Bloomington, Minnesota

Explore the Minnesota River Bottoms

Originally 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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Mountain Biking
Easy Parking


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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. should have the link to the latest user reports or Facebook.

A nice casual local hike.

There are some very impressive large, old trees.

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!

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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