Trails Report

Flooding on Long Meadow Lake Trail by Gina Hatch

Know before you go!

Trail Information

Updated September 16, 2020

Hunting season is here!  We encourage all trail users to take steps to be proactive about their safety during hunting season. We recommend visitors wear bright orange or pink during hunting seasons, and we always require pets to be leashed at all times.  

For more information about hunting on the refuge, visit: 


Trail Conditions

Trails are open year-round, from sunrise to sunset. Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge trails range from rustic and wild to paved with more park-like amenities.  Need help choosing your adventure?  Check out the Visitor Activities page.

Trail conditions key: 

OPENNo obstacles, surfaces and trail edges are well defined, minimal user impacts. 
CAUTIONSome obstacles may be present,  trail tread may be uneven or trail edges may be overgrown. 
CLOSEDImpassible; may be overgrown, flooded, or closed to public access due to safety hazard.  


Trail conditions are updated as reports are submitted by Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge staff and volunteer trail rangers.  Submit a trail report by emailing  Information about individual trails can be found below. Click the city area headings to view trail descriptions and find links to maps.


Trail Name               Condition  Notes                         

Bloomington Area East (Long Meadow Lake Unit)  

Hillside TrailOPENSome gullies present. Watch your footing.
Spur TrailOPENThis connection spur is open between Hillside Trail and Long Meadow Lake Trail
Long Meadow Lake TrailOPEN Vehicles and heavy equipment may be present.  Dismount bicycles and do not ride through mud to reduce trail damage 
Bass Ponds Loop OPENSome low branches present; watch for downed trees
Hogback Ridge TrailOPENWatch for washouts and critter burrows between the Bass Ponds and Old Cedar Avenue
Old Cedar Avenue Observation BoardwalkOPENWatch for loose or missing boards in boardwalk
Old Cedar Avenue Bridge/Nokomis-Minnesota River Regional TrailOPENThis trail is managed by Three Rivers Park District
Bluff Trail      OPENCyclist reminder: Permanent closure to all cycling from Indian Mounds spur to Old Cedar Avenue parking area

Bloomington Area West (Bloomington Ferry Unit) 

Bloomington Ferry Trail   OPEN 
Minnesota River BottomsOPENMinimally maintained trail.  Minnesota River Bottoms Trails west of the I-35W River Bridge in the construction area is closed Mon. through Fri.; 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily (Saturdays will be make up-days in case of rain).
Minnesota Valley State TrailOPENCyclists beware of broken pavement. This trail is managed by the Minnesota DNR

Burnsville Area (Black Dog Unit) 

Cliff Fen TrailCLOSEDOvergrown vegetation may make sections difficult to follow 
Minnesota River GreenwayOPENThis trail is managed by Dakota County

Shakopee Area (Wilkie Unit) 

Minnesota River TrailCAUTIONWater and mud present in low-lying areas
Minnesota Valley State TrailOPENCyclists beware of broken pavement. This trail is managed by the Minnesota DNR

Shakopee Area (Louisville Swamp Unit) 

Minnesota Valley State Trail CAUTIONMinneosta DNR managed trail; trail is severely overgrown between Middle Road and State Access Trail
State Access TrailOPENParking at W 145th St. is open, and trail is accessible
Mazomani TrailCAUTIONSome high grass present; Muddy conditions will persist after flood events. Please dismount bicycles and do not ride through muddy areas to prevent rutting.
Middle RoadOPEN 
Duck LaneOPEN 

Chaska Area (Chaska Unit) 

Chaska Lake Trail     OPEN 
Levee TrailOPEN 

Carver/Jordan Area (Rapids Lake Unit) 

Rapids Lake TrailCAUTIONTrail overgrown. Area impassable, and use not recommended 
Forest Loop TrailOPEN 
North Hunter Lot TrailOPEN 
Carver Creek Loop TrailCAUTIONThis trail is overgrown in areas and may be difficult to follow

Trail Maps

Road Closures

Safety Reminder

Do not enter flood waters!  If you encounter flooded trails, turn around.  Flood waters can move quickly, erode trail surfaces, and be filled with debris.  Do not try to walk or bike across flooded areas at any time.  

Contact us for specific questions about trails, access, or to share your observations.