The 5.5-mile Midtown Greenway follows a former railroad corridor through south Minneapolis, heading due west from the Mississippi River to the neighborhood of West Calhoun in the scenic Chain of Lakes Area. The paved pathway is only 1 block north of the improving Lake Street corridor and runs parallel to the road for most of its route, thus providing a safe alternative for cyclists and pedestrians to travel on the busy street.
Much of the trail is below-grade as a direct result of a 1912 mandate by the Minneapolis City Council for the Milwaukee Road to dig a trench for their rail line. In the present day, the decision ensures that trail users have minimal contact with vehicular traffic. East of State Route 55/Hiawatha Avenue, the Minnesota Commercial Railway operates trains on the corridor to this day. This section of the Midtown Greenway is an example of a successful rail-with-trail project. Busy Hiawatha Avenue is crossed via the stunning Martin Olav Sabo Bridge, which is open exclusively for bicycle and pedestrian use. Just east of the bridge, trail users can pick up the Hiawatha Trail to travel north to downtown Minneapolis or south to Minnehaha.
On its western end, the Midtown Greenway connects directly to the Cedar Lake LRT Regional Trail, which links Minneapolis to the suburbs of St. Louis Park, Hopkins and beyond via other connecting trails. Traveling north on the Kenilworth Trail—also located at the Midtown Greenway's western end—leads trail users to the longer North Cedar Lake Regional Trail/Cedar Lake Trail.
In the east, bicyclists and pedestrians can seamlessly join the West River Parkway for a longer ride, run or walk along the Mississippi River. In the future, a streetcar line may be installed in the Midtown Greenway corridor, although a separated trail would still be maintained. There has also been local interest in extending the trail east over the Mississippi River into the Prospect Park neighborhood of Minneapolis and onward into St. Paul, but there are no concrete plans at this time.
The Midtown Greenway can be accessed from the following locations: Kenilworth Trail, Calhoun Village Shopping Area, Dean Parkway, Lake of the Isles Parkway, James Avenue S., Irving Avenue S., Humboldt Avenue S., Bryant Avenue S., Nicollet Avenue, 5th Avenue S., Park Avenue S., 10th Avenue S., 11th Avenue S., 13th Avenue S., 18th Avenue S., E. 28th Street, Hiawatha Avenue, Minnehaha Avenue, 26th Avenue S., 27th Avenue S., 29th Avenue S., 30th Avenue S., and West River Parkway.
Street parking can be found within two blocks of most of these access points.