Lebanon Hills Trail Review
Plenty of fun, very accessible trails. Because of its size, accessibility, and year-round facilities, this is one of the most popular Twin Cities trail running destinations.
Eagan. Multiple trailheads, all about 5-10 minutes from 35E.
15 miles (more if you hit all the little spurs)
1661 feet of elevation gain
Most of these are wide, hard packed, smooth dirt trails. They aren’t the most technical trails out there, but there’s plenty of small hills to contend with almost the entire way.
There’s certainly exceptions to that, for example the tight single track spurs on the east end of the park (south of Shulz Lake), and the rockier trails around the mountain bike park (West trailhead). Some of these trails get a bit soggy after heavy rains, particularly the loop around Jensen Lake.
There’s much variety at Lebanon Hills: explore, and you’ll find hills, open prairies, plenty of woods, and lakes.
While these are not the most exciting or rugged trails around, they do offer a very pleasant, accessible trail running experience. This is ideal trail for beginners, but it’s still a go-to spot for plenty of the experienced veterans as well.
The trails are all so well marked, that there is really no reason to recommend any particular route over another. Park at a trailhead, and follow the signs whichever way you want to go. You’ll find plenty of this:
While you’ll spend much of your time in shaded woods, there are also plenty of open prairies as well.
The pine forests (see featured image) on the east side of the park are particularly pleasant, especially in the wintertime. Be courteous and find a way through that avoids the ski trails.
I like to park at the Jensen Lake trailhead, because it is right in the middle of the two main routes. The map above illustrates both of them: the out and back lollipop to the mountain bike trails (west from the start), and the Voyageur Trek loop (east from the start).
If you do head to the mountain bike trails (West trailhead) from Jensen Lake, you can go through the campgrounds if you like, but for a more fun route, take a right at the little shelter. After another mile, you’ll spit out in a residential neighborhood. Take a left and head down the hill to Johnny Cake Ridge Road. The West trailhead is just across the street.
What’s your experience with Lebanon Hills?