, then travels through woodlands in Two...
MN 8 mi Asphalt
The Wapsi–Great Western Line Trail is a 27-mile pathway on the former Chicago Great Western Railroad. The trail passes through a plethora of backdrops, including wide, rolling landscapes, Iowa...
IA 27 mi Asphalt, Concrete, Crushed Stone
Offering nearly 10 miles of paved pathway through Rochester, the Zumbro South Trail serves as both an important transportation route and recreational destination. As the western end of the trail...
MN 9.9 mi Asphalt

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Recent Trail Reviews

Chippewa River State Trail

Beautiful Scenery and nicely paved at the western half of the trail

July, 2018 by mikaspaso

We rode the western half of the trail on a humid and hot weekend but we were pleasantly surprised at the amount of shade and tree coverage. It cut the heat and also the headwinds from the west which made our ride very comfortable. This part of the trial is nicely paved, which makes it fast and flat. There are at least a half-dozen small bridges over farmland creeks and at one point, you come across a large bend in the Chippewa River which is beautiful. It intersects with the Red Cedar Trail, which is a nice detour to Menomonie, or you can continue east towards Eau Claire.

After 7 or so miles, the trail turns to crushed gravel, which is pretty easy to ride over, but they've patched the potholes with asphalt, which makes it bumpy. It's fairly maintained but could use a little more maintenance. We have hybrid bikes and made it just fine, and there were several riders with skinny road bikes and they seemed to be doing okay. It is a slight disappointment after the perfect grooming of the western part of the trail.

The trailhead out of Durand has a lot of parking, rest rooms with running water and a drinking fountain, so you can fill your water bottles. Durand has a few places to eat, there's not much along the trail.

We stopped in Meridean, a historic village with an intriguing history. There's a parking lot and porto-potti, but I didn't see any water fountains. Next time we'll start in Meridean and finish the trail to Eau Claire. It was a great trail for a summer's day - lush surroundings and tons of wildflowers.

Prairie Farmer Recreational Trail

Peaceful and clean

July, 2018 by al67gto

This was an awesome ride. It was well groomed and you can tell that the people that maintain this trail care about it. We had a picnic at Ridgeway and rode to Calmar for ice cream. But it was closed. Thankfully the restroom was open.

Goodhue Pioneer State Trail

Excellent trail - along Hay Creek

July, 2018 by reillyed

If you have bikes on car rack - park your car at the Beer Stube Restaurant and bowling alley in Red Wing. Unload in parking lot and across the street you will find start of a Red Wing city asphalt trail that will take you to the Goodhue Trail. (Added bonus is that there will be a cold beer waiting for you upon your return at the Stube). The Goodhue state park trail meanders on asphalt path along hay creek. Lots of birds - watch during summmer for nesting Rose Breasted Groossbeak and Baltimore Oriole - among others. Trail abuts horse trail - lots of horse riders. Lots of bridges over creek to cross. Trails ends at campground - nice saloon there to whet your whistle or grab a bite to eat. Find it hard that anyone could give this trail less than five stars. Round trip mileage was 13 miles for the route above.

Accordion

Douglas State Trail

Heaven On Earth

July, 2018 by vlisabet1010

I began riding the Douglas Trail when my son, Shem, was 2 years. He's now 40!. Over the years, we must have ridden it, literally, thousands of miles. We liked beginning our rides from Pine Island. Shem and I also enjoyed "night riding" under the moonlight. The Douglas Trail is Heaven On Earth to me !!!!

Chippewa River State Trail

Beautiful scenery

June, 2018 by smithc061309

We rode this trail as part two of two-ride weekend. We parked at a small, unmarked parking area off of 50th Ave near the junction of the Chippewa and Red Cedar Trails. We actually rode the 7 mile section between the junction and Durand on the first leg of our ride weekend. This section is maintained by Pepin County and is VERY nice. On this day, we headed east towards Meridian. The trail surface is somewhat paved, and most of the potholes looked to have been filled. This trail was very manageable for our mountain & hybrid bikes. However we did see various riders on bikes with skinny street tires and they seemed to manage just fine as well. The trail was more overgrown in places than I expected, and could maybe use a spray to keep the grass and ivy vines along the edge of the trail in check. Moss covering the trail along the bluffs between Meridian and Caryville lend the trail a beautiful and secluded feeling. The views of the Chippewa were breathtaking when you come out of the trees and suddenly there is this graceful winding river. Once we arrived at Caryville, the trail opened up into flat farm ground. At one point we were caught off guard by sounds from a PA system from no where, before we realized there is a drag strip a short distance off the trail east of Caryville. My husband and I rode to about the 7 mile marker on the west edge of Eau Claire, before turning around and riding back to our vehicle, a total of 38 miles round-trip. I will rate this trail a 4, but the trail scenery itself was worth the ride.

