Soo Line Recreational Trail

Minnesota

Soo Line Recreational Trail Facts

States: Minnesota
Counties: Morrison, Stearns
Length: 10.5 miles
Trail end points: US Highway 10 (Royalton) and Lake Wobegon Trail at 450th St. (Holdingford)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6218148
Trail activities: Bike, Inline Skating, Wheelchair Accessible, 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

Soo Line Recreational Trail Description

The Soo Line Recreational Trail is a continuation of the Soo Line Trail (southern route) just north of Royalton, Minnesota. This 10-mile segment, however, does not permit motorized uses, unlike its connecting segment to the northeast.

The Soo Line Recreational Trail continues southwest from Royalton along the abandoned railroad corridor to meet up with the Lake Wobegon Trail just north of Holdingford at 450th Street. The trail crosses the Mississippi River at Blanchard Dam, passing among farmland, wooded areas and creek bottoms. The trail runs through the small community of Bowlus just south of midway. The Stearns County portion (at the Lake Wobegon Trail end in Albany) is being developed as the Dairyland Trail.

Parking and Trail Access

You can access the Soo Line Recreational Trail just north of Royalton at US 10 and Township Road 316/83rd St., where you'll find a large parking area. There is a small parking area on the west bank of the Mississippi River at Blanchard Dam (access via Great River Rd.). Parking is also available in Bowlus south of Main St near its deadend on the east side of town.

Soo Line Recreational Trail Reviews

I had been on the Lake Wobegon trail many years ago to where it dead-ended north of Holdingford. Now I finally made it back to ride the extension to the Mississippi River and back. For added thrills I also rode to Albany for lunch and returned.

There seem to be at least 3 trails in Minnesota that use the Soo Line name so it gets a little confusing. This one is an extension of the spur line of the Lake Wobegon trail, starting a little north of Holdingford, which is itself north of Albany, which is on I-94 west of the Twin Cities.

Holdingford has a nice trailhead with all the facilities and a real-life boxcar for added atmosphere. The transition from Lake Wobegon to Soo Line trail is seamless.

The trail is wide, smooth, and has only a couple road crossings of any consequence. The Mississippi River bridge is quite spectacular; I stopped and took in the views of the river and dam for a while. Shortly after that I came to the end of the paved trail where it changes to ATV use. There's one highway bridge where both kinds of vehicles are allowed, but I didn't see any ATVs while I was there, and I doubt that there are many conflicts.

The northern trailhead was not as well-appointed as Holdingford, but still had the basic facilities. There was also a nice trailhead mid-trail in Bowlus.

Smooth, flat, scenic. A very nice ride.

It's a nice smooth ride with great food at Jordie's along the way. Worth a visit.

I loved this trail. Nice, clean and flat. It gives a good view of the countryside as you traverse the miles of trail. I had no clue where this ended as it flawlessly merges with the Wobegon trail for way more mileage that I could have done in my short timeframe. There are multiple little wooden bridges. I took a little rest at Bowlus. Wish I had time to stop by the little café I saw. I would definitely ride this one again!

Accordion

My wife and I just rode the trail from Royalton to Holdingford. Really great scenery along the way. We saw deer, I saw what I believe to be an osprey at the Mississippi River, with a fish in it's talons(didn't see it long)! Lots of shade along the way.
The trailhead is just over 3 miles, out of Royalton. You cannot miss the beautiful bike bridge going over Highway 10.
The distance from the Royalton Trailhead, to Holdingford is 13 miles.
Get out and enjoy. Well worth the trip!!
Jeff

We started from highway 10 heading west. If you start at 8 or 9am you get maximum shade but it is well shaded with deciduous trees much of the day. The rolling farm fields and sloughs and afew creeks provide for a beautiful ride. We stopped at Jordie's in Bowlus but they only serve their buffet breakfast until noon. However the 1907 hamburger will not disappoint but you better be hungry if you choose 2 patties! they also have ice cream.

Our first bike ride of the season came on 4/27/13 on the first warm sunny day. What we weren't expecting was the snow covering the trail at several locations! We found the scenery nice and the ride pleasant and will be back again when ALL the snow is gone!
Word of advice: don't wear open toed sandals, your feet will get very cold :-)

I rode this from the end of the Lake Wobegon Trail until it ended at the start of the ATV trail at hwy. 10. There is parking and facilities in Holdingford and Bowlus and a pit toilet and parking at hwy 10. The trail is flat and crosses a few streams and the Mississippi on a high bridge. The bridges on this trail are very rough since the planks are cupped. The bridge over the Mississippi is very near a dam and that makes it interesting. There is some shade on this trail but not a large amount. You'll ride past swampy areas and farm fields.
Even with the rough bridges I liked this trail.

Trail Events

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

Add an Event

Nearby Trails

Lake Wobegon Trail

Minnesota - 60 miles

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...

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...

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...

Accordion

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Cuyuna Lakes State Trail

Minnesota - 7 miles

The Cuyuna Lakes State Trail winds its way through northern hardwoods and spruce/pine forests along the shores of 6 natural lakes and 15 clear,...

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...

Download the TrailLink mobile app and take TrailLink with you!
Support trails with a tax-deductible gift by December 31!
Order Your 2018 RTC Trail Calendar for Beautiful Trails All Year Long!

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