Ramsey, Anoka County • Daily or annual park pass needed
Of the three Rum River Parks in the Anoka County Park system, Rum River Central is the largest and best for hiking and trail running.
Why You’ll Love Hiking Here
This Park feels off-the-beaten path and so is very quiet. It’s very beautiful, too, and definitely worth checking out even if you have to drive a ways to visit.
All of the trails here—aside from the horse trails—are paved and multi-use. They weave through mostly woods, but also through some stretches of restored prairie. You’ll walk or run along the Rum River in places, too.
The mileage listed on the Park’s PDF map is in segments, so you can do the math if you want! Based on the pedometer I keep in my pocket, we walked about 4 miles in all (keeping to the paved trails). Very nice for an hour’s walk. If you hiked the horse trails you’d probably add twice that distance.
We visited on a Wednesday in September, so there were only a handful of others using the trails and no paddlers on the Rum. But in the summer months and on weekends, the Rum River Water Trail gets plenty of use, as do the paved trails.
The horse trails are natural surface and even prettier than the paved trails. We walked along one of those for awhile too, since there were no riders in the Park at the time. It looked like they get plenty of use, too. In fact, a truck and trailer were just coming in as we left. What a beautiful ride!
Even with their nice cross country ski trail system in the winter, there’s a decent amount of plowed trails here for winter hiking, too. Here’s Rum River’s winter map.
What Else is at Rum River Central
The Rum River is a popular water trail for paddling that starts up at Mille Lacs Lake. There’s a canoe camping site here at Central—one of the few in the Twin Cities area. You can launch here and go downriver to Rum River South, just before it reaches the Mississippi River. Or you can launch up at Rum River North and take your canoe or kayak down to Central, here.
Of course the paved trails are open to bikers, too. Currently, the trails within the park aren’t connected to the regional trail system, but plans are in place for a 20-mile regional trail to connect all three Rum River parks.
There are several kilometers of groomed cross country ski trails in the winter, mostly intermediate because of the hilly terrain. Off-trail snowshoeing is great here, too—hills for some challenge and the river, if it’s open, is always interesting.
Get our free one-page “Best Hiking Trails” download
NOTE: The $30 Annual Permit is good for all Anoka County, Washington County and Carver County Regional Parks. A perfect reason to see more of the parks!