by Andrew Ellis, HaveFunBiking.com
As you look around the Minneapolis Northwest area you are dazzled with options! Here there are city streets and major highways as far as the eye can see around this northwest suburb of Minneapolis. You will find plenty of fast food eateries and strip malls amongst the trees and greenery in this suburban setting. So, how can this possibly be an attraction for those looking to take in some of Minnesota’s nature’s beauty in the Twin Cities?
Have no fear as there are plenty of options for outdoor recreation in the Minneapolis Northwest area. You just have to look closer below or look at our At A Glance Minneapolis Northwest link.
The Minneapolis Northwest area is made up of three suburban communities: Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, and Maple Grove. Where you will find plenty of ways to enjoy the great outdoors activities, including hundreds of mile of paved trail. You will also find some exhilarating riding in the Elm Creek Park for some mountain biking.
More About the Bike-Friendly Minneapolis Northwest Area
Tucked into the communities are substantive parks that offer the feeling of remoteness while visiting. If you want take a break from pedaling one of many trails there, you will find many options. You can meander along the trails by foot, channel your inner Robin Hood and learn archery or disc golf while learning more about the natural world around you.
While pedaling this three-city community there comes a point where you may need a break to enjoy some other activities available. Luckily, each community offers plenty to do. Whether it’s a game of bowling or trying your luck at Dave & Buster’s arcade games in Maple Grove. There are even plenty of chain and locally owned eateries throughout the area to satisfy whatever it is you crave. You will even find several movie theaters in the area and easy to get to on your bike from your hotel.
Biking Opportunities in the Minneapolis Northwest Area
Riding the scenic trails here in the Minneapolis Northwest Area you find many trails that safely cross over or under the busy roads.
In this area the opportunities for riding your bike are endless. In this three city area you will find quite a few parks that connect to trails for a lengthy ride. If you don’t want to stick to the meandering trails, then there are plenty of bike friendly streets and the Mississippi River Trail that will allow you to share the road with other vehicles. Here are some of the parks to bike too:
Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park
On a warm day crossing the Coon Rapids Dam from Minneapolis Northwest you can feel the cool mist rising in the air as you cross.
Find your way to the Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park via the Rush Creek Regional Trail. At the park, a part of the National Park System, you can connect to the Mississippi River Trail. If you want to discover what’s on the other side of the dam you can easily connect to the Twin Cities Gateway side of the park, crossing the paved trail across this massive water barrier.
Elm Creek Park Reserve
Here in Elm Creek Park the mountain biking is fun and exciting, with trails for all skill levels.
This park is full of biking opportunities for multiple kinds of riders. There are many miles of paved multi-use trail that take the rider on a very scenic journey of the park. It passes by several of the park’s lakes. The trails here have plenty of slightly rolling hills to give you a little challenge as you ride and enjoy the many picture taking opportunities. You can also take a break for a swim, try your hand at archery, and more. For mountain bikers there’s plenty of singletrack trails depending on your preferred level of skill. While some are bike-only, others are multi-use trials.
Medicine Lake Regional Trail
This is a paved trail of over 13 miles and connects you to many parks such as French Regional Park. You can also catch views of Rice Lake in Maple Grove and Medicine Lake if you take the trail into Plymouth. The trail also has connections to Bassett Creek Trail, Luce Line Regional Trail, and many other community bike trails.
Rush Creek Regional Trail
This trail links Elm Creek Park Reserve to Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park. The path is smooth, wide, and mostly flat. Its abundance of signage makes it usable many different cyclists. If you’re looking to encounter wildlife, it’s recommended you get on the trail in the early morning. Pedaling here you will also pass through residential areas, but the trail here is shielded by trees which gives the rider a remote feel. The other side of the roadway slowly turns into farmland after you cross Highway 169. It ends at Elm Creek Park Reserve where it links to other trails such as the Medicine Lake Regional Trail.
Shingle Creek Regional Trail
This branches out of the Rush Creek Trail at Noble Parkway. The trail takes you through mostly residential areas and follows Shingle Creek for a while. It tapers off to wind through the greenery and marshes of Palmer Lake Park. The trail ends at 45th Memorial Parkway in Minneapolis. It’s a paved trail and provides access to various points of interest. Crossings are above and below grade when crossing some of the major highways.
Road Biking Opportunities
In the Minneapolis Northwest there are many ways to get around on your bike. The three communities here offer a mix multi-use trails that parallel most major roads. So its easy to get around safely and connect to other parts of the metro area. So bring your bike and spend a day, a weekend or a lifetime exploring this north west section of the Twin Cities.