Sakatah Singing Hills State Trail
The Sakatah Singing Hills State Trail runs 39 miles between Mankato and Faribault. This paved, abandoned railroad bed passes through cool, wooded areas as well as open, sun-drenched farm fields and connects the communities of Mankato, Madison Lake, Elysian, Waterville, Morristown, Warsaw and Faribault.
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Along the Trail
Besides the woods and open fields there are several river crossings, fields of sumac, many ponds, several lakes and lots of benches for resting. At Madison Lake, a historical marker tells of Charles Lindbergh’s barnstorming days when he gave rides in his Jenny for $5 in a nearby field.
About three-fourths of the trail is under a canopy of tall trees, giving it a boulevard feeling at times and a forested feeling at other times. At Waterville, the trail passes through Sakatah Lake State Park under a dense canopy of trees and provides a separate bicycling campground, picnic grounds, lake access and hiking trails.
The Faribault access to the Sakatah Trail is at the White Sands trailhead one-half mile north of Highway 60. The trail is open to biking, hiking, in-line skating, cross-country skiing, horseback riding and snowmobiling in some sections.
Connections include the paved 12-mile Red Jacket trail between Mankato and Rapidan. It crosses over three railroad trestles, including historic Red Jacket Trestle, which is 80 feet high and 550 feet long. The North Minnesota River Trail brings cyclists from the Sakatah Trail through downtown Mankato into the Sibley City Park, where they can connect with the paved Minneopa Trail directly into Minneopa State Park. Also accessible is Mankato’s city bike trail system of over 50 miles. Future connections on the Faribault side include the Mill Towns Trail into Cannon Falls, where it connects to the Cannon Valley Trail into Red Wing.