Added by Robin Pfeifer
- 11 miles of sandy trails to ride, run or hike
- Seclusion near the city
- Wildlife spotting and bird watching opportunities
The "River Bottoms" is an unofficial network of single track, double track and service roads just south of Minneapolis along the Minnesota River flood plane. Flat, fast and easy to navigate, the 11-mile trail system is a popular spot for mountain bikers, trail runners and hikers looking to do long distance hauls in relative solitude.
The main trail closely follows the river and winds through diverse natural environments including forests containing old-growth trees, meadows brimming with wild flowers, and wetlands that support a variety of wildlife ranging from birds to beavers.
The Bottoms are constantly changing and receive no formal maintenance. Winter thaw leads to spring flooding, which reshapes the sandy trails and surrounding area each year. Summer brings tall field grass, dense foliage and an aggressive mosquito population. Cooler fall temperatures thin out vegetation, improving visibility and killing off the bugs. Winter conditions vary with the snowfall.
The most popular entrance points are at Bloomington Ferry Road at the trail's West end, Lyndale Avenue in the center, and Indian Mounds Elementary School at the East end. These locations offer easy parking with nearby access to the trail. All of the trails in the Bottoms are technically two-way and it's up to riders to yield to each other and pedestrians. Avoid biker/hiker collisions by remaining alert and respectful to those sharing an otherwise peaceful experience with you.
- Daypack with water and a snack
- Mountain bike
- Running shoes
- Bug spray
Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.
Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More
ReviewsLeave a Review
I am a mountain biker and I was at the river bottoms. Lots of great trails, some paved and lots of nice trails. Last time I was there the biking trails were pretty overgrown with itch weed and there was a lot of mud, so dress accordingly. Other than that it's a very fun trail for walking, biking, or just having an afternoon picknick. Also, there are plans to pave the trails, which is slightly redundant considering the trail floods every year and this would only ruin the pavement. Go like the Save The Riverbottoms page on Facebook!
More Adventures Nearby
Hike to Britton Peak
Minnesota / Britton Peak Trailhead
This hike is very short and rewarding. It doesn't take longer than 15 minutes if you wanted to make it a quick pit stop before or after you hike Carlton Peak.
Hike to Ely's Peak
Minnesota / Ely's Peak Parking Area
Ely's Peak is located near the neighborhood of Gary-New Duluth. It is located right off of Becks Road. To get there from Grand Avenue you'll turn onto Becks Road.