For many Minnesotans, summer is bike season. A time when we eschew our cars or bus passes in lieu of a little two-wheeled travel.
Some even make a day or afternoon of it. The following is our roundup of major trails throughout the metro area, for those looking for a car-free road trip.
But first! Do you need to rent a bike? Here are a couple businesses renting bikes this summer:
Rent a bike from Eagan, Bloomington, and Woodbury locations (Midtown is currently closed). freewheelbike.com.
Maple Grove Cycling
Current model Trek bicycles include FX 2 Disc and FX 2 Disc WSD sport hybrid, Domane SL 5 Disc and Domane SL 5 Disc WSD performance road bike, X-Caliber 8 mountain bike, Farley fat tire bike, and Verve+ and Verve+ WSD e-bike hybrid. 13950 Grove Dr., Maple Grove, 763-420-8878; maplegrovecycling.com.
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. 4804 Chicago Ave., Minneapolis, 612-827-5000; pedegoelectricbikes.com.
South Lake Rentals
Rent bikes by the hour, the day, overnight, or even by the week. 344 Water St., Excelsior, 952-474-3179; southlakecycle.bike/rentals.
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.
Wheel Fun Rentals
Mountain, tandem, and kids’ bikes for rent at Lake Calhoun and Bde Maka Ska. wheelfunrentals.com.
And now, onto the bike trails:
Afton State Park
4 miles paved. 6959 Peller Ave. S., Hastings, 651-436-5391; dnr.state.mn.us.
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.
Banning State Park
1 mile paved. (Hwy. 23 and I-35), Sandstone, 320-245-2668; dnr.state.mn.us.
Bde Maka Ska
3.19 mile paved bike trail around the lake. 3000 Calhoun Pkwy., Minneapolis, 612-230-6400; minneapolisparks.org.
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
9 miles paved trails through wooded park and along marshes. 7400 Grimm Rd. (Lowry Nature Center), Victoria, 763-694-7650; threeriversparks.org.
Cedar Lake Trail
America’s first “bicycle freeway” features 4.57 miles paved. Cedar Lake Ave. & Kenilworth Tr., Minneapolis, 763-559-9000; http://threeriversparks.org.
Cleary Lake Regional Park
4 miles paved along a quiet, scenic trail, with rest stops and a water pump along the way. 18106 Texas Ave., Prior Lake, 763-694-7777; threeriversparks.org.
Eagle Lake Regional Park
1 mile 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, including mountain bike trails through woodlands, wetlands, and farm fields. 12400 James Deane Pkwy., Maple Grove, 763-694-7894; threeriversparks.org.
Fish Lake Regional Park
3 miles 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.
French Regional Park
4.6 miles paved trails looping between visitor center and the beach. Trail connects to Medicine Lake and Bassett Creek Regional Trails. 12605 Rockford Rd., Plymouth, 763-694-7750; threeriversparks.org.
Hyland Lake Park Reserve
8.6 miles 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.
2.9 miles paved trail around the lake. 4135 W. Lake Harriet Pkwy., Minneapolis, 612-230-6400; minneapolisparks.org.
Lake Minnetonka Regional Park
3.2 mile paved trail, with connections to community trails. 4610 Cty. Rd. 44, Minnetrista, 763-694-7754; threeriversparks.org.
Lake of the Isles
2.76 miles paved trail around the lake. 2500 Lake of the Isles Pkwy. E., Minneapolis, 612-230-6400; minneapolisparks.org.
Lake Rebecca Park Reserve
8.1 miles 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.
Paved urban bike trail runs 5.5 miles through south Minneapolis. 2834 10th Ave. S. (Ste. 2), Minneapolis, 612-879-0106; midtowngreenway.org.
Minnesota Valley State Recreational Area
6 miles paved; 35 miles mountain bike. 19825 Park Blvd., Jordan, 651-259-5774; dnr.state.mn.us.
Murphy-Hanrehan Park Reserve
10 miles of mountain bike trails and loops, rated from easy to advanced. 15501 Murphy Lake Rd., Savage, 763-694-7777; threeriversparks.org.
North Mississippi Regional Park
1.6 miles paved trails with views of the Mississippi River and its wooded shoreline. 5700 Lyndale Ave. N., Minneapolis, 763-694-7790; 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.
More Summer Guide: