The best paved-trail biking in Washington County are its two state trails—and those are very nice. The county’s parks offer some limited biking, with Lake Elmo sporting the best mountain biking in the county.
Washington County doesn’t have a ton of information on their website about their parks, but they have this brochure that has some good info. Biking isn’t a thing at either Afton or William O’Brien State Parks, which is why they’re not listed here.
NOTE: You’ll need a Washington County vehicle permit for the regional parks (which is also good for Anoka County’s regional parks).
Big Marine Park Reserve (Marine on St. Croix)
There’s very little biking at Big Marine Park Reserve, as most of it is designated for preservation. The 1.5 mile paved trail would be great for families with young kids, though. It’s not maintained during the winter. Here’s the map.
Brown’s Creek State Trail (Grant to Stillwater)
Lovely 6-mile Brown’s Creek State Trail is a paved trail that’s open to foot and bike traffic. Much of it goes through mature forest so there’s plenty of shade for hot summer days. The lower half runs alongside Brown’s Creek before turning alongside the St. Croix River.
It’s not maintained during the winter months. Here’s the Brown’s Creek map.
Cottage Grove Ravine Regional Park (Cottage Grove)
There are 4 miles of paved bike trails in 515-acre Cottage Grove Ravine Park, and since it’s not a loop it’s easy to make it 8 miles. There are plenty of hills here, and a mix of forest and open prairies. You might get snatches of St. Croix River views, depending on what time of year you’re there.
The trail is not maintained during the winter. Here’s the summer map.
Gateway State Trail (St. Paul, Maplewood, North St. Paul, Oakdale)
18-mile multi-use Gateway State Trail runs through Washington County. Alongside runs 10 miles of unpaved trails for horses. One trailhead is in Pine Point Regional Park near Stillwater and the other is in Saint Paul.
It connects up with the Brown’s Creek State Trail in Grant if you’d like a detour into Stillwater. Here’s the map.
Hardwood Creek Regional Trail (Hugo, Forest Lake)
While not the most peaceful trail you’ll ride as it’s right next to Highway 61 the entire 10 miles, it’s better and much safer than riding on the highway’s shoulder!
This is a multi-use and pretty heavily-used trail, so you’ll be sharing it with others. It’s not maintained during the winter. A map is on this page.
Lake Elmo Park Reserve (Lake Elmo)
Lake Elmo Park Reserve has 5.4 miles of paved trails in its 2,000+ acres with lots of lakes views and hills. Then there are 14 miles of shared turf trails that are open to mountain bikers. Again, plenty of lake views and hills, along with open prairie and forest.
Lake Elmo is one of the few parks in the county where biking is open during the winter. A little over 3 miles of the paved trail is kept plowed while 7 miles of the turf trail is “packed.” Here’s the Lake Elmo Park summer map and here’s the winter map.
Pine Point Regional Park (Stillwater)
Pine Point Regional Park is a peaceful natural area with forest, lakes and marshes. There’s just 1.5 miles of mountain biking in the park (great for kids starting out?). The main draw for bikers here is that’s it’s the east trailhead for the Gateway State Trail. Here’s the summer trail map.
The single track trail is open to fat tire biking in the winter. Snowshoers and winter hikers may share the trail, too. Here’s the winter map.
Point Douglas Regional Trail (Hastings)
Point Douglas Regional Trail is a 2.5-mile paved trail that starts in Point Douglas Park, at the confluence of the St. Croix and Mississippi Rivers. It runs into downtown Hastings. From there you can connect with the Dakota County Regional Trail system.
You’ll get lovely views along the Mississippi River. Great for families! Here’s the map.
St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park (Hastings)
St. Croix Bluffs isn’t a great biking destination. There’s just 1 mile of paved trail from the entrance to the campground. That might be a draw for families who want to camp there with young kids! Here’s the summer map.
No biking in the winter as that trail is groomed for cross country skiing.