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Dakota Rail Regional Trail

This paved trail follows what was once the corridor of the Dakota Rail through the towns of Wayzata, Orono, Minnetonka Beach, Spring Park, Mound, Minnetrista, St. Bonifacius, Mayer, New Germany and Lester Prairie. Wonderful lake views and scenery that changes from urban to rural make it worth a trip. Read more …

Dakota Rail Regional Trail MapDownload map

The trail travels through some heavily wooded areas, though you're never too far away from civilization on the Dakota Rail Regional Trail

The trail travels through some heavily wooded areas, though you’re never too far away from civilization

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Along the Trail

As you travel west from Shaver Park near the beach in Wayzata, you’ll pass through the Lake Minnetonka area with its many undulating bays. Spring Park is a great place to watch boats passing under the bridge over the channel between Harrison Bay and Seton Lake.

Biking between the lakes in Spring Park on the Dakota Rail Regional Trail

Biking between the lakes in Spring Park

Near Wayzata just before sunset on the Dakota Rail Regional Trail

Near Wayzata just before sunset

Just west of Wayzata the trail travels past Woodhill Country Club on the Dakota Rail Regional Trail

Just west of Wayzata the trail travels past Woodhill Country Club

Next, the trail takes you through more lake area and you continue to the town of Mound. As you travel on, the lakes become fewer, but the trail remains scenic and tree-lined.

A tunnel of trees west of Mound on the Dakota Rail Regional Trail

A tunnel of trees west of Mound

Gale Woods Farm, an educational farm with classes and a country store, is a great stop between Mound and St. Bonifacius. Watch for signs to a short, connecting trail.

St. Bonifacius trailhead on the Dakota Rail Regional Trail

St. Bonifacius trailhead

Bridge over Highway 7 in St. Bonifacius on the Dakota Rail Regional Trail

Bridge over Highway 7 in St. Bonifacius

St. Bonifacius, just north of Lake Waconia is the last town on the Hennepin County stretch of the Dakota Rail trail.  Once you reach the northern edge of the lake, you’ll cross into Carver County as the trail hugs the lakeshore.

The trail travels through some heavily wooded areas, though you're never too far away from civilization on the Dakota Rail Regional Trail

The trail travels through some heavily wooded areas, though you’re never too far away from civilization

Manicured greens near Lake Waconia on the Dakota Rail Trail

Manicured greens near Lake Waconia

The next town, Mayer, is only about 20 miles from Wayzata, but things take on a much more rural tone here. Farm fields and grain silos are a commons sight as you make the transition from an urban to an agricultural landscape.

Tractor crossing sign near Mayer on the Dakota Rail Regional Trail

Tractor crossing sign near Mayer

Scenery on the Dakota Rail Regional Trail changes from urban to rural

Scenery on the Dakota Rail Regional Trail changes from urban to rural

After you pass through New Germany, the trail continues to Lester Prairie.

Connections

An extension of the Dakota Rail Trail west into Lester Prairie in McLeod County was completed in 2019 and the long-term vision has it extend west into Hutchinson to link up with the Luce Line State Trail. In Wayzata, trail users can connect to the 63-mile Luce Line State Trail and go east to Plymouth and west to Cosmos on a variety of surfaces.

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