Guidebook

5 Best Mountain Bike Trails in the Twin Cities—Minneapolis and Saint Paul

Discover the best trails in this mountain bike-friendly metropolis.

Greg Heil

Description

Minneapolis has garnered many awards over the years as one of the most bike-friendly cities in the USA. While these types of awards generally only consider the road cycling and commuting infrastructure, such as paved bike paths and bike lanes, Minneapolis (and the Twin Cities overall) offers much more than mere bike paths. This midwest metropolis offers a surprising array of fantastic singletrack trail systems spread throughout the metro area. The Twin Cities is a surprisingly good place to live if you're a mountain biker.

While you'll find mountain bike trails spread throughout the suburbs in the various metro parks, Minneapolis even offers fantastic bike-legal singletrack just three miles from the heart of downtown at Theodore Wirth Park. Finding such an incredible greenspace and recreation area so close to the center of one of the USA's top cities is quite unusual. Very few major metros boast the quantity and quality of legal mountain bike trails as close to the city as Minneapolis does.

This deep-seated cycling culture has fostered the genesis of several major bike companies and bike brands right here in the Twin Cities. Even today, one of the most influential bike brands in the world that you might not have heard of—Quality Bicycle Products (QBP)—is located in the Twin Cities. QBP is arguably the most influential distributor of bicycle products in North America. Essentially, when your bike shop buys a part, such as a derailleur from Shimano or a tire from Maxxis, it is most likely distributed via QBP.

While many everyday riders might not have heard of QBP, you've probably heard of some of the mountain bike brands that they've acquired over the years. Two of their flagship mountain bike brands—Salsa and Surly—were also founded right here in the Twin Cities.

So if you choose to visit the Twin Cities, or you live here and are looking for a new trail to check out, where should you go? In this guidebook, you'll find 5 of the most popular mountain bike trails in the Twin Cities metro area. While these trails can sometimes get crowded with riders (especially on the weekend), it's for good reason: they all offer superbly-constructed singletrack that's been built and maintained by mountain bikers, for mountain bikers. Simply put, these are the 5 best mountain bike experiences you can have right here in the Twin Cities metro area.

Lebanon Hills: Big Loop
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP's Editorial team.

Lebanon Hills: Big Loop

15.1 km
216 m
216 m
Make the most out of one of Minneapolis's best trail systems with this "big" loop.
Difficult
Private
Murphy-Hanrehan Park
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP's Editorial team.

Murphy-Hanrehan Park

15.3 km
181 m
181 m
Fast, flowy singletrack with plenty of optional features.
Moderate
Private
Theodore Wirth Park
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP's Editorial team.

Theodore Wirth Park

21.4 km
314 m
314 m
Fantastic, legal singletrack mountain biking just 3 miles from downtown Minneapolis.
Moderate
Private
Battle Creek
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP's Editorial team.

Battle Creek

15.2 km
336 m
336 m
One of the most popular trails in the Twin Cities metro area for advanced riders.
Difficult
Private
Elm Creek
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP's Editorial team.

Elm Creek

18.0 km
158 m
158 m
One of the newest and best-constructed trails in the Twin Cities metro area.
Moderate
Private