Luce Line Trail


26 Reviews

View Trail Map
View Map
Send to App

Register for free!

Register for free with TrailLink today!

We're a non-profit all about helping you enjoy the outdoors
  • View over 40,000 miles of trail maps
  • Share your trail photos
  • Save your own favorite trails
  • Learn about new trails near you
  • Leave reviews for trails
  • Add new and edit existing trails

Luce Line Trail Facts

States: Minnesota
Counties: Carver, Hennepin, McLeod, Meeker
Length: 76.7 miles
Trail end points: 143-185 W Astro Blvd (Cosmos) and North Cedar Lake Regional Trail (Minneapolis)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt, Crushed Stone, Grass
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6016292

Luce Line Trail Description


The Luce Line Trail leads between Minnesota's rural landscapes and urban Minneapolis, traveling through suburbs and wooded stretches, across wetlands, near lakes, through tallgrass prairie remnants, and into the countryside over varying surfaces. Between Plymouth and Winsted, the trail has a limestone surface with a parallel treadway for equestrians. Between Winsted and Hutchinson, the trail is paved for about 19 miles; between Hutchinson and Cedar Mills it is crushed granite; and between Cedar Mills and Cosmos, the trail is composed of mowed grass. Snowmobiles are allowed on the trail west of Stubb’s Bay Road in Maple Plain.

Certain areas are not maintained regularly and can be a challenge following instances of severe weather when the surface becomes muddy or otherwise impassable. Wildlife encountered along the way may include deer, foxes, minks, owls, pheasants, and many species of duck and geese. From Hutchinson westward, the Big Woods's eastern forests give way to remnants of the tallgrass prairie, with many prairie plants still visible along the trail.

About the Route

The 63-mile western section is called the Luce Line "State" Trail and is managed by the Minnesota DNR. This section leaves off from its western terminus at Thompson Lake. The trail heads east through the town of Cedars and then reenters its rural corridor as it passes by the Cedar Mills Waterfowl Production Area. Quite a lot of this western route follows MN-22. 

Along its route, the trail passes by Otter Lake, the town of Hutchinson, Silver Lake, and more. In the town of Winsted, there is a brief break in the off-road trail route that is easily manageable. East of Winsted, the trail skirts a number of lakes including the famous Minnetonka, Oak Lake, Long Lake, and Rice Lake.

The 9-mile section of paved trail between the Plymouth and Golden Valley in the western suburbs of the city and the Theodore Wirth Regional Park is part of the Three Rivers Park District trail system, and that segment is designated as the Luce Line “Regional” Trail. Along the route, Medicine Lake forms the backdrop to wooden bridges that overlook the Bassett Creek marshlands.

As trail users enter Theodore Wirth Regional Park, the path becomes part of the Minneapolis Grand Rounds Scenic Byway trail network, and the view expands to include the skyline of downtown Minneapolis. From here the trail heads east through Bryn Mawr Meadows Park where the trail reaches its eastern endpoint.


In Orono, the Luce Line Trail connects to the Lake Independence Regional Trail.

Near Medicine Lake, the trail connects to the Medicine Lake Regional Trail and West Medicine Lake Trail.

In the Theodore Wirth Regional Park, the trail connects to the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway.

At the eastern end of the trail, trail users can connect with the North Cedar Lake Regional Trail/Cedar Lake Trail which in turn connects to the Midtown Greenway.

Trail History

The Luce Line Trail occupies the former railbed of the Electric Short Line Railroad, which started in 1908. The tracks continued to be expanded into the late 1920s when the rail line became known as the Minnesota Western. Passenger service stopped in 1947, and in 1956 the Minneapolis and Saint Louis Railway took over. The corridor became inactive by 1970, and the Luce Line Trail was born. Today, the former railroad corridor accommodates biking, hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing

Parking and Trail Access

The Luce Line Trail runs between 143-185 W Astro Blvd (Cosmos), where parking is available, and North Cedar Lake Regional Trail (Minneapolis).

