Explore the Minnesota River Bottoms

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.

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Tags

Chillin
Fishing
Photography
Mountain Biking
Running
Hiking
Easy Parking
Forest
River
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

A Great Escape from the City

We’ve been riding the river bottoms since the early 90’s. It’s a very flat, non-technical bit of trail that’s always a nice escape from the city while only 20 minutes from downtown. Pay attention to local trail condition reports since things flood a lot in the spring & weather changes these conditions quite differently from other trails. www.morcmtb.org should have the link to the latest user reports or Facebook.

🥉Contributor

over 2 years ago

A nice casual local hike.

There are some very impressive large, old trees.

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