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Outdoors

Summer Guide 2022: Bike Rentals & Trails

Let your body be your car.

Murillo de Paula via Unsplash

Summer is bike season here in the Twin Cities. It’s time to eschew our cars and bus passes in lieu of a little two-wheeled travel. 

The following is our roundup of major trails throughout the metro area and beyond, as well as places that rent out a variety of peddle-fueled vehicles. (But no pedal pubs, sorry guys. It’s not that kind of list.)

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Bike Rentals

Nice Ride
Yep, those big yellow bikes are everywhere these days. Find a station and rent some wheels for the day for about $6. niceridemn.com.

ONE ON ONE BICYCLE STUDIO
Road and off-road bicycles from Specialized, Rocky Mountain, and Bianchi, plus fat bikes, hardtail, full suspension, CX, and gravel bikes. 4461 Minnehaha Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612-371-9565; oneononebike.com/rent.

Pedego Electric Bikes

Worried about making it up that hill? Just say “fuck it” and turn on that electric bike motor whenever you need it. There are three locations in the Twin Cities metro currently renting bikes: 9719 Valley View Rd., Eden Prairie, 612-827-5000; 1355 Mendota Heights Rd., Mendota Heights, 612-827-5000; 1650 Market Dr., Stillwater, 651-342-0310; pedegoelectricbikes.com.

Tangletown Bike Shop
Check this place out if you want to spend a day cruising around the lakes or doing some city biking. Bikes range from comfy cruising bikes to sporty road bikes. 816 W. 50th St., Minneapolis, 612-259-8180; tangletownbikeshop.com.

Tonka Cycle Ski Board

Rentals include hybrid, fat bikes, and something called “Fullsquish Mountain.” 16 Shady Oak Rd., Hopkins; 952-938-8336; tonkacycleandski.com.

Wheel Fun Rentals
Find tandem and mountain bikes at Bde Maka Ska, Lake Harriet, . Or go for those goofy fun surrey bike, chopper, or quad sport at the Minnehaha Park and Falls, Lake Nokomis, Veterans’ Memorial Park in Richfield, and Lake Como locations. wheelfunrentals.com.

And now, onto the bike trails:

Anderson Lakes

This 1.1-mile trail is described on its site as “gentle.” 9800 Anderson Lakes Lakes Pkwy., Eden Prairie; threeriversparks.org.

Baker Park Reserve

12.5 miles paved over rolling hills, with rest stops and child trailers available for rent. 2309 Baker Park Rd., Maple Plain, 763-694-7860; threeriversparks.org.

Bassett Creek Regional Trail

This 7-mile paved trail will take you to French Regional Park in Plymouth, Theodore Wirth Regional Park, and the Scenic Byway System in Minneapolis with nice stops in Plymouth, New Hope, Crystal, and Golden Valley. threeriversparks.org.

Bde Maka Ska

You can take this popular 3.19 mile paved bike trail around the lake with stop offs in Uptown and St. Louis Park. 3000 Calhoun Pkwy., Minneapolis, 612-230-6400; minneapolisparks.org.

Brown’s Creek State Trail

This 5.9 miles trail can be your BFF, as it connects the Gateway State Trail in the city of Grant to the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway, as well as other local park and trail systems. dnr.state.mn.us.

Bryant Lake Regional Park

12.5 miles paved trails, with connection to Minnesota River Bluff LRT Regional trails. 6800 Rowland Rd., Eden Prairie, 763-694-7764; threeriversparks.org.

Carver Park Reserve

Travel through the forest and marshes on 9-miles of paved trails which will also take you to Lowry Nature Center and the Lake Minnetonka Regional Trail. 7400 Grimm Rd. (Lowry Nature Center), Victoria, 763-694-7650; threeriversparks.org.

Cleary Lake Regional Park

This quiet, scenic trail offers 3.5-miles paved road, and connects to Big Woods Regional Trail. 18106 Texas Ave., Prior Lake; threeriversparks.org.

