Trails

Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge offers close to 50 miles of trails along the Minnesota River from Bloomington to Henderson.

Learn more about the trails and current conditions below. View an interactive map, download one of the following trail maps to print or save to your device. You can also download a georeferenced trail map to use on apps like Avenza, to track your location without using internet or network connection.

Downloadable Trail Maps

Trail and Hiking Related News:

Trail Conditions and Flooding

    • This page will be updated with flood impacts as information becomes available.

    Bluff Trail

    Open season: Open year round - walking spring to fall, snowshoeing and fat tire biking in the winter. This trail is closed to biking from the Mounds Spring spur to Old Cedar Avenue trailhead.Location of trail: Long Meadow Lake Unit, BloomingtonSurface: Natural surfaceInformation: The trail can be accessed from the Old Cedar Ave Trailhead, Mound Spring Park at 11th Ave South near Indian Mounds Elementary, Pond-Dakota Mission Park, Hopkins Road or Lyndale/Sorensen Landing. This narrow trail rises and falls over forested hills and natural springs, with drainages leading to wetlands below. Bicycling is not allowed between Old Cedar Ave and the Mound Spring Park/11th Ave spur trail for the safety of all trail users.Trailhead address: 9551 Old Cedar Ave S, Bloomington, MN 55425 or 11135 Lyndale Ave S, Bloomington, MN 55420
    Trail Length (mi)
    4.77
    Trail Difficulty
    Difficulty Meter / introductory
    Easy
    Route Type
    Point to point
    Trail Activities
    Birding
    Dog walking
    Running
    Snowshoeing
    Wildlife watching
    Suitability
    Dog friendly
    Kid friendly
    View Trail

    State Access Trail

    Open season: Open year round - walking spring to fall, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and fat tire biking in the winter. This trail is open to cycling.Location of trail: Louisville Swamp Unit, ShakopeeSurface: Natural surface Information: Know as State Trail Access trail. This straight, level trail goes 1 mile to a junction with the Minnesota Valley State Trail to the north. Continue west on the State Access Trail to join the Mazomani Trail to the south and loop back to the parking area.Trailhead Address: W 145 St. 3801 W 145th St, Shakopee, MN 55379 
    Trail Length (mi)
    1.19
    Trail Difficulty
    Difficulty Meter / introductory
    Easy
    Trail Activities
    Biking
    Birding
    Cross-country skiing
    Dog walking
    Running
    Snowshoeing
    Wild edible foraging
    Wildlife watching
    Suitability
    Dog friendly
    Kid friendly
    View Trail

    Carver Creek Loop Trail

    Open season: Open year round - walking spring to fall, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and fat tire biking in the winter. This trail is open to biking.Location of trail: Rapids Lake Unit, CarverSurface: Natural surfaceInformation: This trail begins at the Rapids Lake Education and Visitor Center. It follows river bottom forest and marsh for much of its length. At 0.6 miles, you will pass a pond at the base of the ridge. River rapids can be viewed (at low river levels) 1 mile from the visitor center. This trail is mostly flat and floods seasonally. Look for tracks along the trail after wet periods. Northern/middle portions of this trail are typically inaccessible due to flooding and flood impacts. The north end no longer connects to the Carver Creek Loop Trail.Trailhead address: Rapids Lake Education and Visitor Center, 5865 Rapids Lake Rd, Carver, MN 55315
    Trail Length (mi)
    2.21
    Trail Difficulty
    Difficulty Meter / introductory
    Easy
    Route Type
    Out & back
    Trail Activities
    Biking
    Birding
    Cross-country skiing
    Dog walking
    Fishing
    Running
    Snowshoeing
    Wild edible foraging
    Wildlife watching
    Suitability
    Dog friendly
    Kid friendly
    View Trail

