Jun 28, 2021 - Sports

5 great bike rides across the Twin Cities metro

A photo of a gray bicycle rested against the trunk of a tree.

Photo: Nick Halter/Axios

It's a great time of year for bike rides in the Twin Cities.

Axios' Nick Halter has biked roughly 20,000 miles along metro trails, and he's come up with a list of his top favorite rides.

  • Of note: All of these can be shortened or lengthened if you change your starting point.

Gateway Trail: Phalen Regional Park to Stillwater (33 miles round trip)

  • Pedal through rolling farmland and end in downtown Stillwater, where you can grab a bite to eat or even spend the night at a hotel, as some do.

North Cedar Lake Trail: Downtown Minneapolis to Excelsior (33 miles round trip)

  • You quickly go from skyscrapers to meadows just west of downtown, then pass gorgeous homes in Deephaven.

Minnehaha Falls to Raspberry Island (18.6 miles round trip)

  • Ride past Fort Snelling and then down into the heavily wooded Lilydale Park next to the Mississippi River.
  • Of note: There's a detour near Mendota.

Minneapolis Grand Rounds (up to 51 miles)

  • You could choose any number of routes on this trail system that goes through every quadrant of the city. Nick's favorite 25-mile stretch includes the Chain of Lakes, the lush Theodore Wirth Park and the Mississippi River.

Cannon Valley Trail: Cannon Falls to Red Wing (43 miles round trip, or 21 miles if you pedal to Welch and come back)

  • It's debatable if this is part of the Twin Cities metro, but it's a quick drive either way. The trail follows the Cannon River and it's gorgeous.
  • Heads up: There's a $5 trail fee.

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