Exploring Minneapolis Northwest by Bicycle

Exploring Minneapolis Northwest by Bicycle

The Twin Cities are a cyclist's paradise.

Minneapolis was recently ranked the most bike-friendly city in the nation, thanks to its extensive trail system and protected bike lanes. That also includes an excellent network of trails that run through Minneapolis Northwest!

Two of the best bike spots in Minneapolis Northwest are Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park in Brooklyn Park and Elm Creek Park Reserve in Maple Grove. EAch park on their own has miles of trails to explore, but the parks also make excellent jumping off points to explore all of Hennepin County! Here are two suggested routes: first, a more leisurly distance, and second a route for the more experienced rider looking to log some serious miles while in the area.

Route 1: 

Elm Creek Park Reserve to Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park: 9.64 miles one-way

Person on bike path


  • Elm Creek Park Reserve is the largest park in the 3 Rivers Park District, has access to miles of trails, a swimming pond, disc golf, nature center, and more
  • Coon Rapids Dam rides across the Mississippi River, over the top of the dam! Plus access additional hiking and biking paths
  • Make a pitstop: 5-8 Club. Home of the Juicy Lucy, this award-winning burger joint is a must stop if you're hungry

Route 2:

Elm Creek Park Reserve to Lake Calhoun: 24.13 miles one-way

Sailboats on lake


  • Medicine Lake Regional Trail passes through French Lake Regional Park and Medicine Lake
  • Theodore Wirth Park is a beautiful urban park in Minneapolis, nearly as large as New York City's Central Park.
  • Lake Calhoun is an extremely popular destination, steps from Uptown Minneapolis
  • Make a pitstop: The Tin Fish. The Tin Fish is a casual outdoor eatery serving a range of seafood, burgers, and chicken