Lake Wobegon Trail

Minnesota

Lake Wobegon Trail Facts

States: Minnesota
Counties: Stearns, Todd
Length: 60 miles
Trail end points: 1st Ave. E. and Main St. at Central Lakes State Trail (Osakis) and 12th Ave. NE and CR 75 (St. Joseph); Railroad Ave. west of 13th St. (Albany) to 450th St.
Trail surfaces: Asphalt
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6016289
Trail activities: Bike, Inline Skating, Fishing, Wheelchair Accessible, Snowmobiling, Walking, Cross Country Skiing

With Unlimited:

  • Export to My Trail Guide
  • Create Guidebook
  • Download GPX
  • Download Offline Maps
  • Print Friendly Map
Upgrade Now

Register for Free with TrailLink Today!

View over 30,000 miles of trail maps
Share your trail photos
Save Your Favorite Trails
Find New Trails Near You
Leave reviews for trails
Submit new trails to our site
Register Now

Lake Wobegon Trail Description

As fans of public radio can tell you, this trail’s namesake is the fictional town of Lake Wobegon, made famous by author and radio personality Garrison Keillor of A Prairie Home Companion. Along the 10-foot-wide paved trail, you’ll find small towns that provided Keillor with inspiration, including Holdingford, a town once referred to by Keillor as “most Wobegonic” and which now advertises itself as “The Gateway to Lake Wobegon.” Keillor helped dedicate the trail upon its opening in 1998, and he even composed a song for the occasion, appropriately titled “Lake Wobegon Trail.”

The trail rests on an inactive Burlington Northern Railroad corridor between the cities of Osakis and St. Joseph. Along the path, which is dotted by trailheads and parking access areas, trail users are treated to scenic views of prairie remnants, lakes, woodlands, and open farmland. In fact, Stearns County is the top dairy producer in Minnesota. Much of the trail parallels busy I-94, making it a safe alternative for nonmotorized travel in the heart of Minnesota.

Not far from the Avon trailhead is St. John’s University, situated on more than 2,000 wooded acres that hold hiking trails and lakes. An extension of the Lake Wobegon Trail north from the city of Albany takes trail users to Holdingford, which features the longest covered bridge in Minnesota.

Beyond Holdingford, the rail-trail continues even farther north to the Stearns–-Morrison county line at 450th Street, adding another 13 miles of paved trail with this northern extension. Here, the Soo Line Recreational Trail begins, offering an additional 10.5 miles of paved trail to US 10 just north of Royalton. Ultimately, intrepid recreationists can travel uninterrupted on off-road trails north all the way to Duluth, a distance of more than 150 miles.

This is not the only trail connection provided. The Lake Wobegon Trail’s western end in Osakis offers a seamless connection to the 55-mile Central Lakes State Trail. These combined trails give users 115 miles of uninterrupted pavement from St. Joseph to Fergus Falls.

In the near future, the Dairyland Trail will take bikers, walkers, and snowmobilers south from Albany to Brooten. In the east, a planned 7-mile rail-with-trail extension will eventually bring the Lake Wobegon Trail to St. Cloud on the Mississippi River.

Parking and Trail Access

The trail parallels I-94/US 52 for its entire length. To reach the western trailhead in Osakis, take I-94 E. to Exit 114 for County Road 3/MN 127 (Osakis/Westport). Head northeast on MN 27, and in 1.7 miles turn left onto First Ave. E. In 0.7 mile turn left onto Main St. and find parking along the street.

For the eastern trailhead in St. Joseph, take I-94 to Exit 160. Head northeast on CR 2, and go 1 mile. Turn right onto CR 75, and go 0.9 mile. Turn left onto College Ave. N., and in 0.1 mile turn right onto Elm St. E. Parking will be on the left.

Additional parking and other amenities can also be found in most towns along the trail’s route, including in Albany for the northern trail extension.

For parking along the trail extension in Holdingford, take I-94 to Exit 153. Head north on CR 9/Fourth St./Avon Ave. S., and go 9.5 miles. Turn left onto River St. In 0.2 mile the parking lot will be on the right.

For parking in Albany, take I-94 to Exit 147. Head north on Eighth St., and go 0.2 mile. Turn right onto Railroad Ave. In 0.2 mile turn right onto Fifth St. and reach parking along the trail. Follow the trail 1.1 miles west to reach the beginning of the trail extension to Holdingford.

Lake Wobegon Trail Reviews


Rode from mile 90 to 85 and back on a cross country car trip. A very pleasant break and a trail I would like to come back to and ride more.

Awesome trail you will enjoy it

Every year sometime between Father's Day and the 4th of July the Minnesota State Flower blooms along the Lake Wobegon Trail.

There's even a bike ride dedicated these lovely flowers and it's call the "Lady Slipper Nature Ride" and MN Master Naturalists are stationed along the trail to share their knowledge and answer questions about the flowers or any other natural aspects of the trail.

For more info on the ride go to www.ladyslipperride.com

This native orchid is the Showy Pink & White Lady Slipper. It's flower looks like baby's moccasin and is also referred to as the moccasin flower. It's protected by state law making it illegal to dig them up or to pick them.

But you can take all the photos you want! Just don't get too close to them or you can potentially kill the plants. Use the zoom on your camera to get that close up picture!

They require a unique environment to grow including a boggy soil, filtered sunlight and a special fungus in the soil for them to mature and create their stunning flowers!

You can find pictures on the trail website at http://lwtrails.com/gallery/Site/index/Pages/Lady_Slipper.html

It can take up to 15 years for the first flower to appear. So enjoy them as I do every year but try not to stand too close and risk compacting the soil and killing these lovely native orchids.... Happy Trails!

