Top Minneapolis Bike Trails and Scenic Routes

Whether you use your own bike, our convenient bike share program (Nice Ride) or another rental, we've got the transportation that's easy on the pockets and great on the eyes. Take Minneapolis by bike!

Please note, because of the warming weather and new restrictions regarding COVID-19, a lot of Minnesotans are taking to the outdoors for a breath of fresh air and a break from their homes. This means walkways and popular outdoor locations are likely to be busier than usual. Please continue to practice social distancing in these settings, remaining at least 6 feet away from passerbys and others near you.

Consistently ranked as one of the top bike cities in the country (example one,two,three,four,five and six), Minneapolis boasts a complex network of bike paths and individual trails. Rain, shine or snow, this city is adamant about its biking. Whether you’re going for a joy ride, looking for a workout, or biking to and from 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 (with a few for you hardcore bikers out there).

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 at all times. 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. 

Print out a Midtown Greenway map for your next ride! 

The Chain of Lakes

Take in the beauty of the City of Lakes (that's Minneapolis) 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 bikers. About 50 miles long, the roughly circular byway consists of a linked series of parks and weaves through seven segments of Minneapolis. From the Downtown Riverfront, Mississippi River and Minnehaha to the Chain of Lakes, Theodore Wirth Park, Victory Memorial and Northeast, this ride takes dedication. But of course, you don't have to bike it all! 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. 

View a map of the byway now!

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 from Minneapolis into St. Paul (or vice versa, depending on your direction), these corridors are ideal for a perfect bike ride. Make your way from downtown Minneapolis 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. 

Check out this route!

Off-Road Cycling Trail

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.

Great Northern Greenway

This shared Minneapolis trail is for bikers, walkers and rollers alike. For all ages and abilities, it connects North and Northeast Minneapolis to the river and is soon to be completed by the BNSF bridge crossing. Follow it through nine Minneapolis neighborhoods and get a taste of all the city has to offer! Plans for the Great Northern Overlook were finalized in 2019, opening to the public in 2020 as a brilliant spot for you and your wheels to rest before you continue on your way.

Check out this route! 

More Minneapolis Bike Trails

No trip to Minneapolis is complete unless you bike our miles of urban and scenic trails. See more in these handy maps below!

Downtown & Northeast Minneapolis Bike Trail Map

Greater Minneapolis Bike Trail Map

Nice Ride

Don't have a bike? You can rent one at an extremely affordable price from the many Nice Ride stations across Minneapolis. Available between March/April and October/November every year.