Visit our trail-friendly sponsor!
Parks and Trails Council of Minnesota

Cannon Valley Trail

The paved Cannon Valley Trail from Cannon Falls to Red Wing follows an old Chicago Great Western railroad route and hugs the Cannon River. The trail is bordered by cliffs and lined with wildflowers, often under the canopy of lush trees. The trail is open year-round for non-motorized use and groomed for cross-country skiing in the winter. It also has several interpretive sites as well as rest stops with benches, water and toilets. Trail users need to purchase a wheel pass.

Read more …

Cannon Valley Trail map

 

Wildflowers bloom on the Cannon Valley Trail. Look closely and you may even spot rare species

Wildflowers bloom on the Cannon Valley Trail. Look closely and you may even spot rare species

 

Read more here:

Along the Trail

In Cannon Falls, the city section of the trail begins in a park on the Cannon River near the falls that gave the city its name. This half-mile trail winds around the park, picnic areas and ponds before heading through a residential area to the official start of the Cannon Valley Trail.

An overlook near Cannon Falls with a great view of the Cannon River on the Cannon Valley Trail

An overlook near Cannon Falls with a great view of the Cannon River

Seventeen old mileage markers can be seen along the trail’s route. Originally, these concrete posts were used to identify the number of miles from Mankato, which explains why you’ll see these same markers on the Sakatah Trail.

These mile markers show the distance from Mankato, MN on the old Chicago Great Western Railroad on the Cannon Valley Trail

These mile markers show the distance from Mankato, MN on the old Chicago Great Western Railroad

The Cannon Valley Trail crosses Trail Run Creek at the Anderson Memorial rest area

The Cannon Valley Trail crosses Trail Run Creek at the Anderson Memorial rest area

Cyclists need to purchase a wheel pass at area businesses or one of these self-pay stations on the Cannon Valley Trail

Cyclists need to purchase a wheel pass at area businesses or one of these self-pay stations

The Welch rest area has lots of amenities on the Cannon Valley Trail

The Welch rest area has lots of amenities

Mural wall with trail map at the Welch rest area on the Cannon Valley Trail

Mural wall with trail map at the Welch rest area

Trail Association volunteers sell t-shirts and trail passes at Welch Station on the Cannon Valley Trail

Trail Association volunteers sell t-shirts and trail passes at Welch Station

The little town of Welch is the midpoint of the ride and has a rest stop that includes bathrooms. The trail then passes by Cannon River Turtle Preserve SNA, Red Wing, Silvernale Archaeology Preserves and a wetland observation deck, before reaching the downtown Red Wing trailhead near the historic Pottery Place.    

Connections

At Cannon Falls the trail connects to the Mill Towns Trail, which will eventually link to the Sakatah Singing Hills Trail at Faribault.
Currently paved sections of the Mill Towns Trail: Two miles at Cannon Falls, three miles between Dundas and Northfield, two miles east from Faribault. Another connection in Red Wing takes you down the 5-mile northern portion of the Goodhue Pioneer Trail, which currently ends at the Hay Creek Campground, but will one day connect to the Douglas State Trail near Rochester.
Another future trail connection includes the Mississippi Blufflands State Trail, which will link Red Wing with Lake City.

Visit these trail-friendly sponsors:

Root River Trail
Harmony Chamber
Visit our trail-friendly sponsor!
MNDNR license plate

Please join our newsletter mailing list!

It’s your source for sneak previews of the next print issue, new trails to explore, upcoming events and the latest blog posts. We promise to keep it brief, entertaining and relevant and you can unsubscribe anytime. We will not share your info with anyone.

* indicates required