Minnesota River Bottoms East Trail Review
A perfect river bottom setting with forgiving terrain. This section of the Minnesota River Bottoms boasts gentle rolling hills, winding single track and some amazing scenery. Great terrain for speed or just an easy, scenic run along the Minnesota River.
Minnesota River, between 35w and 77.
9 miles (out-and-back)
300-400 feet of total elevation gain
Besides the occasional rocks and roots, this trail is not very technical. Some brief sections of sand, but otherwise these trails are well packed and fast.
This section offers river bottom trails at its best, with rolling hills and great views along a serene river setting. You might see one or two people while out on the trail, but there’s never much traffic and it tends to feel very remote. It’s a great place to escape and have a peaceful run.
The Lyndale Trailhead right off of Hwy 35w offers a parking lot that always has plenty of spots available. Head towards the large trailhead map posted at the Northeast corner of the parking lots. From here you can’t miss the trail.
From the Lyndale Trailhead, you will want to head east down the trail. You’ll notice some water (a pond) on your left almost immediately, and eventually the river will be on your right. These first couple miles are relatively flat.
It won’t be long before you encounter some gentle rolling hills, but there’s nothing too challenging on this route.
Right before Hwy 77 you will pass through a parking lot. Just run straight across the lot, and you should be able to easily find where the trail continues on the other side. This short, flat section of trail loops around a small pond that neighbors the river. Run around both ponds, then head back down the same trail. Keeping the river on your left now, just keep following the trail until you get back to where you started.
There are a few side trails that are fun to explore and won’t take you too far off the main trail. Don’t worry about getting lost, you have the river to guide you! Simply keep the river on your right until you get to the turnaround, past Hwy 77. Then, of course on the way back keep the river on your left and you can’t go wrong.
This trail is connected to an expansive system of Minnesota River Bottom trails in both directions. To the south-west there are miles and miles of trail alongside the river, it doesn’t seem to end. To the north-east beyond the turnaround you can continue up to Fort Snelling and many of the trails along the Mississippi including Pike Island, Minnehaha Falls and the Mississippi River Gorge Trail.