Southwest Regional LRT
Another great route is the Southwest Regional LRT trail. It has a north and south corridor.
The north corridor begins in Hopkins and extends west for 15.5 miles through Minnetonka, Deephaven,
Greenwood, Excelsior, Shorewood, ending in Victoria. The south cooridor also begins in Hopkins
and extends southwest for 11.5 miles through Minnetonka, Eden Prarie, ending in Chanhassen.
The trail is fairly flat with great scenery. There are mileage markers every mile. It's ideal for speed work and
long run training for marathons. This weekend I plan to run the full trail from Victoria to Chanhassen as
my last long run before the TC marathon. -- Mark
The GreenwayI don't like the Corridor. I much prefer a route that goes
from downtown, through Loring Park (the Loring Greenway is
a great way to get to Loring Park from Nicollet Mall), over
the Sculpture Garden Bridge, through the Sculpture Garden,
and along Kenwood Parkway all the way to Lake of the Isles.
From there, you can go either way around the lake to the pump
by the tennis courts at the north end, head up Logan, and
take Douglas or Summit back over to Hennepin, back through
Loring Park, and back downtown. From the Y to Isles, around
the long way (counter-clockwise) then back to the Y is 6.5
miles. If you're feeling ambitious, you tack on Calhoun for
This is a great route for downtown workers such as myself who can run over lunch, or for visitors staying at downtown hotels. It's pretty much car-free, except for having to cross Hennepin on the return. Even then, you can go back across the Sculpture Garden bridge if you want. The entire route is park, parkway, lake, and residential Lowry Hill streets with magnificent old houses: a pretty remarkable deal when you work in the middle of downtown. -- Phil
Hyland and Elm CreekI think that Hyland Park Preserve and Elm Creek Park Preserve should be added to your list of
good running sights. Hyland is in Bloomington, and has several excellent trails.
Elm Creek is in Maple Grove and also has excellent trails. -- Darren
The Gateway TrailThe Gateway Trail in Ramsey County and Washington is beautiful to run. Start at any point where
you may usually park free. Run out and back Bring some water. Loop around White Bear Lake for an extra 10 miles. -- George
Opus2I used to run the Boom Island loop when I worked downtown. Now I work by Opus2 off Shady Oak & Crosstown;
I don't know if Opus would have maps of the trails but there's a lengthy system of loops that run past, around &
behind all the businesses and apartments in the area, which is mostly hilly. I also enjoy running at Elm Creek Park
near Osseo/Champlin; they have close to 15 miles of paths & trails and are adding on this year and next;
they host a 10K/5K there in the fall and are considering a half-marathon next year. They DO have maps of the trails
that they hand out at the visitor's center. -- V
MetrodomeFor indoor running during the Winter, the Metrodome is open on select evenings. Call the Dome at 332-0386 for details. -- (Thanks,
Sheldon, for asking the question!)
Medicine LakeOne of my favorite places to run is all the way around Medicine Lake in Plymouth. Start at Armstrong High School,
go up Zachary Lane to Cty Rd.9, west to Northwest Blvd, and south until you reach West Medicine Lake Drive, turn here.
This is an extremely scenic route, especially on a sunny fall day. The 8.6 mile route will take you past my gorgeous houses,
wooded areas with a chance to see wildlfe, and an area in the middle of the suburbs with a small-town charm.
When you reach Highway 55, there are plenty of opportunites for water and bathroom breaks. From here,
turn onto South Shore Drive, which will take you into the tiny town of Medicine Lake. Go up East Medicine Lk Blvd,
where there are some challenging hills. This is also part of the Easy Does It 5-Mile course.
Now, you are back at Armstrong High School. Congratulations for finishing your workout. -- Anne
Lilydale ParkRuns from Raspberry Island in St. Paul where the Jonathan Paddleford docks and continues
along the river all the way to Eagan. When running from St. Paul the course is relatively flat until the St. Paul Yacht Club.
Virtually deserted most of the time. Be aware that the area is usually under water for our annual spring floods. -- Michael
Minnesota River Valley TrailsA little-known trail system exists in southern Bloomington along the Minnesota River. Largely unimproved, except in
the Nine Mile Creek area, these trails run along the base of the bluffs through wooded areas, along marshes and on
the sandy banks of the Minnesota River. Trailheads exist in many locations in Bloomington, including the Bass Ponds
(86th Street east of Old Shakopee Road); south end of Old Cedar Avenue; Mound Springs Park (Columbus Road and
Park Avenue); south end of Hopkins Road (off 105th and Lyndale); Lyndale Avenue Boat Launch (south end of
Lyndale Avenue); Nine Mile Creek Park (parking lot 1/2 mile west of 35W on 106th Street), south end of Queen
Avenue; Overlook Drive; south end of Normandale Boulevard; Isaac Walton League property
on Auto Club Road; and south end of Bloomington Ferry Road. All trailheads have free parking. -- Steve
For those lightweight runners, Normandale Lake is a nice 1.9 m
loop in Bloomington. When I've run it (usually around 5:30), it has been
really unpopulated. Plus there is a separate trail for
bikes/rollerblades. Convenient free parking and water
fountain. -- Peter
East River Flats Trail
Recently completed, this Minneapolis trail is accessible from the U, Franklin bridge and near Shriner's.
Once your down there, it is like leaving the city. The trees and wildlife are great.
My favorite route! -- Jeff
Franklin Avenue Route
18-19 miles: along Franklin avenue in Minneapolis to river road east or west, south to ford bridge, to minnehaha park,
down parkway to lake harriet, left on harriet till cross over on calhoun, left on calhoun till dean parkway to isles,
left on isles till pump near Franklin. Water available on river, lakes, minnehaha park, and parkway.
Start somewhere to get Franklin out of the way early because it's not a good place to fade.
It's a commited long run with no way out so be ready. -- Greg
How about the Hyland Hills area and those trails back in the Preserve? Tons of cool trails, water, bathrooms and parking. -- Rich
Enter from Shepard Rd in St. Paul across from Elway (parking is limited). Down the hill there are paved and dirt paths around the lake.
I'm not sure of the distances as it's been a while since I've run there. There is no water.
But it is a good place to run on a warm day as the woods and lower elevation keep the temperature about 10 degrees cooler. -- Paul
Do you have a suggestion to add to this list? I'll include them!