Although only 1 mile long, the Dinkytown Greenway provides an important link in a biking network connecting Minneapolis and Saint Paul. The trail begins near TCF Bank Stadium and runs through the University of Minnesota campus on the east bank of the Mississippi River. On the east side of the stadium, a connection can be made to the University of Minnesota transit, which connects the school’s Minneapolis and Saint Paul campuses.
Part of the Dinkytown Greenway runs through a former railroad trench with the Dinkytown community (after which the trail is named) visible overhead. A pedestrian staircase has been proposed that will connect the greenway trench segment with Dinkytown proper. As the trail heads west, it crosses Bridge No. 9, once used by the Northern Pacific Railway but now open for bicyclists and pedestrians.
The bridge yields quite spectacular views. The view upriver includes a glimpse of St. Anthony Falls and the famed Stone Arch Bridge, while the view to the east overlooks the Bohemian Flats segment of the West River Parkway Trail.
The trail ends on the river’s west bank, where it merges with the West River Parkway Trail and lies within short access to the St. Anthony Falls Heritage Trail. The addition of the Bluff Street bicycle tunnel under I-35W to 13th Avenue South provides a smooth transition to the West River Parkway Trail, the historic Mill District, and other sections of downtown Minneapolis.
If you leave the greenway/parkway along the river, you can cross over the 10th Avenue Bridge and head back over the river to access University Avenue just west of Dinkytown and the University of Minnesota campus.
Access to the east trailhead is north of University Ave. at Oak St., with ample parking in the University of Minnesota Maroon Lot (2028 Sixth St. S.E.) or Lot 37 (1811 Fifth St. S.E.). Take I-35W N. to Exit 18. Head 0.4 mile southeast on University Ave. S.E. Turn left onto 15th Ave. S.E., and in 0.1 mile turn right onto Fifth St. S.E. Lot 37 is in 0.3 mile on the left, and the Maroon Lot is 0.5 mile on the right.
Parking south of Bridge No. 9 is randomly available along 20th Ave. S., S. First St., and other neighborhood streets in the vicinity. Get to this area by taking I-35W N. to Exit 18. Head southeast on University Ave., and immediately turn right onto 10th Ave. Bridge. In 0.4 mile turn left onto S. 19th Ave. or right onto S. Second St. A parking lot is also on the east side of the West Bank Fields ball diamond at S. First St. and 21st Ave. S.