    Bass Ponds Trail

    Open season: Open year round - walking spring to fall, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and fat tire biking in the winter. This trail is open to biking.Location of trail: Long Meadow Lake Unit, BloomingtonSurface: Natural surfaceInformation: Situated steps from the Mall of America, the Bass Ponds Trail loop is a premier birding hot spot on the refuge. Visit this former Izaak Walton League fish hatchery to spot some of the more than 250 bird species that visit the refuge each year. Walk down a steep driveway to flat loop trails that circle ponds, marsh and a spring-fed stream. Accessible parking at bottom of hill available by request.Trailhead address: Bass Ponds Trailhead 2501 86th St E, Bloomington, MN 55425
    Trail Length (mi)
    0.85
    Trail Difficulty
    Difficulty Meter / introductory
    Easy
    Route Type
    Out & back
    Trail Activities
    Birding
    Dog walking
    Photography
    Running
    Wild edible foraging
    Suitability
    Dog friendly
    Kid friendly
    View Trail

    Carver Rapids Trails

    Trail Length (mi)
    2.64
    View Trail

    Black Dog Trail

    Open season: Open year round - walking spring to fall, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and fat tire biking in the winter. This trail is open to cycling.Length: 1.5 miles one wayLocation of trail: Louisville Swamp Unit, JordanSurface: Natural surfaceInformation: Middle Road passes through areas of marsh, crosses a large stream, and passes the junction with the Mazomani Trail South, then wanders through restored prairie and forest until it meets the State Trail junction heading south. This trail experiences seasonal flooding.Trailhead address: 3801 W 145th St, Shakopee, MN 55379
    Trail Length (mi)
    1.91
    Trail Difficulty
    Difficulty Meter / introductory
    Easy
    Route Type
    Out & back
    Trail Activities
    Biking
    Birding
    Cross-country skiing
    Dog walking
    Snowshoeing
    Wildlife watching
    Suitability
    Dog friendly
    View Trail

    Chaska Lake Trail

    Trail Length (mi)
    1.78
    View Trail

    Hogback Ridge Trail

    Open season: Open year round - walking spring to fall, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and fat tire biking in the winter. This trail is open to biking.Location of trail: Long Meadow Lake Unit, BloomingtonSurface: Natural surfaceInformation: The one-way Hogback Ridge Trail connects the Bass Ponds and Old Cedar Ave trailheads. Travel west past the stocked fishing ponds, fishing dock, marshes and Long Meadow Lake for exceptional bird watching and easy walking. These trails are flat and may experience seasonal flooding. Stocked fishing ponds are available.Trailhead address: 2501 86th St E, Bloomington, MN 55425
    Trail Length (mi)
    2.42
    Trail Difficulty
    Difficulty Meter / introductory
    Easy
    Route Type
    Out & back
    Trail Activities
    Biking
    Birding
    Dog walking
    Fishing
    Photography
    Running
    Snowshoeing
    Wildlife watching
    Suitability
    Dog friendly
    Kid friendly
    View Trail

    Forest Loop Trail

    Open season: Open year round - walking spring to fall, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and fat tire biking in the winter. This trail is open to biking.Location of trail: Rapids Lake Unit, CarverSurface: natural surface Information: Leaving from the asphalt trail below the Rapids Lake Education and Visitor Center, this mostly level trail courses through oak and hickory forest, with a brief view of a slough connecting to Long Lake. View wood ducks in the slough and listen for frogs calling.Trailhead address: 5865 Rapids Lake Rd, Carver, MN 55315
    Trail Length (mi)
    0.63
    Trail Difficulty
    Difficulty Meter / introductory
    Easy
    Route Type
    Loop
    Trail Activities
    Birding
    Cross-country skiing
    Dog walking
    Snowshoeing
    Wild edible foraging
    Wildlife watching
    Suitability
    Dog friendly
    Kid friendly
    View Trail

