Maplewood/Saint Paul—Ramsey County • No fee
Battle Creek Regional Park offers both paved trail biking and some great mountain biking. Plenty of hills, plenty of woods and pretty Battle Creek, too.
Battle Creek is divided into two sectors, East and West, split by McKnight Road. The East side is intact, but the West side is quite sprawling, reaching around some of the local neighborhoods.
This is a really beautiful park with lots of mature trees, some open prairie, a few ponds and wetlands. Lovely little Battle Creek runs through the West side.
Battle Creek East
I started in Battle Creek East from the parking lot off Lower Afton Road. Neither the website nor the online map gives any mileage info, and I didn’t want to sit there and add up the mileage on the sign at the trailhead!
So I just started off on the loop (in green below, right side) to see where it would take me. I was back to the parking lot within 20 minutes.
This is a perfect route for a family with young bikers. There are quite a few small hills, but nothing unmanageable for little legs. A very pleasant ride for me, just too short!
A highlight was getting to see this massive cottonwood alongside the trail:
Battle Creek West
If I had planned better, I would’ve known I could’ve connected to the West side from that loop. But instead, I packed up my bike and drove over to the parking area on the far west side.
That actually proved a good idea for a couple of reasons. First, these lovely Hmong women were enjoying the creek on this hot day and agreed to let me take their picture (and publish it here):
Then I saw this lovely lady—she had just finished drinking in the creek:
They were worth the extra trip!
I’ll show you the map again to point something out:
I knew this would be an out-and-back ride, which I’m totally fine with. But I didn’t make it as far as I thought because…most of it was uphill!
It’s not steep, but it’s looooong. And my legs were burning by this time, not having biked much this season yet. So I turned around up there at the top and cruised back down.
I do want to go back sometime so I can bike the whole park in one ride. It really is beautiful. The hills—while not my favorite thing—make it interesting, not to mention a great workout.
Battle Creek has 10 miles of mountain bike trails that were developed in partnership with Minnesota Off-Road Cyclists. MORC has better information than the City of Saint Paul about these trails, which you can find here.
MORC’s website says there are hills, but the climbs are pretty short. The trails are good for riders of all ability levels.
What Else is at Battle Creek Regional Park?
There’s lots of hiking at Battle Creek. Of course, all the paved trails are available, and there are many natural-surface trails, too.
The park is well-known for its cross country skiing. In fact on the West side, the trail system has recently been redeveloped. There’s lighted skiing and they make snow for some of the trails. This is a great spot for advanced skiers especially, because of all the hills.
The East side has some great skiing for less-advanced folks with smaller hills.
There’s an off-leash dog park in the East sector adjacent to the trail system.
How to Get There
Battle Creek Regional Park is just south of Interstate 94 and along the east side of Highway 61/10.
My GPS took me to the park, technically, but not to a parking lot. I had to re-enter “Battle Creek Entrance” to reach an actual parking area.
I recommend planning a bit better than I did as there are several different parking lots to choose from (as you can see by scrolling back up to the map). All of them have direct access to the paved trails except the largest lot by the Recreation Center (off Winthrop Street on the West side).
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.