One of the Twin Cities' best urban hikes follows a 4-mile loop past the confluence of Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers.

The Pike Island Loop, located in Fort Snelling State Park, is a beautiful urban hike that circles a lush island at the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers in the heart of the Twin Cities. In fact, Dakota leaders who inhabited this land considered the meeting of the rivers to be the center of the earth. 

Park near the visitor's center and follow the sidewalk east toward the fort. The sidewalk will turn into a path when you pass the fort. Follow the path down the hill and veer right along the trail that leads to the foot bridge over the Minnesota River. Cross the bridge. You are now on Pike Island. 

There are a variety of trail options that weave throughout a canopy of elm, silver maple and cottonwood trees. Whether you hike clockwise or counterclockwise, there are cross trails that can shorten your adventure.

Click here to view a map of the park.

Pack List

  • $5 to enter the state park
  • Walking shoes
  • Water
  • Camera
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RT Distance 4.4 Miles
Elevation Gain 151 Feet
Activities Chillin, Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Loop
Features
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Forest
Picnic Area
River
Romantic
Scenic
Wildlife

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

The Confluence!

This hike is great! The view when you get to the Confluence of the Mississippi River and the Minnesota River mixing may not be extremely exciting, but I think its cool to see two vary different colors of the river mixing.

Paradise Outside The City

This island is a nice retreat away from the city

Ice Rink

Went on a nice sunny day after a week of above 40s. There was definitely no thaw and unless you have spikes and poles I would consider a different trail. Wonderful views of the river though and will be trying again in a couple weeks


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

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

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