Chippewa River State Trail

Beautiful scenery

June, 2018 by smithc061309

We rode this trail as part two of two-ride weekend. We parked at a small, unmarked parking area off of 50th Ave near the junction of the Chippewa and Red Cedar Trails. We actually rode the 7 mile section between the junction and Durand on the first leg of our ride weekend. This section is maintained by Pepin County and is VERY nice. On this day, we headed east towards Meridian. The trail surface is somewhat paved, and most of the potholes looked to have been filled. This trail was very manageable for our mountain & hybrid bikes. However we did see various riders on bikes with skinny street tires and they seemed to manage just fine as well. The trail was more overgrown in places than I expected, and could maybe use a spray to keep the grass and ivy vines along the edge of the trail in check. Moss covering the trail along the bluffs between Meridian and Caryville lend the trail a beautiful and secluded feeling. The views of the Chippewa were breathtaking when you come out of the trees and suddenly there is this graceful winding river. Once we arrived at Caryville, the trail opened up into flat farm ground. At one point we were caught off guard by sounds from a PA system from no where, before we realized there is a drag strip a short distance off the trail east of Caryville. My husband and I rode to about the 7 mile marker on the west edge of Eau Claire, before turning around and riding back to our vehicle, a total of 38 miles round-trip. I will rate this trail a 4, but the trail scenery itself was worth the ride.

Cannon Valley Trail

Follow up to road crossing issue

May, 2018 by andersrock

In follow up to my review about a road crossing issue, I contacted CVT staff and they reached out to the city of Red Wing and the response from the public works department was basically, no it was not a detour issue, but rather a standing pattern as several factories in town all end work between 3 and 330. So if you intend to go into Red Wing from the west or come out of Red Wing from the east, be forewarned and plan to do so before 3 or after 330. I did then again contact CVT to suggest that maybe this should be an advisory on their website so you could check and see if they've posted something.
Except for this, it's a great trail.

Cannon Valley Trail

Road crossing issue in Red Wing

May, 2018 by andersrock

Normally this is a really wonderful trail, a real nature bath, and it was for 8 miles today. We were out on the trail today heading from Welch to Red Wing - beautiful as usual - until we got close to Red Wing - I don't know the name of the street we were trying to cross but is is being used as a vehicle detour for another road that apparently is closed or has some issue. Basically, it was impossible to cross - there was continuous traffic and the trail crossing does not have a cross walk - I don't know if there are signs for the vehicles cautioning for the trail crossing but we waited about 5 minutes and not one vehicle showed even the slightest sign of recognition of the trail crossing. We wound up just turning around as we were not about to put ourselves into oblivious traffic. It seems that whoever designed the detour did not take the trail crossing into account. Very disappointing as we were hoping to reach the end of the CVT and hook up with the Hay Creek Trail. The fact that there is no cross walk suggests that it might normally be a low traffic crossing, clearly not the case today - this was about 3:15 PM, not even rush hour yet. I did send an email to the CVT organization and asked if there was something they could do or to contact the powers that be in Red Wing to make this a safer situation. While this is most likely a temporary situation, the time frame is not obvious, and the crossing needs to be safer now.

Cannon Valley Trail

Cannon Valley Trail

May, 2018 by bethmcc

Was a nice paved trail. A little bumpy riding out of Red Wing but smoothed out a couple miles in. At the trail end, in Cannon Falls is an excellent place to eat - Nicks Diner, which has good food and tasteful decor.

Shooting Star State Trail

Rode this trail on a week night gad a great ride. Road from Rose Creek east. This trail tends to be wet towards Lake Louise on the eastern end. a few bumps but otherwise well maintained, few riders but can be tough on a windy day.

May, 2018 by fluegel.becky

Rode this trail on a week night gad a great ride. Road from Rose Creek east. This trail tends to be wet towards Lake Louise on the eastern end. a few bumps but otherwise well maintained, few riders but can be tough on a windy day.

Chippewa River State Trail

beautiful scenery but surface could use some repair

September, 2017 by rdodnd

We biked the Caryville to Durand part of this trail on September 1, 2017. The trees, rocks, river, animal and plant life is very lovely. The surface from Caryville 12 miles toward Durand is only arguably paved. If you have trail bikes, great. If you have thin-tired road bikes? They would likely sustain damage. Stick to Durand and no more than 7 miles in with a road bike.

Root River State Trail

Love this trail

August, 2017 by crosscountry79

Went from Rushford to Whalen and the trail was in great shape. It was the first time I was on a trail in Minnesota. Great first impression. Will try other half after Whalen and the harmony trail next.

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