Best Rail-Trails in Minnesota

This list represents the most popular rail-trails in Minnesota. Use this list to plan your next Minnesota rail-trails trip. Select a state and/or activity below to find even more top trails.

Learn more about Top Trails

#1. Afton to Lakeland Trail


The Afton to Lakeland Trail links its namesake towns on the Minnesota side of the St. Croix River. The trail runs between Quinlan Avenue North/Eighth Street at Crocker Park in Lakeland and Pike Avenue…
From the guidebook "Rail-Trails Minnesota"
Saint Marys Point, MN - Rail-Trails - 4 miles
Published by Wilderness Press

#2. Beaver Island Trail


Beaver Island Trail follows the route of an inactive railway that was originally part of a charter railroad of the Minneapolis and Northwestern Railway Company. Built in 1882, the railroad line conn…
From the guidebook "Rail-Trails Minnesota"
Minneapolis, MN - Rail-Trails - 6.1 miles
Published by Wilderness Press

#3. Big Rivers Regional Trail


The Big Rivers Regional Trail runs along the upper portion of what was originally a two-tiered section of railroad track built for one of the state’s oldest lines, the Minnesota Central Railroad. At s…
From the guidebook "Rail-Trails Minnesota"
Mendota, MN - Rail-Trails - 4.4 miles
Published by Wilderness Press

#4. Blazing Star State Trail


The Blazing Star State Trail is located in Albert Lea, near Minnesota’s southern border. The town is known as “The Land Between the Lakes,” and the trail begins on the northern shore of one of the sta…
From the guidebook "Rail-Trails Minnesota"
Albert Lea, MN - Rail-Trails - 6 miles
Published by Wilderness Press

#5. Bottineau Trail


The 3-mile-long Bottineau Trail runs through the small town of Red Lake Falls to a rural area to its north. The trail is named after Pierre Bottineau, a Minnesota frontiersman who died in the communit…
From the guidebook "Rail-Trails Minnesota"
Red Lake Falls, MN - Rail-Trails - 3 miles
Published by Wilderness Press

#6. Brown’s Creek State Trail


The 5.9-mile Brown’s Creek State Trail, which opened in October 2014, is the latest addition to Minnesota’s extensive trail system. The rail-trail stretches from the St. Croix riverfront town of Still…
From the guidebook "Rail-Trails Minnesota"
Stillwater, MN - Rail-Trails - 5.9 miles
Published by Wilderness Press

#7. Bruce Vento Regional Trail


The trail is named in honor of Bruce Frank Vento, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1977 until his death in 2000, representing Minnesota’s fourth congressional district. Vento is reco…
From the guidebook "Rail-Trails Minnesota"
Saint Paul, MN - Rail-Trails - 7.5 miles
Published by Wilderness Press

#8. Cannon Valley Trail


The trail links the southeast Minnesota communities of Red Wing, Welch, and Cannon Falls along a path that follows the former route of the Chicago Great Western Railway line that once ran through this…
From the guidebook "Rail-Trails Minnesota"
Cannon Falls, MN - Rail-Trails - 19.7 miles
Published by Wilderness Press

#9. Casey Jones State Trail


Three separate segments make up the Casey Jones State Trail, which is one of the first state trails authorized by Minnesota state trail legislation in the 1960s. The rail-trail is named for the engine…
From the guidebook "Rail-Trails Minnesota"
Pipestone, MN - Rail-Trails - 20.5 miles
Published by Wilderness Press

#10. Cedar Lake LRT Regional Trail


The Cedar Lake Light Rail Transit (LRT) Regional Trail is an integral component of Hennepin County’s extensive trail network, in which rail-trails feature prominently. The trail directly links four tr…
From the guidebook "Rail-Trails Minnesota"
Hopkins, MN - Rail-Trails - 4.5 miles
Published by Wilderness Press

#11. Central Lakes State Trail


The completion of the final segment of the Central Lakes State Trail in 2005 was the culmination of a positive partnership between volunteers and local and state officials that began in 1992 with the…
From the guidebook "Rail-Trails Minnesota"
Fergus Falls, MN - Rail-Trails - 55 miles
Published by Wilderness Press

#12. Cuyuna Lakes State Trail


The Cuyuna Lakes State Trail winds its way through northern hardwoods and spruce/pine forests along the shores of 6 natural lakes and 15 clear, constructed lakes that were former mine pits. The cluste…
From the guidebook "Rail-Trails Minnesota"
Crosby, MN - Rail-Trails - 7 miles
Published by Wilderness Press

#13. Dairyland Trail


Phase one of the development of central Minnesota’s Dairyland Trail was completed in April 2013, allowing trail users to hike, bike, or ride a horse for more than 6 miles between the small towns of El…
From the guidebook "Rail-Trails Minnesota"
Elrosa, MN - Rail-Trails - 6.2 miles
Published by Wilderness Press

#14. Dakota Rail Regional Trail


Sections of the Dakota Rail Regional Trail, which extends westward from the Minneapolis suburbs situated along Lake Minnetonka, have been opening since June 2009. The trail occupies the former Dakota…
From the guidebook "Rail-Trails Minnesota"
Orono, MN - Rail-Trails - 25.5 miles
Published by Wilderness Press

#15. Dinkytown Greenway


Although only 1 mile long, the Dinkytown Greenway provides an important link in a biking network connecting Minneapolis and Saint Paul. The trail begins near TCF Bank Stadium and runs through the Univ…
From the guidebook "Rail-Trails Minnesota"
Minneapolis, MN - Rail-Trails - 1 mile
Published by Wilderness Press

#16. Douglas State Trail


The Douglas State Trail occupies the railbed of the former Chicago Great Western Railway corridor between the cities of Rochester and Pine Island. Several of the concrete obelisk railroad mile markers…
From the guidebook "Rail-Trails Minnesota"
Pine Island, MN - Rail-Trails - 12.5 miles
Published by Wilderness Press

#17. Gateway State Trail


The Gateway State Trail is an 18.3-mile-long pathway that offers an urban link to the countryside. The western end of this paved trail begins on the north end of Saint Paul and heads northeast through…
From the guidebook "Rail-Trails Minnesota"
Saint Paul, MN - Rail-Trails - 18.3 miles
Published by Wilderness Press

#18. Gitchi-Gami State Trail


When completed, the Gitchi-Gami State Trail will traverse 88 paved miles between the cities of Two Harbors and Grand Marais on Lake Superior’s northern shore. Currently, several segments, totaling nea…
From the guidebook "Rail-Trails Minnesota"
Two Harbors, MN - Rail-Trails - 28.6 miles
Published by Wilderness Press

#19. Glacial Lakes State Trail


The 22-mile original section of the paved Glacial Lakes State Trail follows the former right-of-way of the Burlington Northern Railroad between Willmar and about 1 mile west of Paynesville at Rosevill…
From the guidebook "Rail-Trails Minnesota"
Paynesville, MN - Rail-Trails - 30 miles
Published by Wilderness Press

#20. Goodhue Pioneer State Trail


The Goodhue Pioneer State Trail is a work in progress as part of a planned 47-mile trail linking the cities of Red Wing, Goodhue, Zumbrota, Mazeppa, Bellechester, and Pine Island along an inactive rai…
From the guidebook "Rail-Trails Minnesota"
Minneota, MN - Rail-Trails - 9.7 miles
Published by Wilderness Press