Rochester, MN Cross Country Skiing Trails and Maps

247 Reviews

Looking for the best Cross Country Skiing trails around Rochester?

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

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Activities
Length
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11 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

Goodhue Pioneer State Trail

9.7 mi
State: MN
Asphalt

Harmony-Preston Valley State Trail

18 mi
State: MN
Asphalt

Prairie Farmer Recreational Trail

20 mi
State: IA
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

Wapsi-Great Western Line Trail

27 mi
State: IA
Asphalt, Concrete, Crushed Stone
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 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 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
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
Closure notice: Beginning Tuesday, May 26, a 6 mile portion of the Sakatah Singing Hills State Trail will be closed for reconstruction. The portion of trail affected by this closure is from 5th St. NW...
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 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

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Trails by activity

Prairie Farmer Recreational Trail

IA - 20 miles

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...

Sakatah Singing Hills State Trail

MN - 39 miles

Closure notice: Beginning Tuesday, May 26, a 6 mile portion of the Sakatah Singing Hills State Trail will be closed for reconstruction. The portion of trail affected by this closure is from 5th St. NW...

Douglas State Trail

MN - 12.5 miles

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...

Blazing Star State Trail

MN - 6 miles

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...

Accordion

Goodhue Pioneer State Trail

MN - 9.7 miles

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...

Shooting Star State Trail

MN - 18.8 miles

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...

Wapsi-Great Western Line Trail

IA - 27 miles

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...

Cannon Valley Trail

MN - 19.7 miles

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...

Harmony-Preston Valley State Trail

MN - 18 miles

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...

Chippewa River State Trail

WI - 38.5 miles

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,...

Root River State Trail

MN - 42 miles

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...

Prairie Farmer Recreational Trail

IA - 20 miles

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...

Harmony-Preston Valley State Trail

MN - 18 miles

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...

Blazing Star State Trail

MN - 6 miles

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...

Sakatah Singing Hills State Trail

MN - 39 miles

Closure notice: Beginning Tuesday, May 26, a 6 mile portion of the Sakatah Singing Hills State Trail will be closed for reconstruction. The portion of trail affected by this closure is from 5th St. NW...

Accordion

Goodhue Pioneer State Trail

MN - 9.7 miles

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...

Root River State Trail

MN - 42 miles

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...

Wapsi-Great Western Line Trail

IA - 27 miles

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...

Shooting Star State Trail

MN - 18.8 miles

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...

Chippewa River State Trail

WI - 38.5 miles

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,...

Cannon Valley Trail

MN - 19.7 miles

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...

Douglas State Trail

MN - 12.5 miles

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...

Wapsi-Great Western Line Trail

IA - 27 miles

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...

Douglas State Trail

MN - 12.5 miles

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...

Root River State Trail

MN - 42 miles

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...

Sakatah Singing Hills State Trail

MN - 39 miles

Closure notice: Beginning Tuesday, May 26, a 6 mile portion of the Sakatah Singing Hills State Trail will be closed for reconstruction. The portion of trail affected by this closure is from 5th St. NW...

Accordion

Chippewa River State Trail

WI - 38.5 miles

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,...

Shooting Star State Trail

MN - 18.8 miles

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...

Prairie Farmer Recreational Trail

IA - 20 miles

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...

Goodhue Pioneer State Trail

MN - 9.7 miles

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...

Cannon Valley Trail

MN - 19.7 miles

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...

Harmony-Preston Valley State Trail

MN - 18 miles

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...

Blazing Star State Trail

MN - 6 miles

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...

Recent Trail Reviews

Root River State Trail

Root River State trail

September, 2021 by harmokj

Spent the day riding this trail. Really enjoyed myself. Will make it back in early fall to see the color change.

Root River State Trail

9/11/2021 by wicket49

September, 2021 by skiwicket

Great trail, a must if in the area.

Harmony-Preston Valley State Trail

9/10/2021 Preston to near Harmony

September, 2021 by skiwicket

Great evening ride after 7 hours in the car. Riding a Trek Domane w/ 33x700 tires, Susan riding Trek Checkpoint. Yes the trail could use a little work, especially the bridge approaches. Still felt smoother than portions of I-90. The curves and short hills were a delight. We ride in the mountains of eastern Washington where our typical ride involves 2500-3000 vertical feet of climbing, so not really hills.

Accordion

Blazing Star State Trail

Beautiful Trail Needs Attention

August, 2021 by shelliott50

This trail wonders through tree tunnels, bridges over train tracks, grassy fields full of wildflowers and spotted several groups of deer. Many places along the route however have bad cracks and yes I worried about my spokes as did the 2014 reviewer. Was surprised to see the 2017 review said it was newly paved. Beautiful ride just watch the road.

Douglas State Trail

Very Pleasant Ride

July, 2021 by withrow

I rode from Pine Island to a park in northern Rochester and back, total of 22 miles R/T. 95% of the ride was under tree canopy, so perfect trail for you "shade worshippers" like me (having recently been diagnosed with skin cancer). Condition of trail is not perfect (which trails are?), but certainly very good. A few spots are rough and in need of some maintenance. Very flat and comfortable ride. Weren't a lot of "creatures" along the way, but did see squirrels, gophers, Baltimore Oriole and a lone deer.

Only negative comment I have is that there were several road crossings that slowed me down, but they were gravel roads with minimal vehicle traffic.

Definitely near the top of my "best" list.

