Apple Valley/Eagan, Dakota County • No fee
Lebanon Hills Regional Park hosts one of the Twin Cities’ mountain bike (single-track) parks. Great hills, dense woods, plenty of obstacles, twists and turns—and it’s open year around.
What makes this Mountain Bike Park Great
Singletracks.com posts a member-driven list of Minnesota’s best mountain bike trails. Three of the top 10 are in the Twin Cities metro. Lebanon Hills is rated in the #2 spot on the list. That should tell you something! (Here’s the whole list)
MORC (Minnesota Off-Road Cyclists) and Dakota County teamed up to develop this into a top-notch trail system.
As you can see from this color-coded map, there are trails here for every skill level. Whether you need easiest or want to try extremely difficult, there’s a section for you. Here’s a page of photos from the trail. Take a look. Looks fun, eh?
What to know about Biking Here
One of the biggies: you’ll share the area with hikers in the summer, and with snowshoers and skiers in the winter. You don’t share the trails, but you’ll cross intersections now and again.
Hikers and snowshoers will be traveling far more slowly than you and will have plenty of time to stop to let you by. But skate skiers can cruise along at a good clip, so you’ll want to be aware of who’s around at the intersections.
How to Get Here
Lebanon Hills Regional Park is divided into a West Sector and East Sector. The mountain bike park is the western-most part of the West Sector (here’s the map). It’s directly north of the Minnesota Zoo.
The parking area and West Trailhead are off Johnny Cake Ridge Rd, just south of Cliff Road (incidentally, on the east side of the bike park). There’s a trailhead off the west side of the bike park, too—Galaxie Trailhead (off Galaxie Ave), but there’s no parking area there.
Don’t live close enough to Lebanon Hills to make it an easy jaunt? No worries! Grab a campsite across the street at the Lebanon Hills Campground and spend a few days. Bring your bikes…and your canoe or kayak and hiking boots right away. There’s plenty to do here at this huge regional park.
On September 22, 2018, Lebanon Hills will host the Wild Ride Mountain Bike Festival here at the park. There will be demonstrations, clinics, gear talks, kids activities and more on this all-day Saturday event. (Can we assume it’s annual?)
Check it out if you’re new to and interested in mountain biking and the singletrack world. Get the details here…
by Sharon Brodin