Run Along the Mississippi River Flats

Franklin Bridge

Walk along the Mississippi River and through the University of Minnesota campus. You'll pass by the Weisman Art Museum where admission is free!

This loop takes you from the Franklin Bridge to the Washington Avenue Bridge, crossing through campus, in between. Start at the Franklin Bridge (southeast end), walk down the stairs, and then take the elevated walkaway across the river, heading north.

The middle section of the loop takes you past the University of Minnesota boathouse, as well as the Weisman Art Museum (free admission).

Head across the Washington Avenue Bridge, and continue on through campus, following the trail. You will pass by a concert hall before returning back to the river.

Pack List

  • Good walking shoes
  • Water
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RT Distance 2.5 Miles
Activities Running, Fitness
Skill Level Beginner
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Loop
Features
Food Nearby
River

Reviews

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My Favorite Route

This was my favorite route when I lived in Minneapolis. I always started at East River Flats by the university row house. Running down river - the route is pretty beautiful with some unpaved paths. Soon as you get to Franklin Bridge, its back to sidewalk running, unless you start scrambling (I don’t recommend.) For the short loop, you cross the bridge here to the west side of the river and star running back upstream along the river. The natural paths on the west side are extremely beautiful since you’re running through a floodplain. For a long route, I usually continue running until I hit the Ford damn, then cross the bridge and continue running on the west side of the river heading upstream and crossing the bridge by the Weisman Museum back to the east side of the river. A nice giant loop.

Worth checking out.

Out for a run.

This is a great route for running, but if starting from Franklin heading west across the bridge, you will experience a gradual climb on the West River Road that leads up to the Washington Bridge. Run with a friend in the evening to catch a great sunset behind the city from both bridges (I like Franklin better because it has more trees nearby). The East River flats are also a great place to play frisbee.


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