    Mazomani Trail

    Mazomani Trail NorthOpen season: Open year round - walking, cycling spring to fall, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, fat tire biking in the winter.Length: 2.8 miles one wayLocation of trail: Louisville Swamp Unit, ShakopeeSurface: Natural surface Information: Starting at the W 145 St parking area go 0.4 miles south past the kiosks to the trail junction. Travel west to loop back to the parking area via the State Access Trail. Enjoy a beautiful vista above Louisville Swamp where soaring hawks and Yellow warblers can be seen. 3801 W 145th St, Shakopee, MN 55379Mazomani Trail SouthOpen season: Open year round - walking spring to fall, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and fat tire biking in the winter. This trail is open to cycling.Length: 3.8 miles one wayLocation of trail: Louisville Swamp Unit, ShakopeeSurface: Natural surface Information: Starting at the W 145 St parking area go 0.4 miles south to the trail junction. Continue south passing the historic Ehmiller home site. Cross the bridge over Sand Creek at 0.8 miles. The trail goes through upland forest, across creeks and past wetlands until it meets Middle Road. Head east, passing a large glacial erratic boulder. Travel west 1.6 miles through forest to Jabs Farm historic site. Return same way.Trailhead address: 3801 W 145th St, Shakopee, MN 55379
    Trail Length (mi)
    5.61
    Trail Difficulty
    Difficulty Meter / introductory
    Easy
    Route Type
    Out & back
    Trail Activities
    Biking
    Birding
    Cross-country skiing
    Dog walking
    Photography
    Running
    Snowshoeing
    Wild edible foraging
    Wildlife watching
    Suitability
    Dog friendly
    Kid friendly
    View Trail

    Hillside Trail

    Trail Length (mi)
    0.43
    View Trail

    Minnesota Valley State Trail (Wilke Unit)

    Open season: Open year round - walking spring to fall, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and fat tire biking in the winter. This trail is open to biking.Length: 1.7 miles one wayLocation of trail: Chaska Unit, ChaskaSurface: Natural surfaceInformation: Starting from either the Chaska Athletic Park or Riverside Park in Carver, the trail winds through floodplain forest along the Minnesota River, as well as passing wetlands, Chaska Lake, former farm fields and a wooded slough. This trail is mostly flat and floods seasonally.Trailhead address: 725 W 1st St, Chaska, MN 55318
    Trail Length (mi)
    1.90
    Trail Difficulty
    Difficulty Meter / introductory
    Easy
    Route Type
    Out & back
    Trail Activities
    Biking
    Cross-country skiing
    Dog walking
    Photography
    Running
    Snowshoeing
    Wildlife watching
    Suitability
    Dog friendly
    Kid friendly
    View Trail

    Jab's Dike Trail

    Trail Length (mi)
    0.51
    View Trail

    Rapids Lake Trail

    Open season: Open year round - walking spring to fall, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and fat tire biking in the winter. This trail is open to biking.Length: 3.8 miles one wayLocation of trail: Wilkie Unit, ShakopeeSurface: Natural surfaceInformation: Walk 0.3 miles west from the parking area near Blue Lake to an old farm road. The trail passes between Blue Lake (west) and Fisher Lake (east), continuing to a junction with the loop trail. Proceed straight ahead to the MN River or head west to follow the river.Trailhead address: 7701 County Road 101 E, Shakopee, MN 55379
    Trail Length (mi)
    1.16
    Trail Difficulty
    Difficulty Meter / introductory
    Easy
    Route Type
    Point to point
    Trail Activities
    Biking
    Birding
    Cross-country skiing
    Dog walking
    Photography
    Running
    Snowshoeing
    Wild edible foraging
    Wildlife watching
    Suitability
    Dog friendly
    Kid friendly
    View Trail

    Long Meadow Lake Trail

    Trail Length (mi)
    5.38
    View Trail

    Minnesota River Greenway Trail

    Open season: Open year round - walking spring to fall, snowshoeing in winter. Not open to biking or horseback riding.Location of trail: Long Meadow Lake Unit, Bloomington at Bloomington Visitor CenterSurface: Natural surfaceInformation: This trail is short, yet is steep and contains stairs. The trail descends steeply into floodplain forest to an observation platform overlooking Peterson Pond. Look for migratory waterfowl, turtles and beaver or muskrats before ascending back up toward the Bloomington Education and Visitor Center through restored prairie. Trailhead address: Bloomington Education and Visitor Center 3815 American Blvd. East, Bloomington, MN 55425
    Trail Length (mi)
    3.78
    Trail Difficulty
    Difficulty Meter / intermediate
    Moderate
    Route Type
    Loop
    Trail Activities
    Birding
    Dog walking
    Wild edible foraging
    Wildlife watching
    Suitability
    Dog friendly
    Kid friendly
    View Trail