Clifton E. French Regional Park

This paved 4.6-mile trail loops between the visitor center and the beach. The trail also connects to Medicine Lake and Bassett Creek Regional Trails. 12605 Rockford Rd., Plymouth, 763-694-7750; threeriversparks.org.

Crystal Lake Regional Trail 

This 8.6-mile, Jason Voorhees-free paved trail will take you through downtown Robbinsdale, and will connect you to the Grand Rounds Trail near Lowry Avenue. threeriversparks.org.

Dakota Rail Regional Trail

This 13.5 paved trail offers Lake Minnetonka views and follows the former Dakota Rail Corridor through St. Bonifacius, Minnetrista, Mound, Spring Park, Minnetonka Beach, Orono, and Wayzata. threeriversparks.org.

Eagle Lake Regional Park

One mile of paved trail, which connects to adjoining municipal trails. 11000 Bass Lake Rd., Plymouth, 763-694-7695; threeriversparks.org.

Elm Creek Park Reserve

20 miles paved and unpaved road, including mountain bike trails through woodlands, wetlands, and farm fields. The trail system is connected to city trails in Maple Grove, Dayton and Champlin, and to the Rush Creek, and Medicine Lake Regional Trails. 12400 James Deane Pkwy., Maple Grove, 763-694-7894; threeriversparks.org.

Fish Lake Regional Park

Three miles of paved trail circles the central hill and continues along marsh and beach area. Trail connects to Medicine Lake Regional Trail. 14900 Bass Lake Rd., Maple Grove, 763-694-7818; threeriversparks.org.

Fort Snelling State Park

5 miles paved, 10 miles mountain bike. 101 Snelling Lake Rd., St. Paul, 612-725-2724; dnr.state.mn.us.

Gateway State Trail

Located on a former Soo Line Railroad grade, this big-ass trail gives you options along its 18-mile route that takes you through St. Paul, Maplewood, North St. Paul, Oakdale, Washington County, and ends at Pine Point Regional Park near Stillwater. Dnr.state.mn.us.

Hyland Lake Park Reserve

This 8.6 miles of paved trails wind through woodlands and tall-grass prairie, with a spur to Richardson Nature Center. 10145 Bush Lake Rd., Bloomington, 763-694-7687; threeriversparks.org.

Lake Harriet

This sweet-ass 2.9 miles paved trail takes you around the lake, with stops at the Rose and Japanese Gardens, beaches, the bandshell, where you’ll often find free movies and music in the summer, and more. 4135 W. Lake Harriet Pkwy., Minneapolis, 612-230-6400; minneapolisparks.org.

Lake Independence Regional Trail 

This 15.9-mile trail connects Crow-Hassan Park Reserve, Baker Park Reserve, and the Luce Line State Trail and is 10-feet-wide. Dang! threeriversparks.org.

Lake of the Isles

This trail offers some of the best views in town of posh homes along its 2.76-mile paved trail around the lake. 2500 Lake of the Isles Pkwy. E., Minneapolis, 612-230-6400; minneapolisparks.org.

Lake Minnetonka Regional Park

This 3.2-mile paved trail connections to other community trails. 4610 Cty. Rd. 44, Minnetrista, 763-694-7754; threeriversparks.org.

The Lake Minnetonka Regional Trail 

This epic 15.8 miles of aggregate trail runs between Hopkins and Carver Park Reserve, with scenic views of Lake Minnetonka along the way, passing through Minnetonka, Deephaven, Greenwood, Excelsior, Shorewood, and Victoria. In 2022 the trail will be closed between Excelsior Blvd. and Morse Ave. in downtown Excelsior from June 6-30 for gas line work. threeriversparks.org.

Lake Rebecca Park Reserve

This 8.1 miles of paved trail loops around the entire park reserve. 9831 Rebecca Park Trail, Rockford, 763-694-7860; threeriversparks.org.

