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Mountain Bike Trail Profile: Minnesota River Bottoms, Twin Cities, MN

If you're looking for a bit of nature in the middle of "the cities" (Minneapolis / St. Paul) on a mountain bike, there are a couple of options for you. One of the best options is the Minnesota River Bottoms trail.

The Minnesota River meanders across the southern portion of the Twin Cities metro, intersecting with the Mississippi in the Fort Snelling area and then going west through Bloomington, down toward Shakopee, and on.

Nearly this entire area is covered in trails for varying user groups, on both sides of the river.

The south side of the river has a nice "jeep road" going along the river all the way from the Hwy 55 bridge to the Bloomington Ferry Bridge. This is a nice cruise on a mountain bike.

The north side of the river however is where most people take their mountain bikes out. Officially, the trail stretches from the Indian Mound Park in Bloomington to the Bloomington Ferry Bridge, also in Bloomington. This is about 11 miles of trail and a nice mix of fast single track, double track, a bit of gravel roads, and a few moderately technical sections as well. There are a number of access points to the trail, to view them, click HERE.

Katie, Frank, and Joe riding on the gravel section of the River Bottoms Trail. Photo Credit: Ryan Horkey

As this trail is relatively flat with a couple of longer gradual climbs, I personally find it to be ideal training for the Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival. It is definitely a trail where if you're feeling good, you can fly along in your big chain ring and get some high speed off road riding in.

If you find yourself riding through the middle section of the trail during the late summer months, you'll notice the itching nettles encroaching over the single track. When riding through this on a hot sweaty day, the nettles really burn. Once when riding with a friend through here, he commented that if you ride fast through this section and get some wind going, the nettles don't itch/burn as bad. Ever since, we call that section "wind on chins".

A major highlight and break from riding that I always enjoy is crossing Nine Mile Creek on the raft. The old raft pictured below was replaced last year after someone cut the ropes and the raft floated away. In any case, be careful walking down the slippery steps with your slippery bike shoes and use the ropes to pull yourself across.

A couple of riders crossing Nine Mile Creek on the old raft. Photo Credit: MORC, click on the photo to link back to their page.

Dust off that mountain bike and enjoy this great weather and all of the fantastic trails!

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1 comment:

  1. Nine Mile Creek ferry crossing not in place yet for 2012 season, but you can still get across. See picture of how by clicking link. http://Mnbiketrailnavigator.blogspot.com/2012/04/bike-trail-picture-of-day-4212.html?m=0