Scott County has three parks, all of which have both paved and unpaved trails for hiking and running. The county also hosts part of the Minnesota Valley State Trail, which includes many miles of unpaved trails.
Cleary Lake Regional Park (Prior Lake)
Very popular Cleary Lake Regional Park has 8.4 miles of natural-surface and paved trails, including a loop around Cleary Lake. You’ll enjoy a variety of terrain and scenery there. Here’s the Cleary Lake summer map.
Are you a camper? Cleary Lake Campground has direct access to the trail system.
In the winter, most of the trails are groomed for cross country skiing, which are off-limits to hikers. But the paved trail around Cleary Lake stays open for winter hikers. Here’s the winter map.
Minnesota Valley State Trail (Jordan)
Found within Minnesota Valley State Recreation Area, the Minnesota Valley State Trail is a 27-mile multi-use trail that’s paved from Shakopee to Chaska, and unpaved from Chaska to Belle Plain.
This scenic, diverse trail is fabulous for long runs and out-and-back hikes. The trail is also popular with bikers and horseback riders. Here’s the map.
Because of its location along the Minnesota River, portions of the trail are prone to flooding in the spring and after heavy rains.
The trail is ungroomed during the winter, and open to cross country skiing, winter hiking and snowshoeing. It’s also open to snowmobilers, just FYI.
Spring Lake Regional Park (Prior Lake)
374 acres of hardwood forest and wetlands, Spring Lake Regional Park has almost 4.5 miles of paved multi-use hiking trails through diverse terrain.
The trails there connect directly to the Scott West Regional Trail on the north end, and the Spring Lake Regional Trail on the south end. Here’s the year-round map.
Murphy-Hanrehan Park Reserve (Savage)
Birders are in for a treat on these trails, designated an Important Bird Area by the National Audobon Society. You’ll get a great workout hiking the hills, too, as there are plenty of them over a varied terrain.
The winter hiking trails are greatly reduced—down to 2.4—because the rest of the trail system and more is groomed for cross country skiing. Those groomed trails are off-limits to hikers. Here’s the winter map.
Twin Cities Hiking & Trail Running Guide
Published in 2020, our 48-page digital Hiking & Trail Running Guide is the easiest way to find hiking and running trails in all seven counties of the Twin Cities metro area.