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Austin (Texas)


Hikes in/near Minneapolis?

I'm heading to Minneapolis with a couple friends. We're really active and love hiking. Are there any really great hikes in the area that we should check out? I'm not that familiar with the area so any suggestions would be great. Thanks!

6 Answers

top answer by
Birk from Minneapolis

As far as city centers go, Minneapolis is extremely conducive to outdoor activity. If you are open to a relatively loose definition of "hike" I would highly recommend the Minneapolis lakes. Lake Calhoun, Lake of the Isles Pkwy ELake Harriet are all easily accessible, pleasant areas of Minneapolis that are great for walking/hiking, biking (no need to worry about bringing a bike, Minneapolis effectively implanted a city-wide bike sharing system), swimming, and more. Minneapolis is consistently rated one of the, if not the, best city for biking and parks, both of which will be immediately at you disposal. 

If we are abiding by a stricter definition of "hike" I would  recommend getting out of city (obviously only applicable provided you have access to a car/transportation). Depending on how far you're willing to travel I would strongly recommend going to Lake Superior and the north shore. If you can get there, you'll find endless and aesthetically stunning hiking trails. 

As a last resort you could always take a few laps around the Mall of America. It's a really really big mall.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Lake Calhoun (attraction)
  2. Lake of the Isles Pkwy E (attraction)
  3. Lake Harriet (attraction)
  4. Lake Superior (water)
  5. Mall of America (attraction)
7 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Gina from Minneapolis

Hi Christine, and welcome to Minneapolis! 

Minnehaha Falls, which has been mentioned a lot already, really is great. There are stairs leading down to the base of the falls, and from there, you can follow trails along the creek down to where it flows into the Mississippi. There is also a trail that goes from Minnehaha Park to Fort Snelling State Park, where you can go to see the fort or even go for a swim at Snelling Lake. There are also paths along the Mississippi River Gorge between the Franklin Avenue Bridge and Ford Parkway Bridge.

Theodore Wirth Park has lots of trails and is also very close to the heart of the city. The Quaking Bog is an interesting walk and there's also the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden.

Down in Jordan (not too far a drive from the city) is the Minnesota Valley State Recreation Area, which has 47 miles of hiking trails. HOWEVER, at the present time there are trail closures in the park due to spring flooding. Best to check in with them before you go.

As others have mentioned, Afton State Park has good hiking. I would agree with the recommendations of Interstate State Park as well—absolutely one of my favorite places to hike near the Twin Cities. Great rock climbing there, too, if that's your thing, and the canoeing in the area is wonderful. William O'brien State Park is another nice state park, slightly closer to the TC than Interstate.

The Three Rivers Park District encompasses a bunch of parks west of Minneapolis, and there are lots of trails and paths out that way as well. Elm Creek ParkCarver Park Reserve and Murphy-Hanrehan Park Reserve are just a few of the parks in the system that you might want to check out.

And if you want to do a day trip, by all means, you can head up north. Banning State Park and Jay Cooke State Park are both gorgeous, wonderful parks on the route up to Duluth (Minnesota), which is itself the gateway to Lake Superior, and also has trails like the Lester-Amity MTB Trail or the Duluth St/hidden Lakes (paved, beyond easy) or even a stretch of sandy beach—Park Point

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Minnehaha Falls (attraction)
  2. Minnehaha Park (attraction)
  3. Fort Snelling State Park (attraction)
  4. Snelling Lake (attraction)
  5. Franklin Avenue Bridge (attraction)
  6. Theodore Wirth Park (attraction)
  7. Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden (attraction)
  8. Minnesota Valley State Recreation Area (attraction)
  9. Afton State Park (attraction)
  10. Interstate State Park (hotel)
  11. William O'brien State Park (attraction)
  12. Three Rivers Park District (attraction)
  13. Elm Creek Park (attraction)
  14. Carver Park Reserve (attraction)
  15. Murphy-Hanrehan Park Reserve (attraction)
  16. Banning State Park (attraction)
  17. Jay Cooke State Park (attraction)
  18. Duluth (Minnesota) (city)
  19. Lester-Amity MTB Trail (attraction)
  20. Park Point (attraction)
  21. Ford Parkway Bridge (attraction)
  22. Quaking Bog (attraction)
  23. Duluth St/hidden Lakes (attraction)
5 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Brian from Chanhassen

Within Minneapolis you have a couple options

Minnehaha Park - trails lead down past Minnehaha falls down to the Mississippi River.   Nice restaurant and snack shop at base of the park.

If you're looking for a walk and not a hike, the Lake Calhoun Park or Lake Harriet or Lake Of The Isles are nice walks around a lake in MPLS.

A bit east of town is Taylors Falls and Interstate State Park.  This is on the border of MN and WI and runs along the St Croix River.  There are hills and cliffs and is less urban than Minnehaha or the Lakes walks.  

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Minnehaha Park (attraction)
  2. Lake Calhoun Park (attraction)
  3. Lake Harriet (attraction)
  4. Lake Of The Isles (attraction)
  5. Taylors Falls (attraction)
  6. Interstate State Park (hotel)
  7. St Croix River (attraction)
4 thankscomments (1)

answered first by
Aaron from North Loop

A really easy one to consider within the metro area is Minnehaha Falls.  If you wanted to take a drive, you might consider Interstate State Park to check out Taylors Falls or Afton State Park.  Otherwise...just spend a day exploring the area along the river, like the Mississippi Gorge Regional Park

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Minnehaha Falls (attraction)
  2. Interstate State Park (hotel)
  3. Taylors Falls (attraction)
  4. Afton State Park (attraction)
  5. Mississippi Gorge Regional Park (attraction)
4 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Dylan from Minneapolis

Lebanon Hills Mountain Bike Trail Head is a great hiking location that's not too far out of Minneapolis (20-25minutes). You could also rent mountain bikes, if you felt like getting a bit more adventurous. Also, another popular thing Minneapolis is renting paddle boards on Lake Calhoun and the "Chain of Lakes". Lake Calhoun is right next to Uptown which is where all the trendy bars are for people 25-35 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Lebanon Hills Mountain Bike Trail Head (attraction)
  2. Lake Calhoun (attraction)
3 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Craig from Bloomington (Minnesota)

Lots of spots depending on where it is you would like to go. Minnehaha Falls has a few shorter hikes at the base of the falls (the falls being the main attraction). I've gone on a few hikes around Lebanon Hills Regional Park with some friends, and the views of the Lake and quality of the paths are very good! Other than that if you are into biking, you should check out Minneapolis and St Paul's Nice Ride bike sharing program. Rent a bike for a few bucks for the day and go around Lake Calhoun, Harriet Island, and Lake Of The Isles. Hope that helps!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Minnehaha Falls (attraction)
  2. Lebanon Hills Regional Park (attraction)
  3. Lake Calhoun (attraction)
  4. Harriet Island (attraction)
  5. Lake Of The Isles (attraction)
3 thankscomments (1)

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