Tag Archives: Three Rivers parks Trail

The Coon Rapids 10-mile bike loop makes it easy to connect and discover

by Russ Lowthian, HaveFunBiking.com

Named for the turbulent Mississippi River waters at the confluence of Coon Creek, the city of Coon Rapids is a fun place to explore on a bicycle. One of the nine communities in the Twin Cities Gateway it’s a perfect destination for a bike vacation using the Coon Rapids 10-mile bike loop. Here you will find many connections to hundreds of miles of trails. Both the Coon Creek Trail and the Mississippi River Trail are two greenway systems here that allow you to safely pedal throughout the area. So, if you enjoy biking along rivers and creeks we have some ideas for you starting with the Coon Rapids 10-mile loop.

The 10-mile bike loop is fun for all levels of riders.

The Coon Rapids 10-mile bike loop

Leaving from the outer parking lot of the Muddy Cow Restaurant, or a nearby hotel the route travels in a clockwise direction. Pulling out onto Springbrook Drive this tour safely crosses Coon Rapids Boulevard. Once across, we suggest using the paved trails that run parallel to the street due to heavy traffic. After crossing 85th Avenue, about two miles into the loop consider stopping at the Springbrook Nature Center.

Many roads here offer trails that parallel for added comfort and fun.

Now pedaling along the south side of 85th Avenue, at East River Road cross the street at the stoplight and use the sidewalk on the west side, up to 85th Lane. Here enjoy the quiet neighborhood streets that connect you to the Mississippi River Trail (MRT).  At 86th Avenue continue straight ahead on the MRT up between two residences and the real fun begins. As the trail drops into the forested vegetation along the bank of the Mississippi River its a whole new experience.

The visitors center here makes a great rest stop.

Following the trail along the river to the Coon Rapids Dam, you will pass several trail T’s in the park offering more loop options. One loop in the park circles Cenaiko Lake where you will find many people fishing for trout.

The Coon Rapids Dam and Visitors Center

At the visitor’s center at the Coon Rapids Dam, you will find more information on the area and the history of the dam. The dam is another popular fishing location and a crossing point for many cyclists riding the Three Rivers Trails throughout the Twin Cities Metro.

Riding across the Coon Rapids dam always offers a refreshing mist of cool air.

Turning north to Coon Creek

Riding up Egret Boulevard you can ride in the bike lane or use the parallel pedestrian path.

Now at the Dam, the 10-mile Loop leaves the MRT and heads north out of the park on Egret Boulevard. A bike-friendly road, you can ride the designated bike lane or use the pedestrian path paralleling the street. Continuing north after crossing Coon Rapids Boulevard, at Robinson Drive you will find the Coon Creek Trailhead. On the trail and after crossing the creek, at the trail T, the 10-mile loop takes a right. If you want to add a few for miles to your ride here is another option. To your left, the trail will take you up through the Erlandson Nature Center and further along connects to Bunker Hills Regional Park.

The smells, sounds, and views of nature as you pedal

Now pedaling south alongside Coon Creek, enjoy the smells, sounds, and views of nature. This stretch of the trail is a tranquil wilderness setting as you pedal along the stream through the forested canopy.  After crossing over a creek bridge one more time, pass under the railroad tracks for another option. Stop for a round of bumper boats, go-karts or miniature golf at Lilli Putt before heading east and completing the 10-mile Loop.

Enjoying the enjoy the smells, sounds, and views of nature along the trail.

For the last few miles of the route, the trail runs parallel along Coon Rapids Extension and Boulevard. Back at the parking lot, or your hotel, check out nearby eating establishments and plan another bike adventure in the Twin Cities Gateway Area.

Printable map and Q (cue)-sheet)

For a printable bike map of Anoka click here

For a turn-by-turn, Q-sheet of Anoka click here

Fun riding through the Edina Promenade connecting the Nine Mile Creek Trail east and west.

Edina makes the perfect beginning on the new Nine Mile Creek Trail

By Russ Lowthian, HaveFunBiking

From the Promenade in Edina, MN, the new paved trail system along the Nine Mile Creek watershed is fun to explore. Pedaling west, you can safely ride over two freeways and connect to another regional trail hub in Hopkins. Along the way, this new corridor utilizes several wooden trail structures to straddle the bed of the creek giving you a birds-eye view of nature. Pedaling east out of Edina the trail takes you to the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge. Either way, it is a fun place to ride for the entire family. You can also connect to the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes trail system for a loop of the south metro.

Riding through Edina on the wide wooden trail structure.

Rider and walkers alike enjoy the wide wooden trail structures that follow Nine Mile Creek through Edina.

This 15 mile, Three Rivers Park District Trail is a 10-foot wide asphalt path with several wooden bridge sections that welcome walkers, bikers and others using non-motorized transports.

The Nine Mile Creek Trail west from Edina

Venturing west out of Edina there are so many places to explore with this new section of the trail over the Nine Mile Creek watershed. With fall and winter soon approaching get your bike, skis or walking shoes and head outside! After leaving the Edina Promenade, the trail wanders through Fred Richards Park.

Riding through Fred Richards Park, in Edina, MN.

Riding through Fred Richards Park, a part of Nine Mile Creek, in Edina, MN.

Once a par 3 golf course this park is now an urban green space welcoming you to the next several miles of your trail adventure. At the trail bridge over Highway 100, the actual Nine Mile Creek comes into view. Now the trail meanders above its namesake creek, on the elevated wood bridges above the wetlands and woodlands, in Edina. Along the way, you may want to stop and enjoy the wildlife that makes their home here along the creek. From Edina to Hopkins, by trail, it’s about eight miles with 1.7 miles of wooden boardwalk structures along the way.

