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Brainerd is in the heart of Minnesota's Lake Country

Soo Line Trail

This scenic trail starts at the northern end of the Lake Wobegon Trail between Holdingford and Bowlus at the Stearns and Morrison County line. The quiet trail crosses a pastoral landscape with an occasional farm and wetland. Read more …

Soo Line Trail map

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The trail crosses the Mississippi River at Blanchard Dam on the Soo LIne Trail

The trail crosses the Mississippi River at Blanchard Dam

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Along the Trail

Bowlus’ trailhead resembles the long-gone railroad stop and has bathrooms, parking and water. Four miles farther to the northeast, the trail crosses the railroad trestle just downstream of Blanchard Dam on the Mississippi, with a 1920s hydroelectric station still in use today. At Blanchard Dam, search the riverbanks for Twinned Staurolite, a naturally occurring mineral. These so-called cross rocks or fairy stones will occasionally form in the shape of a Maltese Cross and can only be found in a few places in the world.

The Bowlus trailhead was built to resemble the old train station on the Soo Line Trail

The Bowlus trailhead was built to resemble the old train station

A family of cross-country bikepackers crosses the Blanchard Dam bridge on the Soo Line Trail

A family of cross-country bikepackers crosses the Blanchard Dam bridge

Fall Scene on the Soo Line Trail

Fall Scene on the Soo Line Trail

Cyclists have access to Charles A. Lindbergh State Park via the Mississippi River Trail Scenic Bikeway on the west side of the river. The paved section ends at a trailhead at Highway 10 near Royalton, but continues unpaved to Superior, WI with another paved 11-mile segment between Isle and Onamia. A connecting trail takes you into Father Hennepin State Park in Isle. This trail corridor is part of an abandoned railroad line that includes today’s Dairyland Trail and parts of the Lake Wobegon Trail.

Read about the former railroad corridor

Connections

The connection to the Lake Wobegon Trail was completed in 2007. A future trail connection to the Paul Bunyan Trail, the Camp Ripley/Veterans State Trail, is currently in the planning stages.

Visit these trail-friendly sponsors:

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Brainerd is in the heart of Minnesota's Lake Country
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Minnesota's Paul Bunyan Trail is one of the state's best bike rides
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