    Middle Road Trail

    Trail Length (mi)
    1.45
    View Trail

    Cliff Fen Trail

    Open season: Open year round for hiking and biking.Location of trail: Black Dog Unit, BurnsvilleSurface: Paved/ADA compliantInformation: Also known as Minnesota River Greenway. This pedestrian and bicycle trail is reached from the west by Minnesota Riverfront Park (City of Burnsville) or from the east by Jens Caspersen Landing (MN DNR). Heading east, the trail winds through forest and along the river. A short spur leads to an observation deck overlooking Black Dog Lake. The trail continues through grassland then winds between the road and river to the east trailhead. This trail is flat and floods seasonally. Fishing pier available on west end. MN State Park permit required on east end.Trailhead address: 600 W Black Dog Rd, Burnsville, MN 55337 
    Trail Length (mi)
    0.12
    Trail Difficulty
    Difficulty Meter / introductory
    Easy
    Route Type
    Point to point
    Trail Activities
    Biking
    Dog walking
    Fishing
    Running
    Wildlife watching
    Suitability
    Dog friendly
    Kid friendly
    Wheelchair friendly
    View Trail

    Minnesota River Bridge Trail

    Trail Length (mi)
    0.54
    View Trail

    North Hunter Lot Trail

    Trail Length (mi)
    2.11
    View Trail

    Minnesota Valley State Trail (Long Meadow Lake Unit)

    Trail Length (mi)
    1.16
    View Trail

    North Hunter Lot Trail Spur

    Trail Length (mi)
    0.27
    View Trail

    Minnesota Valley State Trail (Louisville Swamp Unit)

    Trail Length (mi)
    5.65
    View Trail

    River's Edge Trail

    Trail Length (mi)
    1.06
    View Trail

    Prairie Loop Trail

    Open season: Open year round - walking spring to fall, snowshoeing in winter. Not open to biking or horseback riding.Location of trail: Long Meadow Lake Unit, Bloomington, at Bloomington Visitor CenterSurface: Natural surfaceInformation: Explore the restored prairie around the Bloomington Education and Visitor Center.Trailhead address: Bloomington Education and Visitor Center 3815 American Blvd. East, Bloomington, MN 55425
    Trail Length (mi)
    0.23
    Trail Difficulty
    Difficulty Meter / introductory
    Easy
    Trail Activities
    Birding
    Wildlife watching
    Suitability
    Dog friendly
    Kid friendly
    Wheelchair friendly
    View Trail

    South Hunter Trail

    Trail Length (mi)
    0.11
    View Trail

    Rice Lake Trail

    Trail Length (mi)
    0.47
    View Trail

    Bloomington Ferry Trail

    Open season: Open year round - walking spring to fall, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and fat tire biking in the winter. This trail is open to biking.Length: 0.5 miles one wayLocation of trail: Bloomington Ferry Unit, BloomingtonSurface: Natural surfaceInformation: From the parking area, go through the gate on the west side of the parking lot. This trail travels west through forest its entire length, ending at the Hwy 169 bridge, though it may appear to continue. Return by the same route. Going farther ahead leads to trespass on privately owned lands.Trailhead address: 11255 Bloomington Ferry Rd, Bloomington, MN 55438 
    Trail Length (mi)
    0.65
    Trail Difficulty
    Difficulty Meter / introductory
    Easy
    Route Type
    Out & back
    Trail Activities
    Biking
    Birding
    Cross-country skiing
    Dog walking
    Fishing
    Running
    Snowshoeing
    Wild edible foraging
    Wildlife watching
    Suitability
    Dog friendly
    Kid friendly
    View Trail

    River Bottoms Trail

    Trail Length (mi)
    8.68
    View Trail

    Blue Lake Trail

    Trail Length (mi)
    3.61
    View Trail