Parking is also available at:

  • Riverside Jaycee Park, 300 Les Kouba Pkwy NW (Hutchinson)
  • 3620 Eileen St (Maple Plain)
  • 631 Ottawa Ave N (Golden Valley)

See TrailLink Map for all parking options and detailed directions.

Luce Line Trail Reviews

Thompson Lake (Cosmos) to Silver Lake

I covered the Thompson Lake to Oddfellows Park in Hutch at the end of July on a bike. There is plenty of parking and shade at Cosmos County Park and a bathroom with running water. The trail starts as Cadillac gravel through trees and then pops out to a gravel parking lot next to grain bins and a business. At the 4 way stop, it’s an easy crossing of highway 7 and a Casey’s to load up on snacks and water. It isn’t well marked to pick the trail back up, make a left at Gemini Ave and you find the sign for the trail. This is where the fun begins in my opinion. It starts gravel, but turns to grass. At the time I rode, the grass had not been mowed, but was 100% rideable. Your mileage may vary depending on bike and fitness level. The grass section is about 8 miles and incredibly beautiful to be riding through sloughs and catching a glimpse of what this prairie once was. The trail turns back to gravel after Cedar Mills, then eventually pavement near Hutch. An easy access gas station with bathrooms and water refill and snacks is next to Oddfellows Park. Though the parks in this section have restrooms as well.

Continuing on the trail, you arrive in a campground that accommodates both RVs and tents next to the Crow Wing River. Plenty of shade, a beautiful view of the river, and each spot has a fire ring and a picnic table. You will get traffic noise, but the location and amenities are worth it. The city of Hutchinson has done an impressive job incorporating this trail as a city resource. I saw lots of walkers, runners, and young kids on bikes using the trail to navigate the area.

Continuing on to Silver Lake, the trail surface is paved, but gets a little more rough. There are areas where some of the cracks are large enough to grab a narrow tire, so mind the gap. The scenery on this September ride was beautiful. I made the side trip to the Crow Wing Winery, just to check out the gravel trail. This is also a worthy stop for yummy food and a glass of wine, with both indoor and outdoor seating. The trail to Silver Lake remains about the same with lots of sumac and trees to shade the trail.

I absolutely think this would make a wonderful and pretty easy bikepacking trip.

The trail is a really nice trail to ride, nice scenery when you ride. However, once you get past Cedar Mills heading West towards Cosmos. That's when it changes grass is thick and makes hard to ride.

The trail is a really nice trail to ride, nice scenery when you ride. However, once you get past Cedar Mills heading West towards Cosmos. That's when it changes grass is thick and makes hard to ride.

Nice Suburban to Country Trail

The east end of the trail is in the suburban Twin Cities and provides connection into Twin Cities trail network. As you move west you get into more rural areas around Hutchinson. If going through Winsted will need to use road for a bit. The far western portion of the trial around Cedar Mills switches from a crushed limestone to other aggregate so be prepared if going that far west.

In Orono / Long Lake you can connect to Baker Park and Lake Independence Trail (Maple Plain and Loretto area) then further north on path along Co. Rd. 19 to Old Hanover Bridge by River Inn, and to St. Michael along path beside Co. Rd. 146.

There is also a connector trail to Delano up Co Rd 30 but the surface can be poorly maintained. Once in Delano you can connect into Lake Rebecca Park and Rockford.

Best hike!

Very scenic and fun trail!


Very scenic and fun trail! Not too crowded. Rode from Downtown Minneapolis. Be sure to look for the small sign right off the trail near Plymouth, MN for Trailhead Bike Shop and Luce Line Brewery!

Very scenic and fun trail! Not too crowded. Rode from Downtown Minneapolis. Be sure to look for the small sign right off the trail near Plymouth, MN for Trailhead Bike Shop and Luce Line Brewery!

Great trail! Rode out from Downtown. Very scenic and fun to ride. Be sure to look for the small sign near Plymouth, MN right off the trail for the Trailhead Bike Shop & Luce Line Brewery.

