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Minneapolis Bike Trails and Scenic Routes

Whether you use your own bike, or the city’s convenient bike share program, Nice Ride, take on Minneapolis by bike! Consistently ranked as one of the top bike cities in the country, Minneapolis boasts a complex network of bike paths and individual trails. Rain or shine, this city is adamant about its biking. Whether you’re going for a joy ride, looking for a workout, or biking to work, river views and cityscapes plus the perfect medley of natural and urban sights makes biking in Minneapolis a breathtaking adventure. Here are some of the most convenient and scenic bike routes to take in Minneapolis:

The Midtown Greenway - Along a 5.5-mile long former railroad corridor in south Minneapolis, the Midtown Greenway is made of three lanes – two for biking and one for runners. Well maintained, the route is plowed in the winter, lit at night and open 24/7. For most of its distance, the paths are separated from streets, making for a safe and barrier-free ride always. Along the west, the Greenway connects with the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes and the Southwest LRT Trail, while along the east it adjoins with trails along the Mississippi River.

The Chain of Lakes - Take in the beauty of the City of Lakes with a bike ride along this unique route. Encompassing the shorelines of Brownie Lake, Cedar Lake, Lake of the Isles, Bda Maka Ska (formerly Lake Calhoun) and Lake Harriet, this over 15-mile route consists of trails connecting each lake to the next. Whether you circle them all or choose one to do some laps, you will never run out of impressive views.

Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway - This one speaks for itself! The corridors of this route are open to drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists. About 50 miles long, the roughly circular byway consists of a linked series of parks and weaves through seven segments of the city. From the Downtown Riverfront, Mississippi River and Minnehaha to the Chain of Lakes, Theodore Wirth Park, Victory Memorial and Northeast, this ride takes dedication. One of the country’s longest continuous systems of public urban parkways, you’re bound to pass by more than just lakes, including woodlands, riverbanks, wetlands, lagoons, gardens and parkways.

Minneapolis River Parkways - The East and West River Parkways are fairly self-explanatory, but we’ll fill you in. Located on the east and west banks of the Mississippi River and extending into St. Paul, these corridors are ideal for a perfect bike ride. Make your way from downtown along West River Parkway and across the Mississippi River at Franklin Ave. Take a small detour into Prospect Park and visit the Witch’s Hat Tower at Tower Hill Park for an incredible view of the Minneapolis skyline and a short breather. Head back on East River Parkway to finish with another beautiful view of the city across the Stone Arch Bridge.

For the hardcore biker, these routes near Theodore Wirth and Brownie Lake Park are made just for you.

The Back 40 Loop is nearly 3 miles of intermediate single-track riding and is accessible by bike off of the Luce Line Trail in Theodore Wirth Park.

The South Loop is nearly 1 mile of intermediate single-track riding. Accessible from Theodore Wirth Parkway, south of the railroad track bridge.

The Glenwood Spur route is approximately 1 mile of intermediate biking. The trail is accessible from the Northwest corner of Theodore Wirth Parkway and Glenwood Avenue.

The Southwest Loop encompasses nearly 2 miles of intermediate single-track riding and is accessible from the Southwest corner of Theodore Wirth Parkway and Glenwood Avenue.

The Brownie Lake Loop is about 1.5 miles of varying difficulties. Ranging from intermediate to extreme difficulty and expert difficulty, this route is not for beginners. The route includes steep rock climbs and descents, technical features and requires expert skills to ride safely.


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