Sakatah Singing Hills State Trail

Nice, mostly shaded trail

July, 2021 by peter182

My 14 year old daughter and I rode this trail from Mankato to Elysian and back. There are a few places where the trail was out in the open sun, but it was mostly shaded and in good shape. There were a few short patches close to Mankato where they appear to be resurfacing. It would be dirt or rock for about 20 feet or so. No big deal as the rest of the trail was in great shape. There are not a lot of services on this segment of the trail. A port-a-potty in Madison lake. No water until Elysian. It seems the trail was slightly uphill heading east. My daughter struggled a bit on the way to Elysian -- there was also a slight headwind. But the return trip was smooth sailing.

In Elysian there was a wonderful ice cream shop called Scoops right off of the trail. They had plenty of tables outside in the shade, good ice cream and there were other riders there to chat with. Highly recommend this stop!

One thing to note: the trail endpoint in Mankato doesn't have parking and we couldn't find the trail. Instead go to the first parking marker on the Mankato end which is about .5 miles from the actual endpoint.

Root River State Trail

Fountain to Houston

July, 2021 by mikebob_tl

I went from Fountain to Houston on Monday. Left my car in the lot and pedaled to Houston. Wow, what a beautiful trail! Having been on many trails I rate this in the top for sure! Heading east from Fountain is a breeze as it is almost 9 miles of downhill. More challenging at the end of 42 miles heading east on the return. The hills west of Houston are fun too.
I stayed at the Sawmill Inn in Houston (super comfy!!!!) and return biked Tues am.
Highly recommend this trail!

Great River State Trail

Trail from Riverside Park

July, 2021 by deborahdebmartin

We picked up the trail at Riverside Park and found a good amount if the trail was on the streets, in neighborhoods not very scenic.

Cannon Valley Trail

great trail

July, 2021 by jmclincoln

We enjoyed our ride on the Cannon Valley Trail. Small fissures are clearly marked and are to be expected since maintenance depends on volunteers. Only wish underbrush could be cleared where the trail wends close to the river for better river views. We road round trip from Cannon Falls to Red Wing.

Sakatah Singing Hills State Trail

Mankato to Madison Lake

July, 2021 by adsaxs

We parked at the trailhead parking lot on Lime Valley Road in Mankato. If you use the address 193 Lime Valley Road you’ll find the trailhead. We cycled to Madison Lake before turning around. We have hybrid bicycles. Total round trip about 19 miles.

The trail is under a canopy of trees for the most part with the first two miles or so being heavily shaded. This is quite a change for us who spend most of our time in the desert southwest! There has been recent trail work in the first mile. Two or three very, very small sections of the trail were being repaired and waiting to be repaved. We’re talking maybe a couple of 50’ sections now on dirt but very passable. There was one road crossing where the actual road (not the trail) was being resurfaced so you had to walk your bike across the street. Overall, the surface of the trail was pretty good. There were a couple of spots where there were cracks across the entire trail but was manageable. As a previous reviewer mentioned, there are no trail markers on this trail so the bike odometer comes in handy. No amenities on the trail. There were a couple of new housing developments springing up alongside the trail so you find locals walking or jogging in those areas. I would recommend this segment of the trail.

Root River State Trail

Review of three segments of trail

July, 2021 by adsaxs

This review is for the three segments of the Root River Trail that we cycled. We began each ride from Sylvan City Park in Lanesboro. The rides were out-and-back on hybrid, non e-bikes. We were quite surprised at how many people now have e-bikes! Overall, highly recommend the trail. For theatre lovers, try to catch a play at the Commonweal Theatre in Lanesboro. I was surprised at the quality of the plays produced in such a small town.

Lanesboro to Whalan (+3 miles beyond Whalan): This segment of the trail is very popular since the trail went into the small village of Whalan which is famous for its pie shop (open only on the weekends now). The trail surface was excellent and the trail was flat. The trail is mostly shaded and runs parallel to the river at some points. There are a couple of dirt rural road crossings. Besides the pie shop, there is a recently renovated train depot in Whalan that has snacks, water, soda, etc and WiFi. The biggest complaint I had about this segment and all the segments we rode was the low overhanging tree branches. Good thing we wore helmets and sunglasses to avoid getting brushed or poked in the eye with branches. Total roundtrip about 17 miles.

Lanesboro to Fountain: This segment of the trail surface was also excellent. Except for the starting and ending points of Lanesboro and Fountain, there are no amenities on the trail. About 5 miles before reaching Fountain, the trail begins a mild uphill grade into Fountain making for a great 5 mile downhill on the way back. The trail is mostly shaded. Total roundtrip about 20 miles.

Lanesboro to Preston: The trail surface on this segment of the trail was the worse of the three. The trail was bumpy. There were tree roots on the trail, holes, and ruts. As with the other segments, the trail was mostly shaded and ended at the trailhead parking lot just outside of downtown Preston. Preston has some amenities like a brewery, sandwich shop and grocery store. This section would be very nice if the trail surface was fixed. Total roundtrip about 20 miles.

Prairie Farmer Recreational Trail

Calmar to Ridgeway

June, 2021 by adsaxs

We started at the trailhead in Calmar near the depot museum. According to a sign in the depot museum window, the museum and bathrooms were closed indefinitely.

The first 3/4 mile of the trail was a little rough. There were wide cracks in the pavement and tree roots. After that, the trail improved. It is a mostly shaded trail which is good to block the wind but there were some open spaces. There are a number of rural dirt roads that you have to cross which weren’t a problem. In a couple of spots, the bike trail runs parallel to a non-paved rural road. If you get a truck or FedEx van zipping by, there is a lot of dust that is kicked up.

Except for two small shelters with a picnic table, there are no amenities along the trail. Ridgeway has a small park with a vault toilet, benches and tables just before you enter the town.

In Calmar, there is on-street parking and a few parking spaces directly across from the depot next to the train tracks. We drive a 25 ft van and we found a gravel public parking lot across from the Calmar Library at 101 Washington Street that worked for us.

Overall, a nice ride.

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