Great trail! Rode out from Downtown. Very scenic and fun to ride. Be sure to look for the small sign near Plymouth, MN right off the trail for the Trailhead Bike Shop & Luce Line Brewery.

Hutchinson to Silver Lake

We road out-and-back from the Masonic West Riverside Park campground in Hutchinson to Silver Lake which is approximately 20 miles round trip. The trail is fully paved in this section . It is a combination of shade and full sun as the trail meanders through cornfields.

The trail could use a little maintenance in certain sections. There were tree roots and wide cracks across the path but overall the trail in this segment was pretty good. It felt like a slight uphill grade to Silver Lake so we enjoyed a bit of a downhill back into Hutchinson. A few benches along the way but no other amenities except for Hutchinson.

Hutchinson has a number of parks along the trail with benches and sculptures which are very nice. I would recommend this trail.

gravel road mostly

Mostly gravel. Good ride. Road bikes watch out , if they are not made for gravel. Overall good, did 100 miles round trip from Schaper Park. Next time I will start at mile 0 of Luce Line State trail

Paved Sections

Coming from Minneapolis, once you near the city of Winsted, the paved section of the trail is very pleasing. Smooth, clear of debris and beautiful nature signs along the way to the rest of the trail. The cities along the entire trail offer food, restrooms, campsites and the amenities you might need. Well shaded trail due to the abundance of trees on the sides. Yes time to ride this trail is when it is dry, especially for road cyclist.

around Hutchinson

Good biking with parks and a nice military memorial by the trail. Did 20 miles in this area. The trees were at their peak colors, beautiful.

Plymouth to Stubs Bay

Beautiful ride with a few busy street crossings, but scenery and path through woods are lovely. Downside is only the walkers who won’t go single file when the path is narrow. Appreciate the rest stops throughout the trail.

Nice but monotonous scenery

I was pleased to ride the newly paved trail into Winsted. From there to the end of the pavement west of Hutchinson, it's 22 miles, so 44 miles round trip. Once you hit Hutch you can go about another 6 miles past some nice lakes & river water features. Also nice parks on west end of Hutch.

The scenery though is about the same start to finish except for Hutch. It's well shaded and flat. The only hill is a bridge over a busy highway. There are some corn/bean fields & lots of buckthorn, scrub trees and swamp.

Great trail

One of my favorite trails.We have biked here multiple times and most part of the trail is flat which makes it easy to go with kids too.

Nice ride to Silver Lake once we found the trail on west side of Winsted

July 2020 - Found the beginning of the trail off of 6th St. or Babcock Ave. near the Farmer's Coop. There is a very small grassy area to park near the Coop. We stopped to ask. Last section of the trail is now paved by the airport runway, which is currently getting paved itself. Enjoyed the ride from Winsted to Silver Lake. Appoximately 18 miles round trip. Biked through shaded areas and sunny areas in between farm fields.

Open to the west of Winstead

Luce line is now paved from Cty Rd 1 in Winstead along the airport runway and reconnects to the existing trail.

Resurfacing West of Winstead

6-25-2019 trail west of Winstead getting thick, heavy asphalt resurfacing. Can't get past the heavy machinery just outside of town.

Love this trail

This is one of my favorite trails in the city. Park at the parking lot at Stubbs Bay and bike 10 miles to Watertown. Mario's is a great cafe stop before turning back. The trail is not crowded and offers beautiful views of farms, small lakes and woodlands. Some day I want to ride west of Watertown and see what Winston is like.

Paved from Winsted to Hutchinson

Last October, the section from Winsted to Hutchinson was paved. It's a great route. One hiccup to get around is small unfinished portion just west of town. The ride to Hutchinson is great. Stop by the Crow River Winery on your way in to town. Then use the miles of trails and bike routes throughout the city.

