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Located in Hennepin County, the West Mississippi River Regional Trail is a growing trail project that will one day stretch 20 miles through Dayton, Champlin, Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn Center. There are existing trail segments in the latter two communities, connecting to some of the St. Paul /Minneapolis' metro region's most popular regional parks and trails
The asphalt trail begins at the Champlin/ Brooklyn Park line and parallels West River Road to the Mississippi Gateway Regional Park, a 160-acre riverside recreation area whose highlights include the walkway atop Coon Rapids Dam and educational river habitat exhibits housed in the Visitor Center. There it links up to the Rush Creek Regional Trail which stretches west to the Elm Creek Park Reserve in Maple Grove. Continuing south through the Gateway Park, the trail continues through Brooklyn Park into Brooklyn Center, to the conclusion of West River Road just north of I-694. This initial segment doesn't offer much in the way of river views, but still provides an easy and enjoyable ride through the city with generous greenery.
To continue on the MRT route, users must ride to the cul-de-sac at the end of Willow Street, a residential street. Signage guides users down the road to the start of the next off-street segment, which goes through the North Mississippi Regional Park. The linear park is walled by the I-94 freeway. The riverine trail follows the west bank of the languid river. It is a great way for users to experience the wildlife-rich Mississippi ecosystem. Walk, run or ride through the prairie and old tree groves and you will find deer, beavers, herons, eagles and more. The in-park portion of the trail is relatively short, only about 1.6 miles but there is also a connection to the Twin Lakes Regional Trail as well as other trails in Minneapolis.
The West Mississippi River Regional Trail is managed by the Three Rivers Park District.
On the north side of the trail, you can park at the Mississippi Gateway Regional Park (10360 W River Rd, Brooklyn Park, MN 55444).
Near the south end of the trail, 49th Avenue provides a the main park access point for the North Mississippi Regional Park (5700 Lyndale Ave N., Brooklyn Center). From 49th Avenue, you’ll turn right to park at the Carl Kroening Interpretive Center. Alternatively, you can turn left and take Lyndale Road N. to the official park entrance and parking lot on N. Mississippi Drive.
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