Best Bike Trail - 2012
When it comes to bike trails, the Twin Cities suffers from an embarrassment of riches. But for our money, the most beautiful stretch has to be the Minnehaha Trail, which runs from Minnehaha Park through Fort Snelling State Park. The trip begins at Minnehaha Falls — always a stunning sight in itself — and wends its way south, where the park's bike path connects with a dedicated trail to Fort Snelling. The bike path runs under a lush canopy of trees, beneath the bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River, and feels like a genuine escape from the city. The trail enters Fort Snelling State Park and travels around gorgeous Snelling Lake before petering out at the park entrance near the airport. One of the best parts of the trail is its versatility. On the one hand, the path is only five miles from beginning to end, which makes for a leisurely Sunday ride suitable for kids. You can combine the ride with a picnic at the lake, or climb the bluff to Fort Snelling and take in a bit of Minnesota history. On the other hand, more adventurous cyclists can extend the ride at the north end of the trail by hooking up with the Grand Rounds through the dazzling Chain of Lakes, or at the south end by biking over the Mississippi on Highway 55 and meeting the Big Rivers Trail in Mendota. With either extension, the Minnehaha Trail can become only the most beautiful part of a glorious all-day ride.