Southern Minnesota Mountain Bike Trails
Stunning bluff country, meandering rivers and open prairies give Southern Minnesota a wide variety of natural terrain for mountain bikers to enjoy. Go south and find out what trails are waiting for you.
Myre Big Island State Park: 7 miles
Intermediate: Well-marked trails shared with hikers through forested hills and by Albert Lea Lake. Lots of trails to choose from, but limited access when wet. More about the state park
Schindler’s Way: 5 miles
This flat and fast singletrack system flows through forest and prairie and sweeps along the Cedar River near the Hormel Foods campus and Todd Park. Groomed for fat biking in the winter. A great beginner trail.
Caron Park: 2 miles
Beginner and intermediate singletrack loops with a dirt surface through a completely wooded area. Runs by Prairie Creek and features a natural waterfall. One interesting feature is a large erratic boulder on the intermediate loop. Trails are bi-directional.
River Bend Nature Center: 10 miles
Multi-use, dirt and grass trail is shared with hikers and travels through hardwoods along the Straight River with scenic bluff views. Fat bikes are allowed in the winter, but need to stay off groomed ski trails.
Shattuck-St. Mary’s: 3 to 6 miles
The trails at Shattuck-St Mary’s are built into the side of the riverbank above the Straight River in Faribault. Hand built, old school singletrack traverses up one ravine and down the next. Although the trails aren’t rated as expert, fitness and skills for riding switchbacks are key as you make your way up and down the many ravines. The trail is an out and back with a loop at both ends. Ridden as an out and back there is about 6 miles of trail. The system is a work in progress with about 80% of it built. Completion of the trail is expected to be in the spring of 2021.
Ney Nature Center: 1.5 miles
Trail one is rated intermediate and trail two is rated difficult with berms, drops and a rock garden. Trail access is not on Ney Nature Center property, but just north of the intersection of Henderson Station Road and County Road 19.
Belmont Park: 5.3 miles
Beginner to Advanced natural surface singletrack under the mature canopies of Oak, Walnut, and Ash trees with a beautiful view of the Des Moines River. Bobsled-style flow trails on intermediate and advanced portions of the trails system have plenty of switch backs, berms, and jumps as they drop 120 feet into the river valley. The one-mile beginner trail near the parking lot is balance-bike friendly. Other amenities are an enclosed log shelter house with fireplace, picnic tables, outdoor grills, bonfire area, hand pump for water and an enclosed pit bathroom.
Camden State Park: 5.25 miles
Beginner to advanced: Mixture of fire roads and singletrack rolls through hard-wood forests and prairie with a 1-mile section of rake-and-ride trail on top of the river valley. More about the park
Ft. LeHillier Skills Trail: 2.2 miles
A short skills building area south of Mankato on the Blue Earth River with rollers and berms winding through the wooded river bottom contours. This is a perfect trail to get new riders acquainted with their bike. Trails are bi-directional. Located on the intersection of HWY 66 and 90 just south of Mount Kato.
Kiwanis Mountain Bike Trail: 6 miles
Two single-direction loops on the Minnesota River. The short beginner loop consists of rolling, berm filled singletrack in the river bottom land with no obstacles or challenging climbs for the novice rider. More advanced features and options like log piles, jumps and drops can be found on “B” lines with ride-arounds on the intermediate loop. A kids’ loop and skill park are accessible from the trailhead.
Mount Kato: 7 miles
Mount Kato has roughly seven miles of cross-country singletrack winding through the wooded hills of their ski area for novice to expert riders. Riders who like a challenge will enjoy the climbs and descents.
Seven Mile Creek: 8 miles
Seven Mile Creek’s multi-use bi-directional trails feature little technical challenge but some climbs and descents are steep and very challenging. The area transitions from the Minnesota River to grasslands in the valley, to deciduous forests on either side and up the bluffs of the creek.
Sechler Park: 1.75 miles
Trail is designed to introduce beginners to mountain biking and runs along the woods on the shore of the Cannon River. Part of this system is a skills park with berms, jumps, drops, log piles, a teeter-totter and more. Connects to Heath Creek Trail across County Road 78.
Heath Creek Trail: 1 mile
Across County Road 78 from the Sechler Park Trails you’ll find a short, more technical trail with a rock garden along Heath Creek. Great views in a densely wooded area.
Kaplan’s Woods: 6 miles
Moderately difficult singletrack through hardwood forest in a 225 acre park. Some log jumps add challenges. The Owatonna Trails Association maintains six miles of mountain bike trail and grooms for fat bikes in the winter. Read about a ride on the fatbike trails
Memorial Park Trails: 12 miles
This beginner to advanced trail has many options: Long climbs, challenging obstacles, outstanding views, twisting singletrack. Select a ride that matches your skills and enjoy the view off Sorin’s Bluff. 7.5 miles of this system is dedicated singletrack; the rest is shared with hikers.
Eastwood Park: 7 miles
Three easy and two intermediate trails by Eastwood Golf Course. Trail is mostly wooded with many tight twists and turns along the Zumbro River.
Gamehaven Trails: 12 miles
Five easy and two intermediate singletrack loops with scenic overlooks on Gamehaven Lake. Groomed for fat bikes in the winter.
Traverse des Sioux: 11 miles
This system consists of rolling and winding trail through the Minnesota River bottoms weaving through the trees and over the undulating flood plain. The trails are bi-directional with trail difficulty rated easy and beginner friendly. These trails have some of the area’s best views of the Minnesota River.
Holzinger Lodge Trail: 7 miles
Advanced: One of the area’s best singletrack trail system with short, steep climbs, winding curves and excellent views of the Mississippi at Bluffside Park. Some winter trails.