10 Best Bike Trails in Minnesota

Best Bike Trails in Minnesota Two People Riding Bikes on a Dirt Trail with Tall Grass Along the Sides

Cities in Minnesota have been making an effort to make their cities more bikeable. That effort has led to the creation of numerous bike trails around the state. Finding the best bike trails in Minnesota means venturing out and exploring as many as possible.

Discovering the premier bike trails in Minnesota is an invitation to experience the state's beauty in a unique way, one trail at a time.

10 Best Bike Trails in Minnesota

Discovering the premier bike trails in Minnesota is an invitation to experience the state’s natural beauty in a unique and exhilarating way, one trail at a time. One of the reasons Minnesota has been doing so well with the integration of trails is the railroad system.

Minnesota was an agricultural state that relied heavily on the railroad systems to transport goods all around the country. Minnesota still produces many of the country’s agricultural goods, but the railroad has all but gone extinct. Those old railroad tracks have lied dormant for decades.

Best Bike Trails in Minnesota a Bike Leaned Up Against a Wall in a Home

Minnesota has decided to turn those railways into trails, a rails-to-trails project. These trails have become popular for hiking, walking, jogging, and biking. They each offer beautiful views of Minnesota and an opportunity to experience the state differently.

No matter where you bike, do so safely and in style. ProLids gives kids the opportunity to express themselves in unique ways while staying protected in the event of a fall.

Best Bike Trails in Minnesota a Bike on a Trail with a Lake in the Distance

Root River State Trail

Many paved trails come from old railroad tracks, meaning they are long. These trails can stretch for miles and miles, but there’s no need to start and finish a trail. Root River State Trail is a great example; it is 42 miles long!

This trail traverses bluff lands filled with animal life, including turkeys, hawks, foxes, deer, and so much more. However, you aren’t too far removed from civilization. You can explore one of the many small towns and communities along the trail, such as Lanesboro, Whalan, Rushford, or Peterson.

These small communities are perfect for dining and exploring.

Best Bike Trails in Minnesota Close Up of a Bike's Handlebars with a Trail Beneath it

Central Lake Trails

The lakes are a big draw to Minnesota. People travel from around the country to check out lake life at Lake Christina. The Central Lake Trails offer a fantastic way to explore numerous lakes. The paved trails cover 55 miles and connect to other trails that extend 65 miles further.

That’s plenty of opportunity to experience the best bike trails in Minnesota. Not to mention, the lakes have plenty of wildlife, from birds and fish to mammals and even a 15-foot-tall sculpture of an otter.

Best Bike Trails in Minnesota a Person Riding a Bike Next to a Wooden Fence

Midtown Greenway

Biking through cities is often a bit more complicated because no pathways avoid entirely cars. However, Midtown Greenway is a trail that comes from an old railway track that was carved out of Minneapolis 20 feet below street level.

This railway-turned-paved trail is only 5.5 miles long but has some of the most beautiful history along each mile. The trail is a great way to explore the city without needing to avoid cars.

Best Bike Trails in Minnesota a Person Standing on a Cliff Holding a Bike Looking at the Sun Rising

Red Jacket Trail

There are plenty of rural trails to explore as well. Red Jacket Trail takes you over three different railroad trestles. A railroad trestle is a bridge that goes over rivers. This trail combines rural and urban scenery, connecting to Mankato’s city trail network.

This trail makes for a great weekend outing with stunning views of the Blue Earth River from 80 feet above.

Best Bike Trails in Minnesota a Blue Bike Leaning Up Against a Brick Wall

Cannon Valley Trail

There is no better way to check out the natural beauty of Minnesota than on one of the best bike trails in Minnesota. Cannon Valley Trail showcases nature in ways other trails can’t compete with. The trail starts at Cannon Falls, goes to Red Wing, and hugs the Cannon River.

The trail passes through wildflower fields and is bordered by cliffs. It is a beautiful ride and even better during the spring.

Best Bike Trails in Minnesota a Bike on its Kickstand on a Trail Through a Forest

Gateway/Brown’s Creek State Trail

Starting the trail in an urban setting makes access easier. This trail quickly escapes urban life and dives head-first into nature in just a few short miles. The trail is open to all sorts of transportation. You will find bikers, hikers, joggers, walkers, and even horseback riders on this trail. 

Best Bike Trails in Minnesota a Person Standing Next to a Bike on a Trail Overlooking a Field of Golden Grass

Luce Line Trail

Not all of the best bike trails in Minnesota are entirely paved. Luce Line Trail is one of those unpaved trails perfect for biking. The trail traverses wetlands near lakes, prairie remnants, and a beach. The trail leads through Theodore Wirth Regional Park as well.

This park offers many activities like fishing, disc golf, and more. A great idea would be to bike to the park and spend the day outdoors enjoying Minnesota’s nature. 

Best Bike Trails in Minnesota a Bike Leaning on its Kick Stand on a Trail Lined with Trees in a Forrest Area

Heartland State Trail

The Heartland State Trail is one of multiple interconnecting trails that have become the state’s most visited recreational trail systems. This trail goes through various towns, resorts, and parks. Each of these destinations along the trails offers different amenities that riders can take advantage of for breaks or adventures.

The trail goes for six miles but connects to other trails, offering longer rides for those who want more.

Best Bike Trails in Minnesota Close Up of a Person Riding a Bike on a Paved Trail Lined with Tall Brown Grass

Mesabi Trail

One of the longest best bike trails in Minnesota is the Mesabi Trail. This trail goes for more than 135 miles! The trail goes through over two dozen communities and passes the historic Mesabi Iron Range. You will experience the mining heritage that helped grow Minnesota and the beautiful nature that northeastern Minnesota is known for.

Best Bike Trails in Minnesota a Man Riding a Bike on a Gravel Trail Lined with Grass

Medicine Lake Regional Trail

This is one of the best bike trails in Minnesota, connecting Elm Creek Park Reserve to Fish Lake and French Regional Parks. The trail is lined with beautiful trees that tower above you as you ride. The parks and beaches along the route also offer great rest stops.

The trail is part of the Three Rivers Park District, which means there is much to explore on this 20-mile trail.