Big Rivers Regional Trail (aka the Mendota Trail)

Description: This trail follows the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers and gives you a nice, scenic view of the rivers. It's built on an old railroad grade, but that doesn't make it flat.

Meeting location: 1023 Lilydale Rd, St Paul, MN 55118

Getting there: Take 35W to crosstown 62. East on 62. south on Hwy 55 to Hwy 13 (Sibley Memorial Hwy.) North on Hwy 13 to Lilydale Road. Turn right onto Lilydale Rd. (Lilydale Rd. is about a half block past the 35E bridge) Follow Lilydale Rd. to the Yacht Club. Drive past the yacht club (do not park there, because the parking lot is private property) north another 3/4 mile into Lilydale Regional Park. Take the first left at a boat launch and park in the parking lot there. OR Take 35E south to Hwy 13 (Sibley Memorial Highway) Take Hwy 13 east. Once on Hwy 13 there will be an exit (right turn) for Lilydale Rd almost immediately. Follow Lilydale Rd. around past the yacht club and continue another 3/4 mile north as described above.

Once again, DO NOT PARK IN THE LILYDALE YACHT CLUB parking lot. They will get upset and call the police, even if you park on the side of the lot.

Length: About 3 1/2 miles one way between Lilydale and Mendota Heights. You can also go east (on a combination of a paved road and trails) through Lilydale to Harriet Island in St. Paul. (There are some areas with rough surfaces in that direction, though.)

Official web site: Big Rivers (Dakota County)