Cliff

PS for more information on the Lady Slippers go to http://lakewobegontrail.com/Websites/lakewobegontrail/images/2014_Vers_Lady_Slipper_Brochure.pdf

Cliff Borgerding
Lake Wobegon Trails Association
33504 Shorewood Dr
Avon MN 56310

320-293-9364
Cliff@lwtrails.com

Accordion

This is a great, pastoral trail that takes one from the historic railroad town of Albany, MN north to the Mississippi River at Blanchard Dam. The I-94 sections are noisy but head north for beautiful scenery and an idyllic ride!

This is a great multipupose trail for all seasons. Mostly paved. Runs from St.Cloud with connections to Fargo. Many off shoot trails to the North and South. Former railroad line.

Lake Wobegon Trail and Central Lakes Trail are now one continuous 102 mile trail from St Joseph to MN 210 just SE of Fergus Fall. There is also a 24 mile long asphalt trail between Albany and US 10.

Beautiful ride from St.Joseph to Holdingford. From Albany thru Freeport it follows the intersate so is rather noisy. Nice from Freeport to Sauk Center

"The Lake Woebegon Trail has to compete with a Minnesota trail system that boasts a number of truly spectacular rides. LWT is not one of them. It's a well-constructed trail, easy enough to ride, but offers little variety in terrain and not much in the way sightseeing. If you take this trail, check out the side excursions. Also, we have found the trail to be hot, windy, and lacking shade in midsummer; it makes for a much more agreeable ride in late spring or early autumn.

Since we ride partly to eat, we have to recommend a stop at Charlie's in Freeport (which also gives you a chance to stroll through the inspiration for Lake Woebegon). Sauk Centre, home of Sinclair Lewis at trail's end, has nice accommodations."

Trail Events

This trail does not have any events yet.
Be the first to add one!

Add an Event

Events nearby

 
Minnesota River Greenway
Bloomington, MN

Come share "Hugs and Hoppiness" with senior centers and kids groups to celebrate National "Make a Difference Day." Start with a mini training and then...

#volunteer
Sat Oct 28 2017
 
Brown's Creek State Trail
Stillwater, MN

Community Thread’s Rake a Difference Day benefits seniors and individuals with disabilities throughout Washington County. This family-friendly...

#cleanup #volunteer
Sat Oct 28 2017
Accordion
 
St. Paul Grand Round
St Paul, MN

Half Marathon, 10-Mile, 10K, 5K & Mt. Doom Challenge (sequential 10K -> 5K -> 2.5K). For its 2017 running, the race runs through St. Paul along a...

#5k #marathon #race #run #walk
Sat Oct 28 2017
 
St. Paul Grand Round
Lake Elmo, MN

10K, 5K and youth run at Lake Elmo Park Reserve. Great trail run! Costumes Welcomed! The Great Pumpkin Chase will start and finish at the Nordic Ski...

#5k #race #run #walk
Sat Oct 28 2017

Nearby Trails

Dairyland Trail

Minnesota - 6.2 miles

Phase one of the development of central Minnesota’s Dairyland Trail was completed in April 2013, allowing trail users to hike, bike, or ride a horse...

Soo Line Recreational Trail

Minnesota - 10.5 miles

The Soo Line Recreational Trail is a continuation of the Soo Line Trail (southern route) just north of Royalton, Minnesota. This 10-mile segment,...

Glacial Lakes State Trail

Minnesota - 29 miles

The 22-mile original section of the paved Glacial Lakes State Trail follows the former right-of-way of the Burlington Northern Railroad between...

Accordion

Rocori Trail

Minnesota - 3.2 miles

Minnesota’s Rocori Trail, named for the three small towns through which it will eventually run (Rockville, Cold Spring, and Richmond), currently has...

Beaver Island Trail

Minnesota - 5.1 miles

Beaver Island Trail follows the route of an inactive railway that was originally part of a charter railroad of the Minneapolis and Northwestern...

Soo Line Trail - Southern Route

Minnesota - 105.6 miles

The Soo Line Trail Southern Route is more popularly known as the Soo Line South ATV Trail. The converted rail-trail runs for 105.6 miles in Minnesota...

St. Cloud River Walk

Minnesota - 0.6 miles

The St. Cloud River Walk, stretching just over a half mile, is nestled between the St. Cloud State University campus and the tree-lined western bank...

Central Lakes State Trail

Minnesota - 55 miles

The completion of the final segment of the Central Lakes State Trail in 2005 was the culmination of a positive partnership between volunteers and...

Paul Bunyan State Trail

Minnesota - 119.3 miles

Paul Bunyan State Trail, stretching 123 miles from Bemidji to Brainerd, is one of the longest rail-trails in the country. This distance includes its...

Luce Line Trail

Minnesota - 72.9 miles

The Luce Line Trail occupies the former railbed of the Electric Short Line Railroad, started in 1908. The tracks continued to be expanded into the...

Great Northern Trail

Minnesota - 4.6 miles

The Great Northern Trail offers a paved north-south route across the city of Elk River on the fringe of the northwestern outskirts of Minneapolis. For...

Lake Independence Regional Trail

Minnesota - 15.9 miles

Beginning at the southern tip of the Crow-Hassan Park Reserve in Hanover, the Lake Independence Regional Trail spends most of its 15.9-mile span...

Download the TrailLink mobile app and take TrailLink with you!
Support Trails and Pick Your FREE Guidebook + Trail Kit Today!
Pledge to make a difference for trails!

Explore by City

Explore by City

Explore by Activity

Explore by Activity

Log in to your account to:

  • View trail paths on the map
  • Save trails to your account
  • Add trails, edit descriptions
  • Share photos
  • Add reviews
OR

Register for free!

Join TrailLink (a non-profit) to view more than 30,000 miles of trail maps and more!
OR