Mill Towns State Trail

Minnesota

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Mill Towns State Trail Facts

States: Minnesota
Counties: Goodhue, Rice
Length: 6 miles
Trail end points: Hannahs Bend Park (Cannon Falls) to Lake Byllesby and Mill Park (Dundas) to Sechler Park (Northfield); 17th St to Park Ave. (Faribault)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 10466243
Trail activities: Bike, Inline Skating, Fishing, Walking

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Mill Towns State Trail Description

At one time, flour and grist mills dotted the Cannon River Valley. These mills formed the backbone industry for a number of towns. The Mill Towns State Trail seeks to honor this legacy with a planned 25 mile trail that will pass through these historic milling communities: Faribault, Dundas, Northfield, Waterford, Randolph, and Cannon Falls.

Currently there are 3 segments open: One runs for 2 miles from Cannon Falls to Lake Byllesby Park, a reservoir on the Cannon River. The trail begins at Hannahs Bend Park in Cannon Falls, and its smooth asphalt winds through tranquil prairie and farmland on its way west. The river first comes into view as you approach the US Highway 52 underpass, then is screened again by vegetation right up to the end, where a bridge offers wonderful views of the Cannon River on one side, and the Lake Byllesby dam on the other. It’s only about 1/8 mile from Hannahs Bend Park to Riverside Park, where the Cannon Falls City Trails begins its brief journey alongside the Little Cannon River.  

A second segment sits at 3 miles between Dundas and Northfield. You can start at Mill Park or a little further at the designated Mill Towns State Trail trailhead. The trail heads northeast sitting between Dundas Boulevard on the left and active train tracks in the west. The trail crosses the railroad into Sechler Park and ends a little bit past that along Sechler Park Road.

The shortest open portion is just 1 mile long, between 17th Street and Park Avenue in the city of Faribault.

Parking and Trail Access

Cannon Falls to Lake Byllesby Dam

In Cannon Falls 

  • Hannahs Bend Park - parking, restrooms
  • Trailhead in Cannon Falls, located across N 9th St from Hannah Bends Park - parking

At Lake Byllesby:

  • Lake Byllesby Regional Park - parking, water fountain, restrooms

Dundas to Northfield Segment 

In Dundas:

  • Mill Park on Railway Street - parking, restrooms, picnic tables
  • Mill Towns State Trail trailhead on Railway Street - parking, water fountain, picnic area 

In Northfield:

  • Sechler Park -parking, restrooms, water fountain

Faribault

  • Trailhead at White Sands Park along SR 21 - Parking 

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