Luce Line West new pavement

This is a great new paved segment (~20 miles) of the Luce Line but it's kinda separated from the metro Luce. Hutchinson has done a nice job with parks & city trails as well as underpasses/bridges. There's also a nice city park in Hutch for camping. The day I did it they were working on intersections putting in concrete aprons.

The Winsted end is a mess. The trail abruptly ends a little west of Winsted with no signs specifying where to go. I went on a loose gravel road to get into town. East of Winsted it's a mix or loose gravel, dirt ... a slow go.

nice trail in Mpls and suburbs

We only rode 7-8 miles from Theodore Wirth to Medicine Lake and back but it was a pretty trail, interesting and mostly well maintained and marked

a good ride in the summer

I rode the trail from MM 4 to MM 12. The trail condition was very good crushed & packed gravel. A canopy of trees provide nice shade. Wildlife is to be seen--I was two separate deer crossing the trail, and a wild turkey.

My favorite at the west side of the Twin Cities

The Luce line is great for MTB's of all shapes and sizes. The further west you go the less people you see. In Winter the trail is very tough and extremely icy. From April to November it is a great trail to just pedal, enjoy the country side and clear your head. Wayzata is a great stop to re-energize. If you pass the pedestrian bridge it is a short 1 mile detour but the views of Lake Minnetonka and the refreshments are worth it. Another good but short piece of the Luce Line is the part in Theodore Wirth. Some very nice but way too short climbs and descents. This last part can be done on a road bike but the paved part really only starts once you pass the 494. I always add a few miles extra by going around Medicine Lake. A bit busy but really nice when there is no ice.



Great from the Twin Cities to Winsted

Good trail lots of nice views of lakes and farms while you are close to the cities. The trail is very flat and easy riding until Winsted. Now, google maps show the trail completed all the way past Hutchinson MN but the trail disappears just past Winsted... literally! You have to follow a dirt road for about a mile and turn left at the first cross road and then you'll find the trail again but in much worse condition. My wife and I ride recumbents so it was a bit of a leap of faith but we followed our motto and "Pressed on" eventually pulling into Hutchinson later that evening. If you stop in Hutchinson treat yourself to Zella's for dinner. In Watertown on the main street there is a little Italian place called DaVinci's that makes their own sausage that is wonderful.


Google maps bicycle option shows the Luce Line going east to within about a 1/2 mile of the trail along Lake Wirth in Minneapolis. The Hennepin County bike map shows that this gap to be completed by 2009.

The old Luce Line is flat but scenic

The Luce Line Trail is one of the few unpaved trails in MN. But the crushed rock makes for a mostly hard surface--better for a hybrid or MT bike than road. The eastern end is paved for a few miles and goes through the suburbs of Plymouth, Wayzata, Long Lake and close to Lake Minnetonka. There are quite a few intersections so be careful. Facilities are few and far between so bring your own water & nourishment. It's easy to do a shared loop with the paved Dakota Rail Trail by taking Ferndale through Wayzata and then cross back "on road" for 4 miles on CR 110 (wide paved shoulder) between Mound & Maple Plain. BTW, it 's possible to ride the Luce east into Minneapolis and connect with other city trails.

The western end has few users; with many scenic stretches in and out of the shade and past numerous horse farms, wetlands and Winsted Lake. If you want to go west of Winsted there are no signs directing you to the trail. I rode out to the airport, even on the runway and found only a sign & a mucky, dirt trail so I aborted but I guess I didn't go far enough to find the elusive trail to Silver Lake? Unless you live close, this trail is a good "once a year" ride.

Nearby Trails

Go Unlimited Today!

  • FREE Account
  • View over 40,000 miles of trail maps
  • Post your trail reviews
  • Share your trail photos
  • Save your favorite trails
  • Learn about new trails near you
  • Get a free map in the app!
Register for FREE
Purchase Unlimited

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

Log in with Google

Log in with Apple


Register for free!

Join TrailLink (a non-profit) to view more than 40,000 miles of trail maps and more!

Register with Google

Register with Apple


Your account has been deleted.