Minnesota Inline Skate Club Trail Reviews

These reviews have been compiled by MISC club members who have skated the trails and written up a description of each trail.  If you have a trail within the state of Minnesota that you would like to review, please write it up (using the format of the existing trail reviews as a guide) and mail it to elkman@spamcop.net.

Here's a guide to our rating system:
 

Four wheels  Four wheels

Excellent -- this trail is very highly recommended.  You'll be missing something if you don't skate this trail.

Three wheels  Three wheels

Very good -- one of the more enjoyable trails and definitely worth doing regularly.

Two wheels  Two wheels

Fair -- worth skating once in a while, but not as rewarding as some of the others.

One wheel  One wheel

Poor -- really not worth skating; needs improvement before it's usable.

If you'd like to see the trails on a map to know where they are, here is a map of most of the skate trails in the Twin Cities area. Note that some of the trails don't fit onto this map, like the outstate trails. 

Trail Name

Cities

Length

Surface 

Difficulty

Overall

Notes

Lake Calhoun

Minneapolis

3.2 miles

Smooth

easy

4

Crowded on nice days

Lake Harriet

Minneapolis

3 miles

Smooth

easy

4

Crowded on nice days

Cedar Lake Trail

Minneapolis

3.3 miles

Smooth

easy

3

Occasional pebbles on trail.

Midtown Greenway

Minneapolis

5.9 miles

Smooth

easy

3

Occasional sand/pebbles on trail.

West River Parkway

Minneapolis

6 miles

Average

more difficult

2 1/2

Smooth north of Stone Arch Bridge.

North Mississippi

Minneapolis

1-2 miles plus connections

Excellent

easy

3

Good connections to other trails.

Big Rivers (Mendota)

Mendota / Lilydale

3.5 miles

Smooth

more difficult

3

Trail east of Lilydale (not actually part of the Big Rivers trail) has several rough spots.

North Hennepin/Coon Rapids Dam

Brooklyn Park

7.5 miles

Smooth

more difficult

2

Wooden bridge crossing at Highway 169 can be difficult.  Repaved in June 2004.

Gateway

St. Paul / Oakdale

16 miles

Smooth

easy

4

Watch out for some wooden bridges on the western half.

Southwest LRT Trail

Hopkins

5 miles

Smooth

more difficult

2

Some busy road crossings; not very scenic

Hutchinson Spur Trail

St. Louis Park

4.2 miles

Smooth

easy

3

Connects the Cedar Lake and LRT trails

Lake of the Isles

Minneapolis

3 miles

Very good

easy

3

Repaved in October 2005

Baker Park

Independence

6.25 miles

Excellent

most difficult

3

Recently rebuilt and now more skateable.

Elm Creek Park Reserve

Maple Grove

18 miles

Excellent (north)
Fair (south)

more difficult

2 1/2

Nice scenery, but south loop needs repaving

Minnehaha Creek/Lake Nokomis

Minneapolis

7.5 miles

Good

easy

3

Diverse scenery

Hyland Lake Park Reserve

Bloomington

5.6 miles

Excellent

most difficult

3

Great surface but rather hilly.

Purgatory Creek

Eden Prairie

3.7 miles

Excellent

easy

3

A much-needed trail in the southwest metro area.

Snail Lake

Shoreview

3 or 4 miles

Excellent

easy

3

Excellent surface and super scenery.

Como Lake

St. Paul

2.5 miles

Poor

easy

2 1/2

Mostly appeals to recreational skaters.

Battle Creek

St. Paul

4 miles

Excellent to fair

more difficult

2

Good scenery but traffic and debris

Bruce Vento

St. Paul

6.2 miles

Excellent

easy

3

Good surface and connections to other trails.

Samuel Morgan

St. Paul

5.5 miles

Very good

more difficult

3

Nice views of Mississippi River and Dayton's Bluff.

Lake Phalen

St. Paul

3.1 miles

Very good

more difficult

3

Rivals Minneapolis lake trails, but a bit more hilly.

South St. Paul Regional Trail

South St. Paul

4 miles

Excellent

easy

3

Nice views of the Mississippi River.

Sunrise Prairie

Hugo to North Branch

23 miles

Very good

easy

3

Good for long distance but snowmobile damage mars it.

Root River

Lanesboro

60 miles

Very good

more difficult

3

A fantastic weekend away.

Cannon Valley

Cannon Falls to Red Wing

20 miles

Outstanding

easy

4

You should definitely skate this trail.

Douglas State Trail

Pine Island to Rochester

12.5 miles

Very poor

most difficult

1

Really not skateable until it's repaved.

Wobegon

St. Joseph to Sauk Centre

55.4 miles

Excellent

easy

3

A fine trail in Central Minnesota with great scenery.

Mesabi Trail

Virginia

6 miles

Very good

most difficult

3

Very scenic, but very hilly.

Paul Bunyan Trail

Brainerd to Hackensack

50 miles

Very good

easy

4

Scenic trail in resort country


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