Plan a Bike Vacation to the Twin Cities

By Explore Minnesota

Minneapolis woman biking in North Loop_Waqar Ahmad
Riding in the North Loop of Minneapolis

Biking in the Twin Cities is a bit like biting into a Juicy Lucy. It seems relatively straightforward at first (“How is this different from a cheeseburger?”), but there’s no denying the truth after your first ride.

Like the Juicy Lucy, biking in the Twin Cities is more than the sum of its parts—and it’s better here than practically anywhere else in America. So hop on your pedal-powered chariot (or rent one from Wheel Fun Rentals, various bike shops, or the Nice Ride or Lime bike-sharing services) and take in the sights, sounds and scenic beauty on these popular paved and unpaved trails in Minneapolis-St. Paul.

Chain of Lakes

Fall biking along Lake Harriet Minneapolis
Fall bike ride along Lake Harriet

A local favorite, especially in the summer months, is the 15-mile bike path circling the interconnected Chain of Lakes in Minneapolis: Brownie Lake, Cedar Lake, Lake of the Isles, Bde Maka Ska and Lake Harriet. Separate pedestrian and biking trails create less congestion and more stress-free cycling. Rentals are available at Lake Harriet and Maka Ska.

Midtown Greenway

Stretching from the Chain of Lakes to the Mississippi River, the world-famous Midtown Greenway is like a bike highway for South Minneapolis. The 5.5-mile former railroad corridor is grade-separated from the street grid, providing barrier-free and traffic-free bicycling. Find an abundance of local eateries and shops on Lake Street, one block south of the Greenway, or connect to the Hiawatha Bike Trail for direct access to U.S. Bank Stadium.

Mississippi River Trail

Mississippi River Trail biking downtown St Paul_Anna Min
The Mississippi River Trail in downtown St. Paul

Ride the Twin Cities’ portion of the Mississippi River Trail as it follows the mighty river from North Minneapolis to downtown St. Paul and beyond. Make pit stops for iconic Twin Cities landmarks along the way, such as the Stone Arch Bridge, Minnehaha Falls and historic Fort Snelling.

Summit Avenue

Extending across St. Paul from the Mississippi River to downtown, Summit Avenue’s 4.5 miles of tree-lined bicycle lanes offer visitors a time capsule of Victorian-era opulence. Summit boasts the longest stretch of Victorian homes in the entire country, some of which have housed famous residents including Minnesota-born authors F. Scott Fitzgerald and Sinclair Lewis. Stop for tours of the Governor’s Residence, the James. J. Hill House and the Cathedral of Saint Paul.

Theodore Wirth Regional Park

The Trailhead at Theodore Wirth Park, photo by Loppet Cycle Works
Theodore Wirth Park Trailhead / Loppet Cycle Works

Minutes from downtown Minneapolis, a wooded oasis for off-road adventures awaits on Theodore Wirth’s 6 miles of intermediate mountain biking trails. The new Trailhead center creates a hub for outdoor enthusiasts, complete with a bike and ski rental shop, locker rooms, strength and conditioning room, and Cajun Twist restaurant.

Lebanon Hills Regional Park

The variety in both difficulty and scenery on Lebanon Hills’ 12 miles of singletrack trails make it a top choice for Twin Cities mountain bikers. The suburban park, located in Eagan adjacent to the Minnesota Zoo, invites riders of all skill levels to experience routes that transform from rolling hills to wooded lakeside paths, with new sights around each twist and turn. Give your bike a quick tune-up at the park’s West Trailhead facility, which offers a bike repair station, air pump, maps and more.

Ready to ride? Visit our biking page for more places to ride, order a free copy of the Minnesota Biking Guide, or sign up for our monthly biking newsletter.