Bike Trails in the Twin Cities

The Minneapolis/Saint Paul metro area is absolutely loaded with bike trails. A few are along the roadways, but many are in parks and on regional and state bike trails through beautiful natural areas. listed Minneapolis/St. Paul as the Best Place to Bike-Commute Year-Round in 2017. This recognition is in part for the vast connection of trails to roadways for commuters, not just recreational bikers.

But that’s saying a lot for an urban area that’s in deep freeze a few months of the year!

The trails we highlight on Twin Cities Outdoors are those off the main roadways and in parks. There’s a vast network of interconnecting regional trails. We’ll give you info and links to find out more about those, too.

We also highlight singletrack trails for mountain bikers who are interested in more adventurous rides. And don’t forget fat bikes. For those who want to keep biking off-road all winter, Minnesota has started to maintain a few fat bike trails.

Let’s take a look at bike trails in the Twin Cities:

Anoka County (North)

Anoka County has 10 Regional Trails and several dozen miles of trails in its park system. Many of those trails and parks connect to each other. That means you can bike all day if you want to, depending on your chosen location. 

The most extensive in-park bike trail system in the county is at Bunker Hills Regional Park. The trails there, as well as from Rice Creek Park Reserve, connect with area regional trails, too.

Take a look at Biking Trails in Anoka County

Carver County (Southwest)

Of Carver County’s parks, Carver Park Reserve is your choice for in-park bike trails.

The county also hosts sections of four of the metro area’s longest regional/state trails: Luce Line State Trail, Dakota Rail Regional Trail, Minnesota River Bluff LRT Regional Trail and Minnesota Valley State Trail. Plenty to choose from here.

Take a look at Biking Trails in Carver County

biker stops to enjoy the day next to a lake, early spring
A biker stops to enjoy a beautiful spring day

Dakota County (South-Southeast)

Dakota County hosts several regional trails including Big Rivers Regional Trail, Minnesota River Greenway, Mississippi River Trail and River to River Greenway. And Lebanon Hills Regional Park has a top-notch mountain bike park.

Take a look at Biking Trails in Dakota County

Hennepin County (West-Central—includes Minneapolis)

Hennepin County has mile up mile of bike trails—both on regional trails and in its many parks. This includes the Minneapolis park system and the city itself, which is nationally known for being biker-friendly. Trails along Minnehaha Creek, the Stone Arch Bridge and Minnehaha Falls are favorites.

Up in Maple Grove is Elm Creek Park Reserve with its many miles of trails that connect with Rush Creek Regional Trail and Medicine Lake Regional Trail. Maple Plain hosts Baker Park Reserve with its trails and connections with Lake Independence Regional Trail and Luce Line Regional Trail.

You’ll find some of the best urban biking in the country on the Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway in downtown Minneapolis. This includes the midtown Greenway and trails around the Lakes: Bde Maka Ska (formerly Lake Calhoun), Lake of the Isles, Lake Harriet and Cedar Lake.

The county also maintains many miles of mountain bike trails in Elm Creek Park Reserve, Lake Rebecca Park Reserve and Theodore Wirth Park.

Take a look at Biking Trails in Hennepin County

two women bike a wooded trail
There are many wooded trails in the area for bikers

Ramsey County (East-Central—includes St. Paul)

Ramsey County is home to several parks and trails with excellent biking. Favorite trails within the city of St. Paul include part of the Gateway State Trail, Bruce Vento Regional Trail and Sam Morgan Regional Trail.

There are also fine bike paths in many of the parks including Fort Snelling State Park, Hidden Falls Regional Park, Crosby Farm Regional Park and Battle Creek Regional Park. 

Saint Paul has its own Grand Rounds bike system that includes several parks and trails along with some biking alongside city streets.

Take a look at Biking Trails in Ramsey County

Scott County (South-Southwest)

Scott County’s regional parks have some limited paved trails along with Big Woods Regional Trail for more. It also hosts part of the Minnesota Valley State Trail, which includes many miles of paved and unpaved trails.

Murphy Hannrehan Park Reserve has a popular single-track park for mountain bikers.

Take a look at Biking Trails in Scott County

Washington County (East)

The best paved-trail biking in Washington County are its two state trails—part of the Gateway Trail and Brown’s Creek State Trail. The county’s parks offer limited paved biking, while Lake Elmo Park Reserve is home to the best mountain biking in the county.

The St. Croix Crossing Loop in the city of Stillwater has some of the best scenery in the area, as long as you don’t mind a long steep climb!

Take a look at Biking Trails in Washington County

biking guide thumbnail

Twin Cities Biking Guide

Published in 2020 and updated in 2023, our 53-page digital Biking Guide is the easiest, most convenient way to find bike trails in all seven counties of the Twin Cities metro area.

Click here for the details…

Other Resources

Private Biking Websites

  • Metro Bike Trails Guide was founded by local biker Seamus Flynn and now maintained by his cousin Patrick Haney. There’s a helpful rating system based on criteria like trail beauty, maintenance, traffic and difficulty. It’s quite detailed, with reviews for specific trails. He doesn’t cover trails in Scott or Carver Counties.
  • Have Fun Biking: Lots of info about gear, local events, local shops and destinations…including blog posts covering specific trails. The site covers biking all over Minnesota and Iowa.

US Bike Routes in Minnesota

There are two US Bicycle Routes (USBR) in Minnesota, totaling over 1,000 miles! Something worth training for if you’re a biking adventure lover. A portion of each runs through the Twin Cities:

  • USBR 41 is the North Star Route: Between the State Capitol in St. Paul to the Canadian border via the North Shore. 315 miles total.
  • USBR 45 is the Mississippi River Trail: The Minnesota section is between Itasca State Park and the Mississippi’s headwaters along the river to the Iowa border. (See below)

Mississippi River Companion

This guide lists the biking, hiking, boating and other rec opportunities along the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers in the metro area. The National Park Service offers a free map booklet of the trails at the Mississippi River Visitor Center at the Science Museum in Saint Paul.

A print book is also available that goes into detail about the history, trail suggestions and hints, and the best places to see wildlife. It appears to be unavailable online…if you can believe it! Visit the Visitor Center at the Science Museum to pick up a copy.

Mississippi River Trail (Twin Cities Metro section)

USBR 45, the Mississippi River Trail, is a national bike trail that extends from the river’s headwaters in Itasca all the way down to the Gulf of Mexico. Wouldn’t that be an adventure?! 75 miles of it runs through the metro area. You can even ride on either side of the River.

Riding the whole metro route would be a great goal for families, maybe taking one segment over many different weekends. Best for older children used to riding along roadways shared by cars, as much of the Trail is that.

Go to this page for maps of the individual sections in the Twin Cities.

fat tire biker in the snow through the trees
Fat tire biking is a way to stay riding all winter long

Fat Tire Biking

There are fat bike trails groomed (or at least allowed) for winter use in some of the counties covered in TCO: Hennepin, Savage, Dakota and Ramsey.

Here are fat bike-specific resources:

Mountain Biking

The correct term is singletrack. We’ll interchange that with mountain biking since that’s what the general populous calls it.

There are several well-maintained mountain bike/singletrack parks in the metro area. We’ll cover many of those on the individual county pages.

Here are other singletrack or mountain bike resources:

Biking Guide Cover

Twin Cities Biking Guide

Published in 2020 and updated in 2023, our 54-page digital Biking Guide is the easiest, most convenient way to find bike trails in all seven counties of the Twin Cities metro area.

Click here for the details…