Minnesota River Bluffs LRT Regional Trail

Minnesota

Minnesota River Bluffs LRT Regional Trail Facts

States: Minnesota
Counties: Carver, Hennepin
Length: 19.91 miles
Trail end points: Excelsior Blvd. and Milwaukee St. (Hopkins) and Carver Bluffs Parkway and Carver Creek Circle
Trail surfaces: Crushed Stone
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6032114
Trail activities: Bike, Walking, Cross Country Skiing

With Unlimited:

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

Get Your Guidebook!

Support Trails and Pick Your FREE Guidebook Today!

When you make your gift of $35 now just $30 or more to Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, we’ll be thrilled to send you your choice of one of our 11 great guidebooks—FREE!

Minnesota River Bluffs LRT Regional Trail Description

The Minnesota River Bluffs LRT Regional Trail runs southwest from the Minneapolis suburb of Hopkins to Carver Bluffs Parkway and Carver Creek Circle. The trail is over 19 miles in length and occupies a former rail corridor originally built by the Minneapolis and St. Louis Railway and later abandoned by the Chicago and North Western Railway. The right-of-way is now owned by the Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority (HCRRA), who intends to use a short portion of the corridor in Hopkins for a future light rail line. Fortunately, the HCRRA plans to maintain the existing trail alongside the new transit option.

Begin your journey in Hopkins at the Depot Coffee House—housed in a restored train station—and trailhead between Excelsior Boulevard and Milwaukee Street. The site also contains the western endpoints for the similarly-named North Cedar Lake Regional Trail/Cedar Lake Trail and Cedar Lake LRT Regional Trail, which ultimately both take trail users to the heart of Minneapolis. Just west of the trailhead, a short trek up 8th Avenue will connect bikers, walkers and runners with the scenic Lake Minnetonka LRT Regional Trail.

The Minnesota River Bluffs LRT Regional Trail passes a number of industrial and commercial properties in Hopkins before emerging into open space next to Shady Oak Lake. Much of the rest of the route consists of a similar landscape, although residential neighborhoods make up the scenery in Eden Prairie. Popular Miller Park emerges just past State Route 5/Arboretum Boulevard. The park contains several ball fields and stunning views of Mitchell Lake.

Shortly after the trail bridge over busy US 212, the pathway runs through the grounds of Bearpath Golf and Country Club. At Riley Lake Park, play a game of softball, tennis or volleyball, or go for a swim in the park's namesake lake. The trail finally reaches its endpoint at Carver Bluffs Parkway and Carver Creek Circle. 

Parking and Trail Access

Parking for the Minnesota River Bluffs LRT Regional Trail can be found at a number of points along the trail's route. In Hopkins, park at the Depot Coffee House and trailhead between Excelsior Boulevard and Milwaukee Road or at the lot on Excelsior Boulevard at the foot of 8th Avenue. In Eden Prairie, park at Miller Park on US 212 just west of Eden Prairie Road. Alternatively, park at Riley Lake Park on Riley Lake Road north of Pioneer Trail. In Chaska, parking can be found in a small dedicated lot where the trail meets Bluff Creek Drive.

Minnesota River Bluffs LRT Regional Trail Reviews

This trail needs better signage. Unless you're a local it's easy to get lost jogging around busy intersections that lack clear signage. Once off, it's hard to correct.

Also, near the western end it's closed due to mudslides and erosion. Crushed rock makes this a slow go but at least there's few riders & some nice scenery.

This is one of my favorite getaway trails when I need to get out of the urban area but don't have time for a long drive. You can easily bike to it from the center of Minneapolis or drive out closer and start partway. It goes through some industrial zones, but as you get farther out you see nice suburuban housing and backyard woods/wetlands followed by beautiful vistas overlooking the Minnesota River. It's most flat and gravel but an easy trail to get out of the city and get back in quickly.

The lake minnetonka trail is nice, rather quiet while the minnestoa river bluffs trail is noisy, crossing freeways and busy roads.

Accordion

We ride this trail from Minnetonka Civic Center out to Carver Park with our kids. Very flat, stopping point midway in Excelsior. You can stop at Carver Park which has vending machines and water. Very few crossings so you don't have to worry about your kid getting run down by a car!

This is more of a collection of the various designated roads as well as park trails than a single trail. A PDF map of the trail system can be found here: http://www.eminnetonka.com/public_works/parks_trails/trails/new_map.pdf

Some roads designated as trail roads can be quite busy; be careful and be aware.

Considering these are crushed limestone trails in MN they're adequate, however, why have such fancy kiosks but so few restrooms, drinking fountains and benches in the shade. The northern segment (Hopkins to Victoria) is much more scenic & peaceful than the southern route which is chopped up by busy streets & freeways. It also ends abruptly onto busy 212 in Chaska where there is no signage or parking.

"This is a great trail. My friends and I ride this trail till the end, come back to Minneapolis, have lunch at Maynards, and slowly take the rest of the way home. I like the gravel on the trail. I want summer to return.

Bryan
"

"We ride this trail often with friends and relatives who live near it, so it feels like home. Although not the greatest surface (it's one of just a few of Minnesota's best trails that aren't paved), it makes for a cool summer day's ride with frequent shade, lake breezes, and very scenic marshlands. It also gets you to the Victoria House, whose menu often makes the ride more than worthwhile. Recent renovations to the trail are nearly completed, and the construction creates only minor inconvenience."

Trail Events

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

Add an Event

Nearby Trails

Minnesota Valley State Trail

Minnesota - 27.1 miles

As of spring 2016, bridge access to the Minnesota Valley State Trail was still closed at Memorial Park in Shako-pee until further notice. Check the...

Courthouse Loop Trail

Minnesota - 1 miles

The Courthouse Loop Trail is one of several trails located in the Carver County city of Chaska. As the name suggests, the trail forms a loop around...

Lake Minnetonka LRT Regional Trail

Minnesota - 15 miles

The Lake Minnetonka LRT Regional Trail begins in the vicinity of Eighth Avenue North in downtown Hopkins, just a few blocks north of the eastern...

Accordion

Dakota Rail Regional Trail

Minnesota - 26.6 miles

Sections of the Dakota Rail Regional Trail, which extends westward from the Minneapolis suburbs situated along Lake Minnetonka, have been opening...

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...

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...

North Cedar Lake Regional Trail/Cedar Lake Trail

Minnesota - 9 miles

This paved trail links Minneapolis’s Warehouse District to both the Minnesota River Bluffs LRT Regional Trail and the Cedar Lake LRT Regional Trail in...

Cedar Lake LRT Regional Trail

Minnesota - 4.5 miles

The Cedar Lake Light Rail Transit (LRT) Regional Trail is an integral component of Hennepin County’s extensive trail network, in which rail-trails...

Minnesota River Greenway

Minnesota - 3.8 miles

A segment of the Minnesota River Greenway, spanning just shy of 4 miles, opened in June 2017. The paved trail traces the southern bank of the...

Grand Rounds Scenic Byway

Minnesota - 50 miles

At the heart of Minneapolis’ world class trail system in the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway, a series of interconnected parks and parkways that loop around...

Medicine Lake Regional Trail

Minnesota - 15.64 miles

Medicine Lake Regional Trail offers a plethora of experiences along its nearly 16-mile length. Kicking off in the Elm Creek Park Reserve in the north,...

Midtown Greenway (MN)

Minnesota - 5.5 miles

The 5.5-mile Midtown Greenway follows a former railroad corridor through the heart of south Minneapolis, heading due west from the Mississippi River...

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