Greenway of Greater Grand Forks

Minnesota, North Dakota

Greenway of Greater Grand Forks Facts

States: Minnesota, North Dakota
Counties: Grand Forks, Polk
Length: 21.1 miles
Trail end points: Riverside Park (Grand Forks, ND) and Folsom Park (East Grand Forks, MN)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt
Trail category: Greenway/Non-RT
ID: 6016441
Trail activities: Bike, Inline Skating, Fishing, Wheelchair Accessible, Walking, Cross Country Skiing

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Greenway of Greater Grand Forks Description

Grand Forks, North Dakota, and East Grand Forks, Minnesota, host a network of paved paths along the Red River and Red Lake River that form the border between these two cities.

At just more than 20 miles, the Greenway of Greater Grand Forks, known as the Greenway, includes a 10-mile loop through both cities that enables bikers/hikers to link up to other trails through each city. In addition, bikers can also access the 100-mile paved route of the Rural Bicycle Loop in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

The Greenway trails developed out of a massive project to mitigate damage from disastrous seasonal flooding on the Red River. The network of trails traverses through a 2,200-acre natural open space along the river in both cities. A unique feature of this system of urban trails is the limited trail crossings for vehicles, thus allowing for long stretches of recreational use.

The cities are linked by two bridges over the river that are designated for nonmotorized use only, making for a delightful ride between the states. Access to facilities abounds along the trail. East Grand Forks in Minnesota has four designated trailheads: at River Heights in the Red River State Recreation Area campground, Griggs Park at the south end of downtown East Grand Forks, at Eagle Point on First Street Southeast at the confluence of the Red and Red Lake Rivers, and Crestwood at O’Leary Park on Fourth Street Southeast. The trail can also be accessed from over 10 locations along its route. There are 14 designated parking areas throughout the Greenway, 11 restrooms, and 10 information kiosks.

Other amenities along the trails include playgrounds, picnic areas, campgrounds, golf courses, shore bank fishing sites, and myriad open spaces. Interpretive historic, wildlife, and geology plaques are located throughout the Greenway system. Wildflowers and animals can be seen along the banks of both rivers that run the entire length of the Greenway. The trail also offers an ideal venue for winter activities, including groomed cross-country ski routes.

Parking and Trail Access

There are dozens of places to park to access the various segments of the trail.

To reach trailhead parking with restrooms in North Dakota, take I-29 to Exit 130. Head east on Seventh Ave. N.E., and go 0.4 mile. Take the first left onto 11th St. N.E./S. Columbia Road/County Road 17, which becomes CR 81 and then S. Washington St. Go 6.5 miles, and turn right onto 62nd Ave. S.E. In 0.8 mile turn left onto Belmont Road. In 1.6 miles, just before Belmont Court, you will see the trailhead parking on your right.

To reach parking at Lincoln Drive Park in North Dakota, follow the directions above to Belmont Road. Once on Belmont, go 3.3 miles north, and turn right onto Lincoln Drive and enter the park.

To reach parking at Riverside Park in North Dakota, take I-29 to Exit 141. Head east on Gateway Drive/US 2. In 2 miles turn left onto Mill Road, and go 0.5 mile. Turn right onto Red Dot Place, and in 0.2 mile turn left to access the parking lot.

In Minnesota, parking is available in River Heights Park. Take I-29 to Exit 141 (in North Dakota). Head east on Gateway Drive/US 2, and go 2.7 miles, entering Minnesota, and take the exit for East Grand Forks. Turn left onto Fourth St. N.W./River Road N.W., and parking will be 0.3 mile ahead on the right.

To reach parking just south of the confluence of Red River and Red Lake River in Minnesota, take I-29 to Exit 140 (in North Dakota). Head east on Demers Ave./MN 297, and go 2.4 miles to the Fourth Ave. S. exit. Continue on Fourth Ave. S. 0.6 mile, and turn left onto Minnesota Ave. Go 0.5 mile, entering Minnesota, and turn left into the parking lot just before the Third Ave. bridge.

Greenway of Greater Grand Forks Reviews

This is a uniquely wonderful trail set in the flood plain of the Red River. Instead of a narrow corridor of a rails to trails type path this occupies a wide swath of the river bottoms with a large dyke on the upland side of the path blocking views of town & residential neighborhoods. It's like riding through a lush and beautiful arboretum. The pathways are in excellent shape and mostly deserted in the fall mornings, giving one the feeling of being far far away from civilization.
The town of Grand forks is small and tidy with all the amenities one could want without the traffic congestion & noise of a larger city. I would highly recommend this trail for a bicycle vacation destination.

This Trail System takes one under or over and by bridges on the Red River. Trail is in fine condition. Excellent new bike Pedestrian Bridge. Noel Keller 17 Oct 2011

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