Rolling through Edina on Nine Mile Creek Trail is fun to explore. If it’s an out and back bike adventure, add another mile on the Cedar Lakes Trail (east) for a treat. Stopping at the Hopkins Depot for an ice cream cone or cup of coffee is the perfect treat before heading back.

The Nine Mile Creek Trail east of Edina

Sometimes, the journey is the reward, that is definitely the case here. It is approximately seven miles from the Edina Promenade to the Minnesota River. On this section, the trail passes through the city Richfield and connects to the north/south Nokomis-Minnesota River Regional Trail.

The trail makes it easy to stay off busy streets.

The trail makes it easy to stay off busy streets.

Just north of the Mall of America, both cyclists and pedestrians can safely cross the 494 Freeway and follow the trail south, through Bloomington, to the Minnesota River. To the north, the Nokomis-Minnesota River Regional Trail users can easily reach Lake Nokomis and the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway in Minneapolis. Other points of interest in this area include the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge and Fort Snelling State Park.

Map, parking, bike rental and trail access

For your next bike adventure here use the Explore Edina Bike/Hike Map, featuring the new Nine-Mile Creek Trail. On this map, you will notice several trail access points. A favorite gathering point for me is parking near one of the retail centers, north or south of the Edina Promenade. Here you will find ample parking and several restaurant options for that appetite you are sure to acquire on your ride. For a place to stay when visiting Edina check their lodging options here.

Need a rental bike?

Edina residents and visitors now have access to a new, dockless bike service. You simply download the Lime app. All rental bikes are GPS and 3G-enabled, making it simple for riders to find, unlock and pick up a nearby bicycle using the iOS or Android smartphone app.

The NineMile Creek Trail through Edina works well for all ages.

The Nine Mile Creek Trail through Edina works well for all ages.

With many bike-friendly street routes, Edina is recognized by the League of American Bicyclists as a bronze level Bicycle Friendly Community.

We found this picture, taken last year, of a group of bikers enjoying warm weather, sunshine and fond memories while rolling into Bloomington, MN from the western suburbs of the Twin Cities.

Bike Pic Jan 2, fond memories riding along the scenic lane

We found this picture, taken last year, of a group of bikers enjoying warm weather, sunshine and fond memories while rolling into Bloomington, MN from the western suburbs of the Twin Cities.

View all the fun ideas and bike destinations in the new HaveFunBiking Guide. Then plan your next outing with family and friends at one of the HaveFunBiking Destinations.

Thanks for viewing our ‘Fond Memories’ Pic of the Day  

Now rolling into our 11th year as a bike tourism media, our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike and have fun. While highlighting all the unforgettable places for you to ride. As we continue to showcase more destinations you can have fun at we hope the photos we shoot are worth a grin. As you scroll through the information and stories we have posted, enjoy!

Do you have a fun bicycle related photo of yourself or someone you may know that we should post? If so, please send your picture(s) to: editor@HaveFunBiking.com. Include a brief caption (for each), of who is in the photo (if you know?) and where the picture was taken. Photo(s) should be a minimum of 1,000 pixels wide or larger, to be considered. If we do use your photo, you will receive photo credit and acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As we continues to encourage more people to bike, please view our Destination section at HaveFunBiking.com for your next bike adventure – Also, check out the latest  Bike Guide, mobile friendly as we enter into our 9th year of producing print and digital guides.

So bookmark HaveFunBiking.com and find your next adventure. Please share all our pic’s with your friends and don’t forget to smile. We may be around the next corner with a HFB camera ready to document your next move while you are riding and having fun. Capturing you in one of our next ‘Pic of the Day’ posts.

Have a great day and a memorable new year ahead!

Bike Pic Jan. 10, cold weather fat bike trickster

Here with windchill temperatures a -25 below in Excelsior, MN. this fat tire cyclist is warming up with a wheelie before heading out on a Three Rivers Parks Trail.

#FindYourNextAdventure

Thanks for viewing the Bike Pic of the Day here at HaveFunBiking (HFB). 

Now, rolling into our 10th year as a bicycle media, our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike, while showcasing unforgettable places to ride. As we search and present more fun photos worth a grin, scroll through the information and stories we have posted to help you find your next adventure. Then, while out there if you see us along a paved or mountain bike trail, next to the route you regularly commute on, or at an event you plan to attend with your bike, be prepared to smile. You never know where our camera’s will be and what we will post next!

Do you have a fun photo of yourself or someone you know that you would like to see us publish? If so, please send it our way and we may use it. Send your picture(s) to editor@HaveFunBiking.com with a brief caption (of each), including who is in the photo (if you know?) and where it was taken. Photo(s) should be at least 620 pixels wide for us to use them. If we use your photo, you will receive photo credit and an acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As HaveFunBiking continues to encourage more people to ride, please reference our blog and the annual print and quarterly digital Bike/Hike Guide to find your next adventure. We are proud of the updated – At-a-Glance information and maps we are known for in the HFB Destination section on our website and in the guide. Now, as the Bike/Hike Guide goes into its seventh year of production, we are adding a whole new dimension of bicycle tourism information available for mobile devices where you may see some additional bike pics – maybe of yourself so.

Bookmark HaveFunBiking.com and find your next adventure – we may capture you in one of the next photos we post.

Have a great day!