Lebanon Hills Regional Park

Nearly 11 miles of mountain bike trails. 860 Cliff Rd., Eagan, 651-554-6530; co.dakota.mn.us.

Luce Line State Trail

This 63-mile former railroad grade features a crushed limestone trail from Plymouth to Winsted for 30 miles, other parts of the trails used by bikes include a paved trail from Winsted to Hutchinson, then crushed granite on to Cedar Mills, and, if you’re really brave, mowed grass on to Cosmos. dnr.state.mn.us.

Medicine Lake Regional Trail

Ride on 20.7 miles of paved trail connecting to Bassett Creek and Luce Line Regional Trails, as well as many community trails. threeriversparks.org.

Midtown Greenway

This is the MVP bike trail in town, running 5.5 miles through south Minneapolis. It will get you to Uptown, it will take you to Midtown Global Market, it will take you to the West River Parkway, and offers lots of other handy exits. The trail runs from Chowen Avenue, runs parallel to Lake Street, ending at West River Parkway. midtowngreenway.org.

Mississippi Gateway Regional Park 

Bike over the river on this one-mile path! 10360 W. River Rd., Brooklyn Park. threeriversparks.org.

Minnesota River Bluffs LRT Regional Trail 

This 9.2-,ile aggregate trail follows an old railroad route from downtown Hopkins to Chanhassen and downtown Chaska. threeriversparks.org.

Minnesota Valley State Recreational Area

The longest segment starts in Belle Plaine and ends in Shakopee. From Belle Plaine to Gifford Lake it is unpaved (19.5 miles) and from Chaska to Fisher Lake in Shakopee the trail is paved (9.8 miles). The second segment begins at Minnesota Bottoms Landing on the Minnesota River and goes 1.7 miles eastward to Blackdog Lake in Bloomington. dnr.state.mn.us.

Nine Mile Creek Regional Trail

This 15.3-mile paved trail features a mile of wooden boardwalk and connects Hopkins and the Minnesota River Bluffs Regional Trail with Edina, Minnetonka, and Richfield. threeriversparks.org.

Nokomis-Minnesota River Regional Trail

Starting at Lake Nokomis, this 5-mile paved trail connects the Minneapolis Grand Rounds Scenic Byway System with the Minnesota River, passing through Richfield and Bloomington, with many connections to other trails. Yes, including one that will take you to the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, you bike nut. threeriversparks.org.

North Cedar Lake Regional Trail

This 4.4-mile paved trail begins in Hopkins and passes through neighborhoods in St. Louis Park before connecting to trails around Cedar Lake in Minneapolis. threeriversparks.org.

North Mississippi Regional Park

1.6 miles of paved trails with views of the Mississippi River and its wooded shoreline. 5700 Lyndale Ave. N., Minneapolis, 763-694-7790; threeriversparks.org.

The Rush Creek Regional Trail 

This 9.9-mile paved trail links Elm Creek Park Reserve to Mississippi Gateway Regional Park. threeriversparks.org.

Shingle Creek Regional Trail

This 8.4-mile paved trail traverses parks and wetlands through most of Brooklyn Center, and provides access to Brooklyn Center City Hall/Community Center, the Brookdale Library, and nearby businesses. threeriversparks.org.

South Bloomington Trail Network

Multiple trails both paved and unpaved total more than 16 miles. 7723 Bloomington Ferry Rd., Bloomington, 952-563-8877; bloomingtonmn.gov.

Theodore Wirth Regional Park

1.35 miles of paved trails, connecting to trail along Theodore Wirth Pkwy. 1301 Theodore Wirth Pkwy., Minneapolis, 612-230-6400; minneapolisparks.org.

West Mississippi River Regional Trail 

This 10.4-mile paved trail links the communities of North Minneapolis, Brooklyn Center, and Brooklyn Park, and will eventually extend north through Champlain and Dayton and connect to Medicine Lake Regional Trail as well as the Crow River and Wright County. Threeriversparks.org. 

More outstate trail options:

dnr.state.mn.us

threeriversparks.org