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The Elm Creek Park Reserve is an outdoor lovers’ dream. At 4,900 acres, it’s the largest park in Hennepin County. The park provides enough amenities to keep people coming all year round. Cyclists especially will enjoy the 20 miles of well-paved twists, turns, climbs and dips. (Separately, there are an additional 13 miles of mountain biking trails). The trails circle round the park in a loop, offering an interesting way to experience the diversity of landscapes, flora and fauna that the reserve has to offer. Within the loop, riders will wind through open prairie, quiet wooded corridors, lakes, waterways and wetlands. For those seeking a challenge, the southern loop provides a particularly demanding ride; it’s a coaster of miles of punishing climbs and exhilarating downhill runs. The northern section tends to be both flatter and quieter; you might see the occasional bicyclist. Take advantage of this to glide along the asphalt while enjoying unspoiled panoramas. The trail is shared so cyclists should be aware of walkers and runners.
The main Elm Creek park entrance (12400 James Deane Parkway, Maple Grove) is to the south. An alternative is the entrance to the Eastman Nature Center to the west, which is more popular with cyclists as an access point to the trails.
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