Road/Trail Biking in Minneapolis-St. Paul
Most of the trails mentioned in the Inline Skating
in Minneapolis-St. Paul page are good for bicycling, with the exception
of the HHH Metrodome. In addition, there are three crushed limestone bike
trails that have been converted from old railroad grades. These three all
start in the western suburbs, and all are relatively flat. The surfaces
are rideable by either road bikes or hybrid bikes. (Actually, you can also
ride a mountain bike on them, but why not find a real
mountain bike trail instead?)
Luce Line Trail
This trail starts in Plymouth and extends west to Winsted. It goes mostly
through open fields, with some wooded areas and a few yuppie enclaves (complete
with country clubs) in the eastern sections near Wayzata. The trail actually
continues past Winsted, but (as I understand it) has not been surfaced,
so it's only accessible to mountain bikes.
Getting there: Take Highway 394/12 west past 494 to County Road
15 (Gleason Lake Road) in Wayzata. Turn right (northeast), then make a
left (north) on Vicksburg Lane. Turn left on 10th Avenue and follow the
signs that go to the Luce Line Trail.
Pluses: A nice, long trail through rural areas. You'll get away
from civilization quickly.
Minuses: Since most of the trail is in a rural area, you'll need
to bring your own water -- there aren't any SuperAmerica stores along the
route. (There's a tavern in Lyndale, a little hamlet in the town of Independence.)
Links: There's now a Web site for the trail at http://www.luceline.com.
Southwest LRT Trail: Hopkins-Chaska Segment
This trail is supposedly slated for development as a light rail transit
line sometime in the future. This means that we'll probably be able to
enjoy it as a bike trail until 2050 or so, given the current state of political
decision-making. This is another crushed-limestone trail on a former railroad
line. It winds through Hopkins, Minnetonka, Eden Prairie, Chanhassen, and
stops just short of Chaska.
Getting there: In Hopkins, take Excelsior Blvd. (County Road
3) west to 8th Street South. Turn left into the park and ride lot. Park
your car and ride your bike.
Pluses: There's a stunning view of the Minnesota River valley
just after you get into Chanhassen.
Minuses: You end up riding through Bearpath, the Twin Cities'
first (and, let's hope, only) gated community, which is filled with rich
people who want to play golf and isolate themselves from undesirable people
(i.e. people who make less than $500,000 per year).
Southwest LRT Trail: Hopkins-Victoria Segment
This is another future (never?) light rail line. Also made of crushed limestone,
this trail goes west out of Hopkins through Minnetonka and past Lake Minnetonka
through cities such as Deephaven, Shorewood, and Excelsior before ending
Getting there: The trail cuts diagonally through downtown Hopkins.
Take Excelsior Blvd. (County Road 3) west to 8th Street. Turn right (north)
into downtown, then look for a parking lot and signs directing you to the
Pluses: This is a nice, long ride with good views of Lake Minnetonka.
Minuses: Downtown Excelsior can be kind of busy.
Here are some links to other bike map information:
More links coming soon!