Top 5 trails in the Twin Cities

Categories: Cycling
Midtown Greenway yellow cr Mulad via Flikr.jpg
Mulad
Did you know that you can get just about anywhere in the Twin Cities via bike path? The following list features three of our favorite trails in the metro area, plus two paths essential for escaping the big-city bustle.

See also:
Top 10 bike shops in the Twin Cities
30 Days of Biking kicks off Saturday, March 31


Midtown Greenway cr vinzcha via flikr.jpg
vinzcha
Midtown Greenway
(midtowngreenway.org)

If you're surprised to see the Greenway here, slap yoself. Picturesque and well-maintained, it's like a highway from the future for alternative transportation. The route is nearly six miles long, and has three lanes: two for cyclists and one for walkers and joggers. Its highlights include the Martin Olav Sabo Bridge over Hiawatha Avenue and the Midtown Freewheel Bike Shop, as well as access to the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes. The path parallels historic railways, and runs from West River Road in Longfellow to the Kenilworth Trail by Cedar Lake. Even cooler, the Greenway is oft-plowed throughout the winter, which makes snow-bearded, red-cheeked bicycling much, much easier.

Sidenote: if you're bicycling from St. Paul, the Greenway connects with the Light Rail Trail for a quick trip into downtown.

Cedar Lake Trail cr Mulad via Flikr.jpg
Mulad
Cedar Lake Trail
(Website and map)

Minnesota has the United States' first indoor shopping mall, and, much more importantly, our first bicycling freeway: the Cedar Lake Trail. Thanks to a recent extension, the trail now runs from River Road in downtown Minneapolis (under Target Field) all the way to the western 'burbs. You could, if you're in St. Louis Park, start your Saturday evening with a movie at Showplace Icon, then hook up with the CLT and ride into downtown Minneapolis for a drink at Marvel Bar in North Loop, right off the trail. The CLT is a flat and highly manageable ride, and on dark nights it's easy to imagine its emptier expanses being haunted by a ghostly roadie in translucent Lycra.

Supra tip: Stop off at Hidden Beach for a swim or to watch the sunset on a springtime night.



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