Hike & Run: Trails in the Twin Cities

rum river central regional park
Hiking trail in Rum River Central Regional Park, Anoka County

Do you hike, walk, run or jog? If you want to get off the roads and sidewalks and onto paved and natural trails, you have miles and miles to choose from in the Twin Cities area.

We’ve divided the trails by county so you can easily choose the area where you live or where you want to visit. We’ve also limited our selection to those trails that are NOT along roadways.

While we include paved trails, we highlight natural-surface trails. Not only do they give us a more traditional “hiking” experience, these trails are easier on our bodies! Of course they’re perfect for trail running and not just hiking.

Anoka County (North)

Anoka County has 18 regional and county parks. 13 of them offer enough trails in natural areas to be worth listing. Most of these trails are dual-purpose for both foot traffic and bicycles, although some are natural-surface trails for foot traffic only.

Head over to Hiking & Running Trails in Anoka County

Carver County (Southwest)

Carver County has three regional parks, two of which have a small network of trails for foot traffic. It also hosts Carver Park Reserve with 36 miles of trails.

Head over to Hiking & Running Trails in Carver County

Dakota County (South-Southeast)

Dakota County has six regional and county parks. What sets them apart is the natural surface trails—they offer more than any other county. Not only are those easier on our bodies, but quieter, too since they’re designated for foot traffic only.

Head over to Hiking & Running Trails in Dakota County

Hennepin County (West-Central, includes Minneapolis)

Hennepin County has 19 parks and reserves, including the gorgeous Chain of Lakes Regional Park—famous for its trails around several lakes right in Minneapolis. Many of the parks are more remote, too.

Head over to Hiking & Running Trails in Hennepin County

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

Ramsey County has 16 regional parks, preserves and trails perfect for hiking and running. Some are paved and multi-use, but many are natural surface trails for foot traffic only.

Head over to Hiking & Running Trails in Ramsey County

Scott County (South-Southwest)

Scott County has three regional parks, two of which have a small networks of trails for foot traffic. It also hosts part of the Minnesota Valley State Trail, which includes many miles of unpaved trails.

Head over to Hiking & Running Trails in Scott County

Washington County (East)

Washington County is home to eight Regional Parks, State Parks and reserves with some of the best, most extensive trails in the Metro area. Part of that is because its eastern border in the St. Croix River, with its gorgeous river valley.

Head over to Hiking & Running Trails in Washington County


Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge (Southcentral & Southwestern Twin Cities)

This 14,000-acre Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge borders several Twin Cities counties and offers 34 miles of hiking trails through forests and wetlands. The northeastern-most unit is just across the Minnesota River from Fort Snelling State Park.

Read: Hiking in the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge


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