TRAIL PROFIILE: Gateway State Bike Trail - St. Paul to the Stillwater, MN area

The very informative trailhead info sign, as seen at the Gateway's western terminus, in St. Paul.

With the Twin Cities (Minneapolis specifically) voted by Bicycling Magazine as the best city for cyclists and the St. Croix River Valley, being the nearest "mecca" for riding on great country roads - it's only logical that there be a great trail connecting the two.  This critical connector is known as the Gateway Trail.

Built in 1993 on the Soo Line Railroad bed that was decommissioned in 1980, the trail now spans 18.3 miles, linking the St. Croix River Valley to the Twin Cities.   $2 million was initially spent in the creation of this trail, with several major recent improvements taking place including the completed Century Avenue bridge in North St. Paul bridge (which saves you several minutes of waiting at a slow stoplight) and the Manning Avenue bridge which is currently under construction.  The eventual master plan for the Gateway Trail is to continue north along the St. Croix River all the way to Taylors Falls (just across the river from Cyclova XC's shop in St. Croix Falls).

One of the memorable landmarks along the Gateway Trail is the huge snowman and electric generating windmill in North St. Paul.

Location:  With trailheads at Cayuga Park in St. Paul (northeast of the Capitol) and at Pine Point Park northwest of Stillwater, this trail connects the Twin Cities to the pristine St. Croix River Valley.  Click HERE to view a Google Map of the Gateway Trail.
Distance:  18.3 miles from St. Paul to Pine Point Park near Stillwater, with plans to eventually add another 35+ miles to Taylor's Falls
Surface & Maintenance:  The Gateway Trail is all blacktop in good to new condition.  Certain sections are newly paved & glass smooth, while other sections have aged a bit with a few bumps here and there.  The creation and maintenance of this trail is a collaboration between the Gateway Trail Association and various state & local entities. 
Terrain:  As this is on a former rail road bed, this trail is generally flat, with a few very gentle grades and is suitable for any cyclist.
Amenities:  There are several rest stops along the Gateway Trail, most of which include rest rooms, trail maps, and water fountains.  Additionally, there are several spots which have stores and restaurants near by, providing hungry cyclists with good riding food.

The western end (trailhead) of the Gateway Trail can be difficult to find.  Here is what it looks like.

A beautiful, newly paved section of the gateway trail is reflective on a rainy ride.

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